An­drew Bo­lam

West­ern icons

Western Art Collector - - CONTENTS - AN­DREW BO­LAM For a di­rect link to the ex­hibit­ing gallery go to www.west­ernart­col­lec­

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"

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