mm
Adam Caldwell / national

One of my most important areas of inspiration is the community of artists I surround myself with. Painting in particular can be a very lonely and isolating practice, so I make a point to attend drawing groups and I share studio space with David Choong Lee. Although the process can be solitary, I paint to commune with others and allow them entrance into my interiority. Painting connects me to my world and times and culture. I always hope to create work that will invoke in someone else the feelings I have had before great art.

Presentation

My paintings and drawings juxtapose elements of abstract expressionism and classical figuration. During my training at the California College of Arts and Crafts, I began to create collage drawings that layered disparate images on top of one another; I now use oil paint in a similar way, starting with an abstract background and then adding more photorealistic details, allowing the work to dictate its own construction.

Biography

My paintings and drawings juxtapose elements of abstract expressionism and classical figuration. During my training at the California College of Arts and Crafts, I began to create collage drawings that layered disparate images on top of one another; I now use oil paint in a similar way, starting with an abstract background and then adding more photorealistic details, allowing the work to dictate its own construction. The resulting palimpsest of figures and abstract shapes represents the conflicted and paradoxical emotions that underlie my work. My paintings evoke the tensions between mind and body, self and other, present and past. They also raise questions about the nature of identity, particularly concerning issues of gender and sexuality. I am deeply concerned about the world around me, and my work reflects my reactions to social issues such as war and consumerism by contrasting images from American advertisements and popular culture with images of rituals from around the world.

The eclectic nature of my work reflects my wide range of interests and influences. My figurative painting and drawing has been influenced by the realistic yet expressive work of Odd Nerdrum, Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Antonio López García, Jenny Saville, and Barron Storey, whom I studied under at CCAC. I am inspired by my grandfather, author Erskine Caldwell, and his commitment to representing the unseen and marginalized members of our society. I am also heavily influenced by music, movies, and comics, all of which have shaped my identity. I am an accomplished guitarist and martial artist, and these disciplines also inform my artistic perspective.

One of my most important areas of inspiration is the community of artists I surround myself with. Painting in particular can be a very lonely and isolating practice, so I make a point to attend drawing groups and I share studio space with David Choong Lee. Although the process can be solitary, I paint to commune with others and allow them entrance into my interiority. Painting connects me to my world and times and culture. I always hope to create work that will invoke in someone else the feelings I have had before great art.

Exhibitions

2016

LAX / ORD: Thinkspace x Vertical Gallery
Vertical Gallery
The New Vanguard
Lancaster Museum of Art and History
‘Dark Stage’ / In collaboration with Bandelion Theatre Group
Thinkspace

2015

Tell Them Stories: Origins
Mark Miller Gallery
SUPERHERO: 4th Annual Portrait Invitational
Modern Eden Gallery
20 Years Under the Influence of Juxtapoz
Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery at Barnsdall Park (LAMAG)
The 2nd Annual Pow! Wow!: Exploring The New Contemporary Art Movement Exhibition
Honolulu Museum of Art School

2014

Persona
Thinkspace
LAX / SFO: Thinkspace Invades San Francisco – Part Deux
Hashimoto Contemporary
OLYMPUS: Contemporary Portraits of the Ancient Gods
Modern Eden Gallery
Empty Kingdom
111 Minna Gallery
LAX / TXL
Buelowstrasse 97
UNIVERSE: The Art of Existence
Modern Eden Gallery
POW! WOW! Exploring the New Contemporary Movement
The Honolulu Museum of Art
LOCAL
Mirus Gallery

Artworks