Brad Novak (aka New Blood Pop) explores ‘identity’ for his first solo show of 2020 in Whitianga NZ with Bread and Butter Gallery. Charismatic animals merge with humans to create his distinct Hybrid figures.
Through uncanny juxtaposition Novak wants to convey the complexity of our identities. Are we just one ‘thing’? A Mum, a dad, an accountant, a businesswoman? Why do we put other people and ourselves in such little boxes? The artist considers himself a ‘Hybrid’ - geek first, artist second, and doctor third.
This series rose out of his attempt to be more than just defined by his first chosen career. As a young practising medical doctor in the early 2000’s he was completely unaware of his artistic drive and the satisfaction he would gain from creating.
It was a visit to the Tate Modern in London that changed Novak’s life.
The Auckland-based public health physician had never taken an interest in the arts at school, and once he expressed an interest in medicine, was diverted down that route and never considered more creative subjects.
But while he was on his OE in the early 2000’s with his wife Katrina she exposed Brad to art in a form he never thought was possible.
“I thought art had to be realism; I thought if you can’t paint a photograph it's not real art. Two hours in the Tate Modern Art Gallery and my life changed. It was like a lightning strike, it unlocked something in me. I suddenly realised that art can be an idea and not just a pretty picture,” says Brad.
That visit changed the trajectory of his career. Now an internationally-renowned pop culture artist, through his New Blood Pop series, Novak explores his central themes of identity and ‘The Digital Dilemma' - that we think technology is making us happier and connecting us better, when in fact it's doing the opposite.
Brad Novak was the first artist in New Zealand's history to exhibit in the same show as Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Mr. Brainwash and Banksy in Toronto, Canada. He regularly exhibits in the USA, the UK and New Zealand.