For nearly two decades English-born artist Andrew Bolam has followed a broad path for his paintings. In that time one theme has emerged: the American West, such as wildlife, cowboys and Indians. Growing up in England his viewpoint was through a boyhood fascination with the people who populated the region, but as an adult he was able to travel extensively through the West and broadened his appreciation for the culture and themes.
Bolam’s aim with his work is to elevate the people and creatures of the region, which he does by painting them almost as icons silhouetted against stark backgrounds. As it’s been explained, “His work is part homage, part deconstruction and part personal meditation. By presenting familiar traditional Western subject matter in a straightforward, modern way, Bolam encourages the viewer to consider Western icons as important emblems of pop culture.”
In each of his pieces Bolam is also simplifying complex subjects, but on a grand scale and using bold imagery. In paintings such as Breathtaking and Tried and True, the animals are the clear focal of the work, staring down the viewer and making their larger-than-life presence known.
Senex, a painting of a Native American, is a similar idea but more colorful and graphic, as the face paint and headdress the man is wearing has bold reds and blues. He is placed against a dark background and there is a white outline around the entire subject, adding another level of dimension and modernity to the composition.
February 12 to 19, Bolam’s latest paintings will be on view at Mountain Trails Gallery in Park City, Utah, with a reception on February 15 from 4 to 7 p.m.
Breathtaking, acrylic, 62 x 52"
Dedication, acrylic, 48 x 54"
Tried and True, acrylic, 40 x 30"