6 December 2023

Picnic in My Desk Drawer

Brad Stumpf arranges personal
dioramas in intimate oil paintings


by Kate Mothes

“For three years, I made paintings from observation that depicted the same one-foot-by-one-foot space of my bedside table,” says artist Brad Stumpf, whose compositions record daily experiences, memories, and domestic activities through a process of creating miniature dioramas from everyday objects. Like miniature stage sets, the tableaux are painted from observation and portray objects that Stumpf has crafted from paper and other found materials, often organized on small surfaces like side tables or in drawers.

Registering daily activities around the house, documenting time spent with his partner, or navigating the emotional terrain of family relationships and mortality, Stumpf creates a visual diary of passing time and life changes. Many of his paintings originate from an arrangement he kept permanently beside his bed, which he would reorganize if he happened to enter the room during the day, or tweak a little bit just as he awoke in the morning. In a statement, he says, “I want my works to function like an open door to a quiet room for which you peek in, or a still photo of a play halfway through.”

Find more on Stumpf’s website and Instagram.

When I Touch You With My Eyes Closed II, 2023. Oil on panel, 24 x 36 inches
Picnic in My Desk Drawer, 2023. Oil on panel, 24 x 18 inches
Traversing Your Dreams, 2023. Oil on panel, 32 x 48 inches
Do We Need to See?, 2023. Oil on panel, 12 x 24 inches
Remnants of Her, 2023. Oil on panel, 18 x 24 inches
If We Were Trees, 2023. Oil on panel, 24 x 24 inches
Enveloped, 2023. Oil on panel, 18 x 24 inches

Header image: Focus, 2023. Oil on panel, 18 x 24 inches

All images © Brad Stumpf

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