Andrew Bolam was born in Northern England in 1971. He studied Graphic Design at the Newcastle College of Art. In 1991 he relocated to Southern California, working for several years as a freelance illustrator. In 1996 he moved again, this time to Lake Tahoe to pursue his interest in painting full time. Following a broad and intuitive path, a consistent theme has emerged: The West. Andrew’s work has evolved over the last twenty years into a recognizable and modern rumination on familiar western subject matter.
“I am interested in exploring and challenging the boundaries of visual cognition. My work currently follows two separate, yet linked, directions- building abstract marks into recognizable imagery and using outlined silhouettes to illicit an emotional connection with the work.
The process by which we recognize and understand silhouettes is passed down from our earliest ancestors. There is a dedicated link between our ability to recognize animal shapes and the emotional part of our brain that controls our fight or flight instincts. This link is so potent and crucial to our development as a species that it dominates our earliest forms of art in caves and rock art across the world, particularly in the prevalence of the profile view and the use of outlines.
I am similarly interested in the iconography of Native American culture as it relates to our heritage and its continued prevalence in pop culture. My approach to the subject matter is one in which the image becomes almost superfluous. The abstraction and color harmonies should become interesting in themselves. The headdress series is based on the idea of marrying Native American iconography with an homage to two most influential American artist – Andy Warhol and Jackson Pollock. I work in Acrylic on panel. I use texture, color and repetitive imagery to create bold and modern paintings.”
Bolam’s work is shown in galleries across the west and most recently in The Museum of the West in Scottsdale Arizona.