Brad Kunkle was born in Pennsylvania, and spent his younger years exploring and romanticizing the beauty of the sparse countryside and the deep forests around him. These images often appear in his works.
As a decorative painter in his mid twenties, Brad leafed entire walls in copper. Entranced by the shifting, life-like nature that appeared on the surfaces, he began to incorporate gilding into his work. This provided the unreal quality he had been looking for. Through gilding he was able to convey his moody, romantic ideas of human nature and ritual.
From an early age he was drawn to the worlds of Maxfield Parrish and the Pre-Raphaelites –
“worlds where a subtle, supernatural beauty seems to be hiding under the breath of women –worlds where something beyond our natural perception is waiting to be found.”
Brad was searching for an unnatural quality in his paintings, and it was ironically discovered by reducing his processes to the elements of painting he felt came most natural to him. His minimal palette is inspired by the grisailles* of early European masters and the haunting quality of antique photographs and daguerreotypes.
“Grisaille has a mysterious quality to it, and that mysterious quality is also at times carried into the way I will treat an object or a dress. Sometimes I like to give just enough information for the viewer to finish the details of what they are seeing.”
His world première solo exhibition sold out opening night in April of 2010 at Arcadia Fine Arts in New York City.
Underpaintings – An interesting step by step viewing of the process Brad uses to render his work
* grisailles – decoration in tones of a single colour and especially grey designed to produce a three-dimensional effect.