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Donald Bradford

Why upside down trees?

I have painted stacks of books and open books for many years. Recently I came across these photos of inverted trees by the Canadian conceptual photographer Rodney Graham. They were in one of my favorite books titled Regarding Beauty.

Graham has done several photographic series and outdoor camera obscura projects that have addressed the devastating effects of deforestation on the British Columbian wilderness. In the open book with Oxfordshire Oaks which I have painted, Grahams inversion mirrors the way humans as well as cameras process visual imagery. To me it is an invitation to look at the world in a different way. I often tell my students to look at their drawings in a mirror or simply turn the drawings upside down to see them from a different perspective and make corrections.

Donald's work was shown at the K. Kimpton Contemporary Gallery for many years until it closed this past year.

He currently teaches painting and drawing at the UC Berkeley Extension in San Francisco.

Donald Bradford

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"My lilac trees are old and tall; I cannot reach their bloom at all. They send their perfume over trees And roof and streets, to find the bees." - Lousie Driscoll