Born in 1990, on the North Island of New Zealand, Brad Donovan grew up as a keen illustrator and exhibited a natural talent for the arts.

Growing up rurally, Donovan spent hours filling countless pages of sketchbooks, painting found scrap wood, and sculpting figures using his father’s old workshop tools. Donovan began his art career earlier than most, selling his sketches to his classmates in the schoolyard. His fondness for 90s cartoons and interest in the works of old masters would later inform his work, but it would take years of experimentation for him to find his artistic voice.

Today his work uniquely blends Baroque, and Renaissance influences mixed with Kawaii cuteness, elements of Surrealism and touches of modern Super-Flat colour. The works are layered with pieces of his past, which can be traced back to his early sketchbooks. The characters in Donovan’s work are often loosely based on known people or created from his imagination. A prominent feature that has always remained in Donovan’s work are the comical and stylised round eyed 90’s cartoon characters he used to trace for practice, up against his bedroom window.

Donovan’s evocative works leave the observer to determine the narrative. The work subtly plays with your emotions. When viewing one painting, you might find an energetic composition, brightly coloured with joyful characters. In the next, the included elements might suggest a sense of tension, mystery and unease.

Through the exciting development of Donovan’s work in recent years, his work has made its way into numerous private collections and exhibited in galleries across the world.

 

Selected Exhibitions

2024 UNTITLED Solo Show, Hong Kong, China

2024 UNTITLED Group show, New York, USA

2024 UNTITLED Group show, New York, USA

2024 4 MINI SOLO SHOWS, 19 Karen Contemporary Artspace, Australia

2024 PUNCHDRUNK LOVE Group show, Hypecartel/Superwow, Bankok, Thailand

2023 COAST Group Show, Stupid Krap, Australia

2023 MANIFEST CONTENT OF DREAMS Group Show, Lutra Gallery, Shanghai, China

2023 WANTED Group Show, One Small Gallery, Boston, USA

2023 BRIGHTSIDE Group show, Stupid Krap, Australia

2023 BACK TO MY DIARY Group show, Yin Gallery, Taiwan

2022 IMAGINARY FRIEND Group Show, Mozuku Gallery, Taipei, Taiwan

2022 SMALL Group Show, Stupid Krap, Australia

2022 INSTAGRAM LIVE Group Show, 19 Karen Gallery, Australia

2022 CHARACTERS Group Show, All About Art Gallery, Singapore

2022 KAWAII Group Show, Maddox Gallery, London

2021 2021 Group Show, Galerie Ovo, Taipei, Taiwan

2021 THE NOW Virtual group show, Artistellar.com

2021 WALK OF WONDERS Group Show,  Hawkes Bay, NZ

2021 HUIHUI – WHITU Group Show, Hawkes Bay, NZ

2021 PEOPLE, PLEASE! Solo Show,  Soft Corner Gallery, Seoul, South Korea

2020 EAST Group show, Hastings City Art Gallery, Hawkes Bay, NZ

2020 PLAYTIME Group Show, Muse Art Gallery, Hawkes Bay, NZ

2019 NO GUTS NO GLORY Group Show, Green Street Projects, Wellington, NZ

2019 NEW PAINTINGS  Solo Show, Green Street Projects, Wellington, NZ

2019 PLAYTIME Group Show, Muse Art Gallery, Hawkes Bay, NZ

2018 STRATUS Solo show, The Poi Room, Auckland, NZ

2017 SHARED PLOTS Group show, SPA_CE Gallery, Napier, NZ

2016 TEA & BIKKIES Solo show, A+E Gallery, Napier, NZ

2016 TO THE POINT Group show, Seed Gallery, Auckland, NZ

2016 EAST Group show, Hastings City Art Gallery, Hastings, NZ

 

Awards

2016 Wallace Arts Trust Awards- Finalist

2019 Molly Morpeth Canaday Award- Finalist

 

​Press

ART EDIT  Issue 29

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