Mick Brady is the flesh and blood artist and writer behind the avatars and art that make up the world of Chrome Underwood. An award-winning painter who made the leap into digital art nearly two decades ago, and who has been living and working in a virtual world for the past four years or so. The Chrome Underwood Project encompasses digital painting and collage, virtual comics, a graphic novel, a blog, and soon, a book documenting Chrome’s journey through the world of Second Life.
As a young man, Mick studied Russian at Syracuse University and then served as a USAF intelligence analyst at a base outside Istanbul, Turkey. When he returned to the States and civilian life, he enrolled at the State University of New York (SUNY), where he studied with renowned sculptor Richard Stankiewicz, jazz photographer Joe Alper, and with painters Jo Anne Carson and Mark Greenwold.
While still an undergraduate his painting of a biker ascending into heaven on a bolt of chrome lightning (Angel, left) won first prize at an important regional exhibit, which put enough wind in his sails to land in New York, where he set up a storefront studio in the East Village just down the street from Willem De Koonings’ old studio and a few blocks from where Claes Oldenberg had once opened shop. Like many who had come before him, he began driving a cab to pay the rent. A small portion of those days have been chronicled in an excerpt from his memoir, Seven Feet from Easy Street.
Following a career as a successful artist and designer, he accepted an appointment as professor of digital arts at Russell Sage College, where he is a Professor Emeritus. He lives and works in Santa Barbara, California.
To be continued…