Don Bonham – Sculptor RIP

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quote:

Fredericton, NB, December 16, 2014 – Sculptor and former Marine Don Bonham was a colourful individualist with a fantastical artistic vision. He was an inspiring mentor to numerous art students, a godfather to more than eighty apprentices, and a surprising and formidable anomaly in the art world. He died on Monday, December 15 at age 74.

The first American visual artist to be appointed to the Royal Canadian Academy, Bonham came to prominence in the late 1960s in London, Ontario, where he quickly gained international notoriety for his highly original, finely crafted, figurative fiberglass sculpture based on evocative human/technology hybrids – motorcycles, cars, boats, airplanes, and helicopters fused with casts of the female body. Characterized by uncompromising attention to technical detail and finish, his work merged fantasy and reality, satiric humour and eroticism, high-tech and low-tech and high art and low art, in a life-long exploration of the physical, symbolic, and psychological relationships between ourselves and machines. With feature articles about his sculpture appearing in Playboy magazine in the 1970s, his approach to making art was viewed by the international art critic Edward Lucie-Smith as more firmly integrated with North American popular culture than the work of celebrated Pop Art practitioners Roy Lichtenstein and Andy Warhol.

Called “the original cyber-punk artist” and “the Evel Knievel of the art world”, Bonham was the bad boy of the Canadian art establishment, and personified the machines he created by living life and making art at full throttle. He stated: “What made me a good artist was that I didn’t have a lot of things growing up, so I had to make them. There’s nothing better than working hard to create something you’re proud of and excited by. It’s almost better than sex.”

endquote.

Source

http://beaverbrookartgallery.org/en/blog/one-of-a-kind-artist-and-us-marine-veteran-don-bonham-dead-at-74/

I had the pleasure of his teaching, not only in sculpture class at HB Beal (London) but also helping in his studio. The work entailed producing female plaster body forms and then creating fibreglass additions to put on motorcycles.

If you’re interested in seeing some of his work, please check out these links:

http://www.donbonham.com

https://beaverbrookartgallery.wordpress.com/2012/09/20/don-bonham-stranger-in-a-familiar-land-exhibition-now-on-until-the-end-of-september/

Don was a regular guy and a great artist and I will miss him.

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John Coltrane Blue Train (underpainting)

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The basic design is complete, but as these colours are an ‘underpainting’ I intend on a much more developed range of hues based on how I ‘see’ the instruments within the music.

That, and the inevitable session of sanding and polishing after all the paint is laid down will also have a dramatic effect on the finished piece.

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John Coltrane Blue Train (under construction)

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The basic design was created while listening to Coltrane’s exceptionally fine Blue Train session (Blue Note recording).

It looks like this is going to keep me busy for at least a few weeks (if all goes well) as I intend to really load on the paints and sand/polish the finished piece.

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Dandy

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16×20″ Acrylic on Birch panel

This was a fun exercise in pareidolia.

The lighting is artificial from above and natural from below and, if you take the background as an even reddish grey, then the colouring will be obvious.

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New Directions – Dandy (under construction)

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Free-flowing lines and a search for form within is the new method for a series I’ll be attempting over the winter in preparation for a show coming up in September of 2015. I enjoy combining bright colours in loose patterns with the intent of finding recognizable shapes within the overall work. In this case, it will be a well-dressed ‘dandy’ you might meet on the streets of Nairobi or New York City.

eta: Ignore the white spot… I was filling in a low area on the birch panel.

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Leon Theremin Plays the Aether

The soulful sounds of the Theremin flow from the hands of the master conductor.

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Remember

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