Unauthorized Installations: The Fine Art of Urban Subversion

street art brad downey

Brad Downey is familiar with both sides of the art world, with a fine arts degree and gallery exhibitions, on the one hand, and run-ins with the authorities about his sometimes-unsanctioned street art on the other.

street sidewalk ripped up

His work is harder to describe that it is to simply see, since it is often in the most public places you could imagine (or documented via extensive photography) – erupting from sidewalks, disrupting bicycle lanes or literally ripping up cobbled streets

street art object manipulations

Per the pictures, sometimes these installations transpose ideas and objects from other contexts, but they also frequently warp existing everyday objects like bicycles, cars, signs, benches, shopping carts and garbage cans.

street alley art wedging

Sometimes he works alone – sometimes collaboratively. Some of his pieces are stand-alones and one-offs while others form sets, like Wedging (shown above), which is a series of experiments of balance and obstruction in alleys with ordinary household items.

street art impossible bicycles

He has had run-ins with police while working in cities ranging from London to Amsterdam, on both art and guerrilla marketing projects performed in that gray area of public and possible vandalism.