Through improvisation in his creations, artist Bruce King has utilized all things given to him in life. King’s love for screen writing quenches his thirst to tell a riveting story. Similarly, acting and theatre are coupled into an outwardly presentation of that story. And in a different voice, Bruce King’s professional fine art career has pushed the realms of story telling into a reality that can only be expressed with freedom. It’s this freedom that reminds King that creating is what he does and most certainly not who he is.
Bruce King spent most of his youth in discovery. Journeys through the museum halls of the most prestigious schools in Illinois including the Chicago Art Institute and the University of Illinois kept King safely out of his inner city school. Painters Pissarro, Monet and Renoir grabbed King’s curiosity and thus invited themselves into the rest of his life. Filled with intrigue as to exactly how these paintings were achieved with an energy that could not be immediately understood, King became an instant gleam in ‘father artist’s’ eye.
It was just as Bruce King became witness to post impressionism movements in New York that he was invited to the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico to become witness to another movement of sorts. Perhaps when contemporaries from a variety of cultures become studious persons in the arts of a school drenched in movement, a renaissance is born. Yet, it is only in hindsight that this movement was realized as such.
Artistic influences abroad like Ed Heffernan, John Kindred and Jackson Pollock flexed King’s curious mind as immediate locals like TC Cannon, Kevin Red Star, Fritz Scholder and RC Gorman developed it into an improvised sprint. And all the while, King was purging artistic containment watching the expressions of artists Parker Boyiddle, Blackbear Bison, Willie Crumbo, Harrison Begay and Earl Biss.
It was in this particular renaissance that aficionados of the fine art collectives were to take notice of these Native American artists. As they were morphing styles that would categorize previously into postcards and curio, they pushed forward with transitioning works that could embrace a classical acceptance of collectible European influence. Evoking the impressionists into his work, Bruce King tasted the freedoms of a true fine art career. King began showing his artworks throughout the world in the same places his artistic impressionists have presented such as Germany, Australia, Canada and Japan.
King continued to tell his story. Café La Mama became the vehicle where Bruce King studied the fine art of improvisation. He would find himself happening upon interesting things and letting the story tell itself. Discovery once again visited the curiosity of Bruce King as he began to weave stories from the purely abstract. In the different voice of fine art painting, King continues his improvisation with brush strokes stretching across canvas with oil paint splattering into the reality of expression.
Bruce King’s paintings are of a world that we have lost. They are a loving relationship between the people and the ecosystem with their journeys highlighted in different places and spaces. The subjects in Bruce King’s paintings are more about their relationship to life than the tribute to the symbols they possess or the materials they leave behind. It is about the immediacy of the paint as its improvised through the canvas with a freedom of an artist that knows the difference of who he is, an artist; and what he does, improvise creation.
Bruce King has had his artworks collected by the Institute of American Indian Arts, the North American Congress on Latin America and the Six Nations Mohawk Museum. He collected invitations to the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts’ national Indian Market. Numerous fine art galleries across the world accelerated King’s integrity as a serious artist. Currently, Bruce King and his wife live in Santa Fe, New Mexico where he continues his artistic expression by playing blues guitar, writing articles for the Smithsonian and screenplays for actors such as Wes Studi and preparing for solo fine art shows across the country. King is most certainly giving respect to all gifts given to him in life and is happy to continue doing what he does.