Brad Buckley spent his childhood years in Sydney. His father, Jim Buckley, owned the Newcastle Hotel in Lower George Street. The Newcastle was one of the Push pubs and Buckley Senior presided over this place which was frequented by artists, poets, underworld figures and philosophers for almost twenty years.
Buckley was deeply influenced by this early exposure to the possibilities of a libertine life. During the 1970s, Buckley travelled widely throughout North America and Europe. He attended St Martin’s School of Art in London and between 1980 and 1982 the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence, USA, where he graduated with a Master of Fine Arts.
His work has been exhibited widely in Australia, Europe and North America, including at the Künstlerhaus Bethanien, Berlin; Franklin Furnace, New York, and Artspace Visual Arts Centre, Sydney. He is the recipient of various grants and scholarships, and in 1990 he was awarded the PS 1/MoMA Institute for Contemporary Art Fellowship from the Australia Council.
During 1999, Brad Buckley convened with John Conomos a series of forums at Artspace Visual Arts Centre in Sydney titled ‘The Republics of Ideas’. These forums explored the rhetorical, political and cultural implications of an Australian republic. In March, 2001, Pluto Press published an anthology The Republics of Ideas edited by Buckley and Conomos. Buckley has also developed and chaired with Conomos a number of conference sessions for the College Art Association in the US, including ‘America: the Divine Empire’ (Atlanta 2005) and ‘The Contemporary Collaborator in an Interdisciplinary World’ (Dallas 2008).