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David Scott Bruce

Artist Statement

Painting for sixteen years, I've developed a style I truly love: deeply emotive, whimsical and wandering. I paint for the simple, compelling love of the visceral, alchemical collision of pigment, discipline, and inspiration. Initially inspired by the surrealists, I came to identify most idealistically with the expressionists. However, visually, I could find no model to emulate. And until recently, I had not been aware of the intellectual continuity throughout my work.

Expressing myself early on, I have drawings from before I can remember. As a high school student I excelled at my drafting class so notably that the instructor allowed me to draw cartoons for my final project as long as I maintained my "fine lines." I began painting in college. I explored every inspiration I had and feel deeply in love with oils, but prefer painting with acrylic for health reasons.

My formal art education includes coursework at the University of Colorado at Boulder from 1985 though 1988, and City Collage of San Francisco from 2000 through 2002. My involvement with San Francisco's underground art scene began over a decade ago, showing and producing events at Art Attack Gallery from 1990-1993, numerous solo and group shows since then, co-founding ArtVanSF in 2000 with the director of Art Attack, starting ArtyPants gallery in my home in 2001, and joining ArtSalonSF in 2002.

Recently, through my association with Art People I uncovered a striking theme through my work. Aware of the powerful, emotive qualities I expressed, I was thrilled to get an insight to articulate what I had previously felt was mearly whimsical and wandering.

With this insight, I have come to understand the ambiguous intention in my work as an allusion to depth. I challenge the viewer to interpret implied and sometimes conflicting messages. I often further obfuscate the message by relaxing this tension with a graceful stoke of the brush or soothing color. In this way I create movement. Not of form, but of evolving meaning.

"Bedmaking", 1991, is a perfect example of this. A good painting with soft textures and soothing colors is made more intense with ambiguous expressionism. The hunched humanoid shape implies a droopy, man, but the white color implies cloud-like lightness. The beam of rusty red shoots out of a white form that has golden shapes that imply a written language. At the same time the beam seems to be sticking out of the mouth of some abstract face. The question of what the figure is doing is somewhat explained by the title, but is that really what is going on? The intention was to hide and add meaning in the painting. The result is up to the viewer.


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