Bruce Watford is the featured artist in May. The public is invited to the opening reception on May 6, 2018, 1:30-3:30 pm, to view his incredible artwork. Admission is free.
Bruce Watford has always been an artist. At 12, he began private art lessons and continued with them until he left for college, primarily focusing on creating photorealistic renderings. From the first time he saw a painting by Ed Paschke at the Birmingham Museum of Art he wanted to paint like Paschke. During college, he discovered other artists, including Robert Longo. After graduation, he worked in two different but related styles that were influenced by these two artists. His art featured areas that were photo-realistically rendered. Over time, Bruce began to experiment in several completely different styles, each influenced by a different artist or group of artists, none of which required rendering. Around 2012, he created several pieces in a style he calls “Symbols of Power,” a throwback to the pieces he created immediately after college. They are a combination of photorealistically-rendered Robert Longo-inspired businessmen and primitive petroglyph symbols.
Recently he began using Photoshop to digitally create pieces similar to the paintings of Ed Paschke, layering glitch textures onto photos of faces, adjusting layer styles and adding and subtracting textures. Using Photoshop, he can quickly try different effects which permits a lot of experimentation. He calls this style “Cyber.” He also created a related style called “Glitchmen,” where he combines the glitch patterns with the businessmen like those in Longo’s “Men in the Cities” drawings. In both styles, he represents the isolation, loneliness, and loss of identity of people disappearing into the contemporary cyberspace culture.
From 1988 to 2000, Bruce belonged to the New Age Art Alliance in Gadsden and exhibited in their annual shows at the Gadsden Museum of Art. He exhibited in the Magic City Art Connection show in 2010 and Artwalk in 2010 and 2017. In 2013, he exhibited in the Birmingham Art Association show where his piece “Symbols of Power 6” won first place in the drawing category.
Mr. Watford’s art will be on exhibit through June 1, 2018. You may view examples of his work at: https://www.facebook.com/artbybrucewatford
The Arts Center is located at 8140 Parkway Drive, in downtown Leeds. The gallery is open during events. In case of inclement weather, call the center at 205-699-1892 to confirm opening hours.