Arts Writing Artist Features

Mike Bray

Mike Bray in his studio. 2012 Joan Shipley Fellow, Oregon Arts Commission. 2012.

Photo: Sabina Poole

Originally published January, 2012

Mike Bray addresses the artifice of film and the spectacle of rock and roll performance via works in still images, short video loops, and sculptural objects, sometimes of epic proportions. Bray’s “Black Glass” was a full-size sculptural recreation of the stage setup for The Rolling Stones’ performance at the Altamont Free Concert. But as the spectacle at that concert shifted from what was happening on the stage to what was happening in the audience where a Hell’s Angel “security guard” stabbed an audience member, Bray has created a mirror image of every object on the stage–the stacks, the drums, everything-in black-painted wood. Bray has in fact made a whole body of work addressing “Gimme Shelter,” the film documenting the Stones at Altamont including “Lead and Glass,” a haunting four-panel photo document of “Black Glass” where each panel is 6′ high.

The Eugene-based Bray has shown nationally and is represented by Fourteen30 Contemporary in Portland. This year Sienna Art Gallery presents his Collaborative solo exhibition at Pulse Art Fair in New York. Bray also is part of the collective, Ditch Projects, in Springfield, Oregon which presents a compelling program of contemporary art in rural Oregon.

“This award could not have come at a better time for me,” says Bray. “My last project went over budget and exhausted my studio budget for the year in about six weeks. I was prepared to consider the rest of the year a research period, but I am much more excited to get in the studio and get to work.” Bray is working on a project about the depiction of jewelry in film with his wife, Anya Kivarkis, who is a conceptual jeweler. At the same time he’s working on a body of work on the lens Stanley Kubrick developed for Barry Lyndon.

Courtesy of The Oregon Arts Commission.

Artist Credit: Mike Bray

Exhibition: Oregon Arts Commission Fellows

Project Website

Oregon Arts Commission