Kévin Bray (Corbie, FR 1989) is a French interdisciplinary artist currently based in Amsterdam. Initially trained as a graphic designer with two MA degrees obtained in both France and theNetherlands, Bray soon after became an artist in residence at the Rijksakademie van Beeldende Kunsten in Amsterdam (2018-2019).
There he cultivated his practice as an independent visual artist within the contemporary art arena. Moving with ease across the boundaries of various disciplines, through his work he tries to understand how the form and language of particular software and various mediums are visualized and how they can be potentially manipulated into other ways of functioning.
His vivid images are the product of a methodology defined by a hybridity of techniques, motifs and visual codes in which he plays, stretches and confronts various new technologies and tools to shape a stimulating artistic language. Influenced by his graphic design background and fascinated by the history of painting, ideas of composition and communication are ever present in the construction of his work. By engaging with a diversity of communication strategies ranging from video, painting, animation, to sculpture, music and writing, Bray observes and learns their many functions. His desire to blend these ways of creation allow him to bridge techniques across the physical and digital realms in unexpected ways, creating new captivating realities and perspectives that reflect the evolution that our stories are taking. A large part of Bray’s practice revolves around the creation of paintings and the continual evolution of his video Morpher (2018 – ongoing). Navigating through bright shape shifting landscapes, this video work acts as the spineand living archive of Bray’s artistic practice. Like a living organism, Morpher it is continuously evolving, and the many characters seen across his paintings become props in an extending reality where they can be activated differently. Interacting with the backdrop and stage, his otherworldly images are always at the edge of transparency and concealment. He is renowned for showing the viewer precisely how the work is constructed, and what is essential to him is the story to tell as much as the way to tell it. By doing so, he invites us to reflect on the transformation of production processes and the alteration of their narratives, revealing their ability to force us to question our relation to materiality and reality (tekst by Alexandra Martens Serrano).
“In my work I try to be a generalist of technologies, tools, and media. I believe that they are a language or at least an extension of it. I try to observe and learn from as many tools deriving from a diversity of systems, ranging from paintings, sculpting, writing, 3D modeling, filming, animating, composing, drawing methodologies and design to storytelling music making and sound design. Of course, I don't master any of them but I try to understand and bridge all of those forms of language in unexpected ways, in order to encompass new realities and new perspectives on the shapes our narratives (social and political beliefs) are taking.
What is important is the story to tell as much as the way to tell it. Surface and content, the surface is content. Medium and formats, information and mediation”.
"We shape our tools and thereafter our tools shape us.'' – Marshall McLuhan
Kévin Bray’s solo exhibitions include The Transformation of Matter Creates Light, Trauma Bar und Kino, Berlin, 2022; Wills, Wheels, Wells, Future Gallery, Berlin, 2021; Breakdown After Before, Dordrecht Museum, Dordrecht, The Netherlands, 2021; Don’t forgive/get, them, Stigter Van Doesberg, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2020; and Morpher III, Foam Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2020. His work was also shown in group exhibitions, such as L’anima Navigue, Future, Ancien, Fugitif, Palais De
Tokyo, Paris, France, 2019 and RijksOpen, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, 2018.
He is also a regular speaker at platforms such as KABK (Den Haag_NL), Bauhaus Universität (Weimar_DE), Willem de Kooning Academy (Rotterdam_NL) and Sandberg Instituut (Amsterdam_NL)
His commissioned work includes Stedelijk Museum (Amsterdam_NL), Witte De With (Rotterdam_NL), UNFAIR18 (Amsterdam_NL), Parc Saint Léger (Pougues les Eaux_FR), Mucem (Marseille_FR) and Het Nieuwe Instituut (Rotterdam_NL).
Bray was published in Metropolis M, Damn Magazine, GUAP, UNFAIR Amsterdam and more.