“Bradley Hankey is a master at painting skies. As an artist, he has the rare ability to turn pigment into light. His canvases become luminous fields that glow with a vibrant energy. They pulse and move, as if they were alive. Each of the paintings captures a different type of light and was inspired by a specific sky, seen at a unique time and place. In Hankey’s hands, they become universal symbols of transcendent tranquility.
“Skies are the dominant feature in these paintings, but they are not the only elements. He also includes parts of the surrounding landscape—buildings, street lights, palm trees. His settings remind us that what he paints is quintessential Los Angeles. The blend of open space, with just hints of our urban environment, add charm. They tell us that these are our landscapes, parts of our everyday lives.
“These paintings reflect Hankey’s love affair with Southern California. A native of Oregon, he grew up under the dark, gray skies of the Pacific Northwest. After attending art school at the Massachusetts College of Art in Boston, he moved to the west coast and settled in Los Angeles. His deep affection for his adopted home is recorded in his art. Each work began as a photo he took with his smart phone. Although each image began with something seen at a particular moment, he transforms his source into something timeless.
“Hankey’s paintings are the result of a laborious process, where he builds up color, one layer at a time. His underpainting begins flat and uniform. With each successive step, he adds thin, transparent layers of paint, applied in an array of techniques. In the end, the multiple layers fuse optically to create a luminous field. The final image has a gently shimmering quality that must be seen in person to be fully appreciated. His paintings are pure visual poetry.”
--Michael Zakian, Director, Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art