Drury Bynum

Baltimore, Maryland

Drury Bynum uses both collage and mixed media to create mysterious, imaginary characters who seem to be shape-shifting into bird-like beings, morphing with cameras and vintage photographs, or otherwise disappearing into clouds of colorful shapes. These pieces are fun, punchy and graphic. They are narratives speaking the language of modernism, nodding heavily to Cubism, Surrealism, Constructivism and even DaDa. Their unique blend of traditional techniques and mixed-media approaches result in works that are both visually striking and conceptually rich.

Drury Bynum left the deep south to attend Maryland Institute, College of Art in 1988. There, he explored the techniques of alla prima painting and drawing figures, portraits and landscapes. He later shifted to narrative themes, using collage as a way to iterate quickly.

The traditional approaches of working directly from life, married with modernist techniques of experimentation and subjective experience, were key factors in Bynum's artistic development and continue in his work today.

Currently, Bynum's compositions are first created in Midjourney Ai, where simple text prompts generate the initial figures and backgrounds. These are then combined with collage elements that break the image apart and reassemble them into new compositions. This process continues as images are regenerated, remixed and folded back onto themselves. The results are then taken into the studio to be brought into physical form with paint, paper and canvas.

Each piece is evolved through experimentation and quick decision making, bringing a vitality to their appearance that compliments the bold shapes and soft figurative forms.Their surfaces feature impasto brushstrokes contrasted against tightly painted areas; papers textured with sand against smooth passages; or dense, black negative spaces against crisp, cartoonish cutouts. Indigo blue and teal dominate large areas punctuated by orange, red and pink pops of color.

"Making art is an ability to manifest emotional states, ideas or energy into physical or digital form. To me, this is a type of sorcery because it not only requires talent and skill, but a compulsion to look closer, to listen, to pay attention to what most people overlook, then spin that insight into form. I use the term sorcery because although some forms of art have somewhat prescribed methods, the style of each artist is unique and reflects a high degree of invention that is intuitive. Making art often feels like a walk into the unknown while trusting that what will be revealed will reward you for the attention that you have invested."


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