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Acrylic Painting by Bruce Holwerda - 'Blind Faith'

This guy is one of my favorites ever. He lives somewhere in the southern U.S. I'm thinking Alabama for some reason. I saw him a couple times at the Gold Coast Art Fair and bought a small original from him entitled Tipping Point. It hangs in the hallway off my kitchen, where I pass by it dozens of times a day. Tipping Point exemplifies one of his major subjects, portraits of women dressed theatrically, while this work shows a good example of the other favorite subject, contraption-style vehicles.

The people in his paintings are not all explicitly dressed as mimes, jesters, clowns, or circus people, but something about them always suggests that type of aesthetic to me. There are lots of masks, I suppose, and headdresses, and balancing/juggling involved in driving the contraptions. There is, inexplicably, often a bird. I love the expressions and the way he layers paint. It almost looks, up close, like he might do a bunch of layers, tape off the human figure, and slowly peel parts of it away as he continues to make layers. The body parts seem more "dug out" of the paint than placed on top.

Anyway, he's cool.