New Bedford Art Museum
New Bedford, MA
Excerpt from the exhibition catalog
(Steve Bradford’s) art is often peopled with figures that refer to an earlier youth, whether the artist’s or our own. Tiny dolls abound and seem to participate in an unfinished or unexplained narrative, arrayed as they are in ranks, or in their absence, represented by tiny, dollhouse-scale furniture among groves of twig trees or some other mysterious environment. These compositions are highly organized, but seemingly fragmentary. It is as if they come from a dream world poorly remembered and only vaguely understood, an odd world with symbolic possibilities that challenge our own narrative inventions.
Excerpt from review of “LOST AND FOUND” at June Fitzpatrick Gallery, Portland, ME
…Steve Bradford’s “Please Ring for Service” is part Rube Goldberg machine, shrine, and doll house. The pataphysical absurdity of its plastic toy and miniature media components is eloquently balanced by a perfect composition and deft maneuvering through elements of scale, 360-degree viewing, and narrative. The complexity invites the viewer to shift between architectural perspectives winding around a sense of depth to planar tableaus featuring toy soldiers and a Tyrannosaurus Rex. This great work demands your attention and exploration.
Excerpt from review of “TRASHFORMATIONS” at the Copia Center, Napa, CA
…Many pieces have an aura of spiritualism. Steve Bradford’s “Relics and Offerings” is a compendium of found objects, and is bizarre yet oddly appealing. On the one hand, elements of the macabre are juxtaposed against a backdrop of traditional religious artifacts drawn from a variety of cultures. The flip side of the piece speaks to the harmony of the divergent elements that course through mankind’s history. There is so much going on from the whimsical to the divine in Bradford’s work that you’ll want to walk away and digest what you’ve seen before returning again to appreciate the work anew.
Sacramento Bee, Sacramento, CA
Weekly Art Review Column
Currently on display at Solomon Dubnick Gallery is a series of elegant, elegiac assemblages by Steve Bradford. Bradford juxtaposes found objects – fragments of corroded metal, rusty machine parts, small ceramic and metal sculptures, plastic Grecian columns, plastic draughtsman templates – on dark backgrounds made of luxurious materials such as velvet and marble. “Fish Dream” is a visually rich image. In it, a tiny plaster portrait head of a woman is surrounded by rusted gear wheels. Below her, a small ceramic fish swims through a scrim of corroded metal while B-B’s rise up like bubbles in water. Bradford has a keen eye for the metaphoric possibilities of his materials and a playful way of using them. In “Knowledge and Discipline” he employs small, dark nail heads to mimic stars in a night sky. In “Elektra Lux”, he turns the end of a vacuum cleaner into a frame for a small porcelain head. In several works, the draftsman’s templates called French curves become arabesques in abstract assemblages that sometimes suggest architecture.
My Generation, Portland, ME
Excerpt from the "Boomer Gone Bad" column, "Dentistry Bites"
"(In the piece 'I Want It Now Not Later') the teeth have a metal plant growing out of them. There’s also a plastic fish and what looks like part of a car radiator grill. I think the whole thing has something to do with religion. Or, possibly, sports."