Artists and Gallerists Remember Bill Brady, the Miami-Based Dealer With a ‘Legendary’ Knack for Discovering Emerging Talent
The founder of ATM Gallery has died at age 55.
Bill Brady, the Miami-based gallerist who was known for spotting and spotlighting emerging talent in contemporary art, died this weekend at age 55 due to complications from asthma.
“For those of us who knew him, worked with him, and admired him from afar, this is a moment of deep mourning. We will forever miss his incredible blue eyes, laughter, and kindness,” the gallery wrote in a statement.
Over the past 25 years, the Kansas City-born Brady made his mark in the contemporary art scene, moving to New York City in 1993, where he studied at the School of Visual Arts. Brady caught the downtown scene’s eye when he opened ATM Gallery in Chinatown, which earned a significant portion of its rent through the ATM installed in its storefront.
Eventually, Brady widened his footprint, opening galleries in Kansas City, Miami, and Los Angeles. Along the way, he developed a reputation for his keen eye—nurturing artists including Josh Sperling, Austyn Wiener, and Tomoo Gokita—often shirking market trends for his own personal tastes and decisions that ultimately proved prescient.
“Working with Bill was like being on this fun and crazy comedic art world reality show where Bill was the handsome blue-eyed star, and I was his late-night side host,” wrote gallerist Katia Rosenthal of KDR305, who began worked with Brady in 2016. “We did a lot together. We helped a lot of artists jumpstart their careers. We sold, we fought, we smoked, laughed our asses off, we traveled, and laughed some more, for our genuine love for artists and their work—a passion we shared.”
View this post on Instagram
Miami artist Austyn Wiener, in an Instagram post commemorating her relationship with Brady, remembered: “It all started at the Publix on 68th and Collins where we had our first meeting. I took a pen out of my bag, and made him a drawing on the receipt from our coffees. The drawing was of a girl with big hair and a thought bubble saying ‘give me a show.’ He smirked and said, ‘Fine Austyn Weiner. I’ll give you a show.’”
Since her seminal show with Brady in 2018, Wiener has exhibited in New York City, Europe, and Asia. “Thank you for your contributions to the contemporary art world,” she wrote of him. “Thank you for your contributions to the fabric of who I am and who I will become. Thanks for taking a chance on this crazy kid with a dream.”
Painter Michael Kagan began working with Brady a decade ago, their collaboration culminating in Kagan’s 2022 show at the gallery in Miami.
“He looked at my work the way another painter looks at other paintings… I always loved that,” he shared in a statement to Artnet News. “He would stop and stare and ask questions about color choices or point to an area that he loved and explain how the brushstrokes were working. I would feel pumped and refocused after Bill’s visits… our talks about art reminded me why I loved the act of painting and how lucky I was to be able to do this as a profession.”
He continued: “The art world can be a special place and community and Bill was an important part of creating that. He loved art, artists, and learning their process. His energy was contagious. His eye for talent and his reputation for discovering young painters and helping them launch their careers is legendary. I’m honored I’m one of them.”
Brady also had a penchant for tapping new talent beyond artists. Will Leung reopened ATM Gallery in 2020 with Brady, before taking over its operations after Brady moved to Miami full-time. “He taught me a lot and was one of the first dealers I met in the art world,” Leung told Artnet News in a statement. “I was scared to open a gallery, but he really let me run it with my own touches and supported me fully on everything I decided on.”
“He was a big statue of a person both physically and spiritually,” Leung added. “His presence will be dearly missed by those that knew him and met him.”
According to the gallery, memorial services will take place in Kansas City, with details to be announced.
Follow Artnet News on Facebook:
Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.