B I O G R A P H Y
Bradley Hankey studied art at Massachusetts College of Art and Design in Boston, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Painting in 2007. Hankey is a realist painter whose current work reflects his interest in the light and landscape of Southern California. His work has been shown in galleries and museums throughout Southern California, as well as Italy, Tanzania and Costa Rica. Hankey maintains a studio in downtown Los Angeles. He is represented by Skidmore Contemporary Art in Los Angeles, and by Sue Greenwood Fine Art in Laguna Beach, California.
A R T I S T - S T A T E M E N T
My work is about translating beautiful moments from my life into paintings. I capture these moments by taking photos with my phone. Photography is akin to sketching for me, as I’m able to quickly reference moments that might become paintings. I take hundreds of reference photos, and out of those, select the few that will become paintings.
My paintings come together over many weeks and months, with each painting consisting of many layers. The bottom layers often contain thick, opaque applications of paint, with the final layers being thin, transparent glazes. I spend a lot of time mixing paint, as color is one of the most important elements of my work. I use color to convey the emotions I felt when I saw the image, and the passion I feel when I paint. The process itself becomes about push and pull, emotional fatigue, late nights in the studio, and eventually, the sense of fulfillment of seeing the completed works. My goal is not to replicate a photo, but to reproduce the emotional experience that I felt in the moment that inspired me.
The paintings in this body of work are based on reference photos I took while on a helicopter ride over Los Angeles. I’ve had this idea of painting aerial images from a helicopter for many years, probably from the first time I saw LA from above in a plane. I was finally able to turn this idea into reality, and I took a couple of helicopter rides in 2020 to take reference photos. This was a thrilling experience, and provided me with a new way to see Los Angeles.
Most of my work references natural light. I’m used to looking up – my paintings have always involved a lot of sky, with sunsets taking center stage in my recent work. With this series, I was in the sky looking down, and instead of finding color in the sky, I found it in the city lights. This is all about the artificial lights of the city, and the colors and patterns that it creates on the ground.
The aerial perspective was challenging. Back in the studio, I realized I needed to create a new system of drawing for myself, to keep track of all of the perspective lines. I used different colored chalks to make sense of all of the lines of the detailed drawings before beginning the painting process. I also went in a slightly different direction with the painting. Generally, my work tends to be tight, with architectural elements represented with crisp lines. These paintings became looser, with painterly brush strokes and blurred lines.
The title of the series is borrowed from a recent painting of mine, which originated from a trip I took to Africa. Returning home after spending a month in Tanzania, I was full of mixed emotions; I was devastated to be leaving my new friends and family, but also excited to be coming home to my family in Los Angeles. When we got closer to the city, the familiar city lights spread out below me, and felt familiar and welcoming, like a warm hug. Or perhaps an Electric Embrace.
R E S U M E
2021 - Waiting for the Sunrise, Sue Greenwood Fine Art, Los Angeles
2021 - Electric Embrace, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2020 - Bradley Hankey: Here With Me, Sue Greenwood Fine Art, Laguna Beach, California
2019 - Watch The Sunset With Me, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2017 - Shadows of Paradise, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2016 - California Now, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2015 - California, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2014 - #instalite #losangeles, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2019 - Lauren Albrecht, curator. Lost in the Sky, 5/2018 - 8/2019. Los Angeles International Airport, Terminal 7 Gallery, Los Angeles
2019 - Works by Gallery Artists, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2019 - Laguna College of Art and Design Collector’s Choice Auction, Seven-Degrees, Laguna Beach, California
2019 - California Cool, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California. Exhibit and auction.
2018 - Group Exhibition, Sue Greenwood Fine Art, Laguna Beach, California
2018 - Laguna College of Art and Design Collector’s Choice Auction, Seven-Degrees, Laguna Beach, California
2018 - California Cool, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California. Exhibit and auction.
2017 - Spring Fling, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2017 - California Cool, Featured Artist, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California. Exhibit and auction.
2016 - Palm Springs Fine Art Fair, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Palm Springs, California
2016 - California Cool, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California. Exhibit and auction.
2016 - Group Exhibition, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2015 Laguna College of Art and Design Collector’s Choice Auction, Montage Resort, Laguna Beach, California
2015 - Gallery Artists: A Work In Progress, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2015 - California Cool, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California. Exhibit and auction.
2015 - California Dreaming: An International Portrait of Southern California, Riverside Art Museum, Riverside, California, and Oceanside Art Museum, Oceanside, California
2014 - California Dreaming: An International Portrait of Southern California, Palazzo della Provincia di Frosinone, Frosinone, Italy
2014 - Summer, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2014 - Palette to Palate, Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach, California. Exhibit and auction with work by ten artists.
2013 - Still Summer, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2013 - Summertime, Skidmore Contemporary Art, Los Angeles
2011 - The Lights of Los Angeles, One Cog Gallery, Los Angeles
2010 - Weho@25, Temporary Space, West Hollywood, California. Juried by Howard N. Fox, Curator Emeritus of Contemporary Art, LACMA
2008 - Faces and Places, Gallery Sister Sorel, Boston, Massachusetts
2007 - Art in Embassies, United States Embassy, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
2007 - Paint, LynnArts - Time Warner Gallery, Lynn, Massachusetts
2007 - Open Studios, The Julia and David White Artist's Colony, Costa Rica
Hilbert Museum of California Art, Chapman University
2018 - Warm Heart Art, Tanzania (one month)
2009 - Conceptos Artisticos, Costa Rica (one month)
2007 - The Julia and David White Artist's Colony, Costa Rica (one month)
2007 - Massachusetts College of Art and Design, Boston, Massachusetts. Degree: Bachelor of Fine Art, Painting
2002 - Lane Community College, Eugene, Oregon. Studied art and environmental issues
2019 - Shana Nys Dambrot. Meet an Artist Monday: Bradley Hankey, LA Weekly, December 2019, https://www.laweekly.com/meet-an-artist-monday-bradley-hankey/
2014 - California Dreaming: An International Portrait of Southern California, Exhibition catalog, pg. 27, published by Oceanside Museum of Art
2011 - Studio Visit, Volume Sixteen, Boston. Publisher: The Open Studio Press / Steven T. Zevitas. pg. 78-79
2008 - Art In Ebassies, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, Exhibition catalog, cover credit and essay, pg. 4-5, published by the U.S. Department of State, Washington, D.C.