Katherine Bradford’s visually stunning paintings have taken the art world by storm the past decade or so, following her breakthrough show in 2007. We at Home Grown Books have had the opportunity to work with Bradford on our counting board book Six, where her surreal paintings present young readers with an opportunity to engage with world famous art while improving their counting and visual literacy skills.
Armed with a bachelor’s degree from Bryn Mawr College and an MFA from SUNY Purchase, the Brooklyn and Maine based artist plays with concepts reminiscent of the greats that came before her while remaining uniquely playful and uniquely herself. Her work is on permanent collection in several museums including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Brooklyn Museum, along with myriad well received exhibits in the Northeast.
Bradford’s most recent work features a familiar landscape, swimmers at the beach and in the ocean, distorted not beyond recognition but beyond comfort. The paintings range from vibrant strokes of swimmers in bright bathing suits to dreary dreamscapes of men nearly indistinguishable from above the water and beneath the waves.
Fear of Waves, 2015
Blue Swimmers, 2015
The pieces are evocative, hilarious, disastrous and jarring all at once. Bradford’s characters, crudely rendered but instantly recognizable, are placed in sometimes aquatic, sometimes cosmic, and always fantastical landscapes, combining playful with ghastly, comic with tragic.
Check out our board book featuring Katherine Bradford’s artwork here. As part of our Mini Museum Series, 5% of all profits from this book are donated to the Lily Sarah Grace Fund, a non-profit that provides grants to struggling public schools to support child-centered learning and creativity in the classroom.