David Bray’s compelling works come from a lifetime love of drawing and an active imagination.
Born in Dartford, Kent, in 1970, as a child Bray would draw images of space travel, where he would depict himself and his friends visiting other planets and universes. His interest soon moved to London in the 1970’s, but too young for the punk movement to interest him, he began to explore a dark, egotistical fantasy world, which is still apparent in the work he makes today.
Using basic working tools, such as pens, pencils and paper bought from ordinary stationary shops, Bray creates intricate, time-consuming drawings, which explore emotion, utopia and a world of fantasy. Many of the works are based on past experiences, old relationships or current friendships, which is apparent from the titles he gives works such as ‘Seasons of Missed Opportunities 1 and 2’; two portraits of beautiful girls surrounded by decorative flowers. At first glance these works are images of perfection, but the title suggests something lost, or a feeling of regret, and suddenly they become bitter portraits of disappointment and missed chances.
This sinister side is apparent in much of Bray’s work, which can often be quite dark. Sexy, sluttish women, who are often semi-naked and in fetish gear, appear in gardens of paradise in compromising positions with stags or birds of prey, and are sometimes surrounded by cute, pathetic-looking characters who seem out of place in the picture. Is this the artist’s subconscious working out his own fetishes? Could the cute characters be seen as some form of self-portraiture?
As well as working as a practising artist, David Bray has been a successful freelance illustrator since 1996. Corporate clients have included Harvey Nichols, H&M, Canon, Vodafone, BBC Television, Nokia, Puma, Virgin, Sony, Kickers and Charles Worthington and magazines have included Carlos, Elle, Flaunt, The Sunday Times and Time Out.
He has also worked in close collaboration with point blank to produce the identity, DVD packaging and promotional material for Dirty Sanchez.