Toronto artist finds fame just a mouse click away

For artist Jamie Bradbury, the chance of a lifetime is just a mouse click away.

“If you’re in that gallery, you know that you are a certain caliber of artist,” Bradbury says. “The biggest names in art today are in this gallery.”

The gallery Bradbury speaks of is The Saatchi Gallery, a contemporary art gallery located in London, England.

In an effort to increase exposure for young and emerging art talents, the gallery created SHOWDOWN, an online, head-to-had competition between artists. Voted upon by visitors to the gallery’s website, the competition is divided into 12, two-week rounds.

Exposure to competition is immense

The winner from each round, as decided by visitor rankings of their work, then competes against the other 11 winners to determine a final winner. The prize for the winner: the opportunity to display their work in the gallery.

With daily visits to the website numbering in the tens of millions, Bradbury says the exposure from the competition alone is immense.

“It’s insane the volume of people on this website,” Bradbury says.

Bradbury, who obtained his Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Ontario College of Art and Design, has enjoyed exposure in Toronto. In December his work was displayed at the Lonsdale Gallery as part of the exhibit “Super Real”. Later this month his work will appear at OMY Gallery. Bradbury, however, says his ambition is greater.

“I want larger exposure,” Bradbury says. “I want my work to be outside of the country.”

Investigating contemporary masculinity

The way things are going Bradbury’s wish might soon be a reality. Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design in London, England, recently reviewed Bradbury’s work as part of a Master’s program application. The results were positive.

“It went really well,” Bradbury says. “They really liked my work, and I have a recommendation for the school.”

Bradbury says he thinks the opportunity will only help develop his work.

“I’m interested in really investigating contemporary masculinity, and not just from one perspective,” Bradbury says.

“Going to England where (masculinity’s) very different, is only going to inform my work more, so that’s kind of the next step. Just trying to broaden my horizons and make it more universal.”

Bradbury’s work can be found at OMY Gallery located at 1140 Queen St. W. beginning April 20 and on his website