Dreaming of Blondie Bubba
LCCC Virtual Art Gallery | December 1-18, 2020
Jamie Adams' work in this exhibition continues his recent series, Blondie Bubba, a group of oil paintings which present the artist's reconstruction of scenes from his father's youth.
Developed from the rather disparate sources of family folklore, his father's fading memory, and the artist's own imagining, these narratives have become realized at times as complicated, layered fictions with images depleted, histories mixed, and characters in a state of flux.
Adams' painted characters are rather like portrait projections fashioned from his own archive—from borrowed imagery reminiscent of cinematic culture of the 1960s and 70s, paintings, photos, or vintage books. He constructs his painted images to consciously mirror cinematic tropes—projection, montage, and celebrity personae—as a way to insinuate a kind of complication or disturbance. And Adams exposes his own mechanics using a diversity of visual effects, culling through paint, lens, and screen histories—from painting's mannerist swirly figures of the Fontainebleau to cinema's rear projection fantasies. Increasingly their intrusion or mediation affect a redressing of the figural form.
Adams remarks: "For me painting's expressive potency is bound up in its bi-locations—the complication of the painting's pictorial illusion and its materiality as the trace residue of the artist's lingering presence. It's not unlike the function of the death mask or how some seek to preserve belief through the physical remains of reliquaries such as the Bursa or Buddhist stupa."
About the Artist
Jamie Adams (1961) was born and raised in the suburbs of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. For his undergraduate studies he attended Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, where he obtained a BFA with honors in 1983. In 2000 he earned an MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia.
His work is represented in the permanent public collections of Museu Brasileiro da Escultura (São Paulo, Brazil), Museum of Modern Art Library (New York), MOMA (Wales), Los Angeles County Museum of Art Research Library, Daum Museum of Contemporary Art, Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art, Woodmere Museum, Medrad Corporation, the Pennsylvania Capitol Building (Senate, House of Representatives, Governor's office), Carnegie Mellon University, the University of Pittsburgh, the University of Michigan Medical School, and the Olin Library Collection at Washington University in Saint Louis.
His work has been cited internationally in publications such as Art in America, Hi-Fructose, the Huffington Post, NeoMag (IT), Just Magazine, Novembre Magazine, WowXWow Magazine, and the Bulletin du Musée Ingres (Montauban, France), and the book Fragonard, Regards croisés, co-authored by Louvre curators Dimitri Salmon and Jean-Pierre Cuzin (Département des Peintures, Musée du Louvre).
Adams is represented by a number of galleries around the U.S. He resides in St. Louis, Missouri where he is a tenured faculty member at the Sam Fox School at Washington University.