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Interview: Bradley Hoseley's Dreamscapes

Interview: Bradley Hoseley's Dreamscapes

Lives and works in Brooklyn, New York

Tell us about yourself, how did you become an artist?

I grew up in Meridian, Idaho and I always loved using my imagination to create things. Whether it was a game, a comic book character, or some crazy costume, I was always wanting to do something creative. My brothers played sports, and I drew really bad fan art of my favorite video game characters; always doodling, always making. I took art classes throughout my high school and middle school career, but it wasn’t until I started college and learned about conceptual art, theory, and the art world that I decided I wanted to be an artist.

a theater a stage, acrylic, flashe, on panel, 24"x36" 2021

What is your background? and how did it inform the focus of your creative exploration or the medium you're currently working with?

My background is in printmaking. I got a degree in it from PNCA (Pacific Northwest College of Art) in 2018. Printmaking gave me the ability to work with the multiple and produce a lot of work;some good, some bad. I learned a lot through the various print processes and landed on working in silkscreen and plate lithography. The work I was making then used a lot of photographic elements and design elements. I would create digital compositions, then transfer them into analog print methods. My process has somewhat stayed the same post undergrad, I’ve moved away from prints and started making paintings. However I still have photographic elements within my work just translated differently.

Open Studio

What ideas interested you in the beginning of your practice, which ideas have you continued to explore, and where have they led you?

At the beginning of my practice I was interested in the idea of blurring abstraction with gay pornographic images. I wanted to weave what we find visually appealing within abstract art with elements of men fucking men to call out internalized homophobia. This work progressed into understanding my own identity, and I began to explore gay history and hardcore history. The work had abstracted elements but started to be more recognizable as my practice continued. My work has always had sexual undertones even if the work isn’t explicitly about sex. This has led me into exploring my own memory, my own past and now my work acts as dreamscapes, mazes, and playrooms to decode former lovers and friends.

(left) draw 2, (right) the foyer hanging in the studio

Who were and are the biggest sources of your inspiration?

I don’t think I have any “were” inspiration because I think if you were inspired by something it’ll stick with you forever, and you most likely will revisit it at some point. I look at Jospef Albers for the way in which he uses color. I fall so deep into his Homage to the Square series. Another artist I love is Dean Sameshima for his use of found imagery, the photographs he takes, and the shirts he makes. Raw Meat Collective is another form of inspiration, a collective that I love dearly for their unapologetic, punk attitude, and their emphasis of giving queers space to create beautiful books. I feel as though this list can keep going and going but I'll leave it at three for now.

Studio set up

Where do you find inspiration?

What a fun question, where do I find inspiration? Everywhere, in so many forms. The graphic of a t-shirt to some lyrics from a Warzone song. I’d say I have 5 places I primarily look for inspiration, hardcore music, old gay pornography/publications, yu-gi-oh cards, 80’s/90’s hardcore and queer show fliers, and cruising. 

collage of inspiration

Is there are a single work, project, or series that is pivotal in your current trajectory?

I think this would have to be this painting series I did when I was getting ready to leave Portland Oregon and move to New York City. This series was called City of Rosebuds. In this work I spent time reflecting on all of my former lovers, hook-ups, and friends-the intimate and not so intimate moments that I shared with these folks. It manifested in these large scale paintings of abstracted forms of the male figure mixed with color flats and roses. The rose became a marker of place, as Portland is also known as the city of roses. The thing that I find to be pivotal within this work is I decided to look at myself and my own journey rather than looking at an archive of gay history that I had been utilizing in the past. This gave me the building blocks to create the body of work that I'm working on currently, which is about reflecting on memory through personal experience and learned experience.

left, right, up, down, and above, acrylic, flashe, on panel 18"x24" 2021

How did it begin? and how did it evolve?

This work started off with me wanting to make big paintings while I still had the space to do which turned into the question “what the hell am I even gonna paint?”, when I had spent the last year only making drawings. When I decided that I was gonna paint reflecting on my time in Portland everything began to flow. These figures took shape in a goofy way, which I really loved . Through this process of letting things be organic I found a way to enjoy painting. Within this I was able to explore myself more, since my work previously has been more founded in research, and ultimately it gave me the opportunity to play a lot. In this evolution I feel it has brought me to the current body of work I’m making that is both play and research. This will just continue to fuel the fire, leaving things open to grow, bend, and morph into the shapes I need.

cruise to win, great book

What were important lessons in the process that you’ve carried forward with you?

Never apologize for who you are. Be as loud as you want or as quiet as you want. You owe no one anything, but always be there for others in times of need. Lastly, always stand your ground and don’t let anyone push you aside.

What are you working on now?

Currently I’m finishing up this body of work mentioned earlier titled Memento Labyrinth. I’m about to start a new body of work that I’m really excited about that is conceptual remaking of a sex harness. That work will have elements of photos and sculptures with a sexy velvet feel. I don’t want to go into too much detail since it's at the early stages of development.

reflection on a plate, acrylic on canvas, 36"60" 2021

If you could go back in time to the very beginning of your art practice and give your younger self a single piece of advice what would it be?

Go look at art, go to museums, annoy mom so she takes you to see art. I had such a small scope of what art was growing up. Even through school, the information given was just a small crack into the art world. When I started my undergrad I felt like I had to catch up with everyone in some sense. That's it; just see more art because there is so much, and it's wonderful.

draw 2, acrylic, flashe, on panel, 30"x24" 2021

About the Artist

Based in Brooklyn, New York

Hoseley is a Brooklyn based artist currently working on paintings but is a printmaker at heart. His work explores memory, history, and the archive with a special emphasis on the history of all things gay and queer ranging from social events to protests to bathhouse architecture. He finds interest in things that are short lived, ephemeral or weren’t able to be shown in some capacity. Hoseley enjoys the blurring of lines metaphorically speaking with works having abstract shapes, unknown spaces, or color fields; he does this so the viewer is caught off guard and transported into this queer sexual world.

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