Summary/Artist Statement:Bruce Adams is best known as a conceptually based figurative painter whose work references various (often historical) painting styles. In exploring the act of painting, Adams peels back the layers of meaning inherent in making and viewing art. His work is included in numerous private and museum collections including the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, Castellani Museum, UB Anderson Gallery, and Burchfield-Penney Art Center.
Adams' most recent series, Divine Beauty, filters sacred iconography through the secular lens of today’s societal perceptions by placing found commercial fashion imagery in the context of painted religious narratives, producing a clash of ideas that throw both sources into question. As the recent economic meltdown has made apparent, conspicuous global consumption has replaced western religion today as the favored path to personal fulfillment. Fashion models serve as the new icons for the church of materialism, gazing intensely from billboards and magazines. Like traditional depictions of saints and religious figures, they often evoke rapture, anguish, and implied narratives. Adams is intrigued by the fake heroic ethos, smarmy lighting, and barely hidden sexual agendas (that tug at both male and female desires) of these ads as they promote devotion to cologne, jeans, and underwear. His work retains many conventions of traditional religious art, balancing historical painting against tossed-off illustration.
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