In Focus: Mixed Media Form Blends Sculpture, Relief Paintings
James Bzura has moved around from New York to Colorado and now to Minnesota. History from the different areas he has travel to inspires him.
‘Western history, and history in general and culture, is really fascinating and draws me in to a lot of things and a lot of the artwork I do,” said Bzura.
He uses this inspiration to tell stories on shaped wood pieces with a wide array of materials.
“Some of these pieces have turquoise on them and pipestone. There’s a little bit of gold leaf.”
His work appears from to be flat-until you get a little closer.
“I call it two and a half dimensions. It’s not really two dimensions- not always three.
Some of his pieces use raised parts or insets to tell a story.
“In some things there’s carved figures and pipe stone figures and the turquoise in them.”
When this all comes together, Bzura has created one of a kind pieces he calls, “pictorial sculpture.”
“It has some elements of sculpture and visual art.”
In these pieces he tells local lore….
“I call it kind of micro-regionalism. This piece here is a mansion, the Callahan Mansion in Longmont, Colorado.”
And in this scene, the tea cup shows a town with a new library.
“You could say it’s the fruits of knowledge. Those are the kinds of things I combine that really get me going and energize me to do these things.”
The details and complexity are the key components of his work.
“You might see the larger figures at once but the smaller things support a different sort of narrative when taken into it combined. So several stories are going on at once.”
Bzura will have his work on display at the Aitkin Beanery until the end of January. His work has also been featured at the nearby Jaques Art Center and Museum.