Screen Reviews
With Peter Bradley

With Peter Bradley

Import Media, Fierce Optimism Films

directed by Alex Rappoport

starring Peter Bradley

Peter Bradley grew up in the Jim Crow days, but his mother was well known and hosted all the top jazz bands when they came though town. That gave him a good foundation in the arts, and Peter was drawn to abstract art. He became a mover and shaker in in the 1960s New York art scene. He was one of the names in abstract art, but had trouble getting exhibited due to his race. Without an agent, he had trouble marketing his work, although he became second in command to one of the biggest New York dealers. Peter could display others’ works, but his own efforts remained unsold. Today he lives in a Revolutionary era house in rural New York state. He makes large abstracts in a repurposed shipping container behind his house, mainly using watercolors, mixing up buckets of paint and pouring them on canvases to dry. Then he slice and dices those rough canvases into framed pictures, which rarely sell. This guy is a true artist.

With Peter Bradley is filled with tales of meeting jazz greats as a child, and running the sales department of one of New York City’s mega-dealers. Bradley had exhibitions in North America and Europe, and was a genuine “big thing” for a while, until his fortunes shifted as they often do.

Along the way, we visit the demimonde of the 1960s New York art scene, where certain people are gatekeepers, and they kept those gates closed to non-whites. We dig through Bradley’s collections of hip clothing and famous acquaintances and discover how he sees abstraction. Bradley points out that African art is by its nature abstract, and that culture was at its height when Europe still had trouble coloring between the lines. But now Peter is done with galleries and the whole scene, and he paints for his own pleasure and that of his cats.

The ride from the top to the bottom is clearly documented and not a new thing, but Peter is free with his techniques, and we can all learn a bit about art from this pioneer.

This film was presented at the 2023 Florida Film Festival.

Florida Film Festival


Recently on Ink 19...

Garage Sale Vinyl

Garage Sale Vinyl

Print Reviews

Christopher Long takes us on a personal journey of rediscovering the magic of music. It’s just the inspiration I needed to continue my own.

Greg Hoy

Greg Hoy

Interviews

Fascinated by the arcane world of musical gear, Randy Radic spoke with dyed-in-the-wool gearhead Greg Hoy about his setup on new EP Holy Mother of God, how he produces his unique sound, and a gear-gone-wrong moment.

Joe Jackson

Joe Jackson

Event Reviews

Joe Jackson brought his Two Rounds of Racket tour to the Lincoln Theatre in Washington D.C. on Monday. Bob Pomeroy was in the area and caught the show.

Matías Meyer

Matías Meyer

Interviews

With only a week to go before powerful new feature Louis Riel or Heaven Touches The Earth premieres in the Main Slate at UNAM International Film Festival, Lily and Generoso sat down for an in-depth conversation with the film’s director, Matías Meyer.