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Bruce Adams

Studio Building
Studio Interior
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Studio Location
Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John 2008, 16.5" x 50" Oil and spray paint on wood, with epoxy, plastic toys, and painted wood frames
Skeptical Tom 2009, 68" x 62" Oil on canvas
Bernard 2006 (revised 2009) 43" x 23.5" Oil on masonite with wood frame
Holy Mary, Holy Shit! 2006, 42.5" x 43.5" Oil on luan with wood frame
The Deposition 2005, 54" x 56.5" Oil and spray paint on luan with wood frame
Artist's Statement

I regularly reference historical styles. Here I view sacred iconography through the secular lens of society. I place commercial fashion imagery in the context of traditional religious narratives, producing a clash of ideas that throw both into question. Smarmy lighting, fake heroic ethos, and barely hidden sexual agendas tug at male and female desires while promoting devotion to cologne, jeans, and underwear. Raised Catholic, I have a deep-rooted affinity for sacred art, but globalized consumerism has replaced western religion as the favored path to personal fulfillment. Fashion models are today's icons, gazing intensely from magazines, often evoking rapture, anguish, and implied narratives. I retain many conventions of traditional religious art. Homoerotic subtexts parallel many traditional religious works. I also include references to America's oil "crusade.”


Bruce Adams is best known as a figurative painter who references various (historical) painting styles. In exploring the act of painting, Adams peels back the layers of meaning inherent in art. Formally trained in art education, Adams’ real education was his involvement with the contemporary art scene, as director/curator of peopleart bflo, a small storefront gallery, and then with Hallwalls in Buffalo. In recent years he has added writing critical art reviews to his list of undertakings. Adams has exhibited extensively, and 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. Though he is known primarily as a figurative painter, Adams avoids a single personal painting style, instead assuming various historical styles as strategies for exploring contemporary issues through contextually redefined conventions.