Cameron Bunce uses light and texture to
Cameron Bunce uses light and texture to convey the movement and intensity of the artists movement, which is also embodied in the geometry of her paintings. In a series of very small paintings, such as Face in Water, 1983, a woman appears to move through water; a splintering line of light forms a crack in the water. The splintering line is very similar to a line that has been used to represent an object in perspective, but in this case, the line is an electric blue in relation to the color of the water. In many of the paintings, Bunce employs the word world to represent the human world. In Country Music, 1983, the person and a bicycle are framed by a leafy green tree; in Down Under, 1983, a woman is seen from below, as if she were riding a bicycle across the landscape. The bicycles reflection in the water evokes a cycle of movement and reflection. The number 13, which appears in many of the paintings, indicates a number that is both the number of a particular painting and the number of the viewers number. In addition, the number of a number is used to represent the number of activity. Here, the number 13 refers to the number of the viewer, and the paintings reflect the flow of time, as if the numbers represented in the paintings were time moving, in a rhythm of one-to-one correspondence.The implication of the paintings, and of the painting as a body of work, is that the artist is a participant in the world, and the world is something to which he or she is subject. Here, Bunce continues to use light and texture, but here they are in relation to each other. For Bunce, a number can always be used to represent a physical event, and it is the past that is the past. In this work, Bunce seems to want to connect the two halves of the paintings, so that they become a single, unified work.
Cameron Bunce uses light and texture to animate the side of the wall that divides his studio. He uses an assortment of chemicals and oils, watercolors and pastels, and many materials (paper, glass, mirrors, plastic). His canvases often look like paint-by-number versions of his original works, with the exception of the works on paper that he uses as his medium. The paintings often have a collage quality, as though Bunce has been exploring the collision of sculpture and painting since the late 70s. The colors are richly textured and sometimes more brightly luminous than his previous works. However, his use of light is limited, and the coloristic richness of the last few years is lost in his new paintings. Bunce uses thick brushstrokes, strokes that can be read as the outlines of objects, as in Nervous: Cold, 2003, and Knife Through the Heart, 2003. The brushstrokes are also used to indicate edges, as in the paintings where Bunce has included moving elements. But they are no longer the tool of a painter, as in Untitled, 2005. The gesture seems to have been made to express an emotion rather than a concept.In the works on paper, Bunce appears to have been addressing the relationship between the human body and the world, a relationship that has become increasingly urgent since the deaths of several thousand people in the past decade. In the eight-foot-high scale model, Gaze of an Eye, 2004, the figures eyes are represented by a series of double-sided mirrors, and Bunce has also included a series of black-and-white photographs of street scenes. In one of the images, a man watches a woman walking down the street with a policeman; she looks straight into the camera, but he is also looking at the viewer. The scene is a familiar one, but now Bunce has transformed it into an ambiguous gaze that asks the viewer to consider how her actions might inform her perception of reality.
suggest emotions, to evoke and obscure the, well, feelings.
evoke a multitude of subtle emotional states, with a strong emphasis on desire. The work, which consists of two-dimensional stained-glass windows on opposite walls, offers a stark contrast to the general, free-standing windows in the gallery. Here the window is an extension of the structures base, and the illumination is diffuse and diffuse, being formed of a multitude of small, carefully constructed light-hues. The colors range from the ultramarine of the base and the silver of the stained glass to the gold of the framed images of the hotel lobby and the surrounding trees. This hued light lends an erotic tension to the painting, which conveys the sense of a latent, suppressed desire. The work suggests a controlled, private world in which the desire is expressed by the presence of desire itself.Bunces use of subtle lighting and textures also involves a subtle play with scale. The base of the window is clearly seen at the top of the work, which is made up of a large-scale, sharply-painted metal frame on top of which stands a small steel chair. In the upper portion of the base is a translucent, almost transparent plastic window, which the viewer can only glimpse through a small, translucent window. At the bottom of the base, opposite the window, is a large rectangular metal chair, made of stainless steel. In the middle of the chair is a small circular mirror with a glass bottom that reveals the back of the chair. The juxtaposition of mirrors and metal chairs with an open window and metal chair with a wooden back is an effective rearrangement of the two-dimensional elements and a subtle reversal of the two-dimensional space.Bunces works are highly personal, and the viewer is invited to look at them with intense emotion. They are for the most part emotionally charged, but they are not too personal to be used in an art context; they are art.
Cameron Bunce uses light and texture to investigate how the biomorphic form creates a metaphor for the body. His paintings create a sense of distance, of the illusion of an object that is already absolutely remote. The most recent paintings are more personal, more about the interplay of light and the artist himself. They are so much about the figurative and the corporeal that they make one forget the close kinship between the painter and the body. In the paintings that made up the exhibition, the relationship between the painter and his body was more obvious, but it was only to a point: the artist simply painted, and the paintings had to be painted. The body became a phantom, a marker, a background. In the end, this is what art is all about: the study of painting as a phantom, as an unavoidable marker of the self in relation to the world, and of painting as an activity that is also the study of the body.Bunces paintings are as intimate as they are cryptic; they are a study of the same. They do not simply capture the moment of the moment, they are a study of the passage between moments. In this way, they are a study of painting as a self-reflexivity, a study of painting as a way to reconstruct the self, a way of self-recognition, and therefore a way of coming to terms with the world of things. This is an approach that Bunce takes in the paintings themselves: his paintings are not merely a matter of painting, they are also of the self. They are paintings in a new way, they are also paintings that he paints. The paintings are not portraits, but studies of himself as a painter. They are paintings of the artist as he is, and a self that is not only a phantom but also a human being. Painting is an activity of recognition, but it is a recognition of the individual as a living being, an identification of the self with the world, and of the individual with the world.