The Drawings of Bruce Wulff

By: Brian Anderson - May, 13th, 2013

Bruce Wulff is to me always thoughtful and unassuming. He has also been a good friend. His drawings come without the need of too much explanation. They are more to be experienced to understand them.

Like life, they are exactly what they are: complexity hidden within apparent simplicity.

And then, sometimes it is the reverse... there is simplicity to be extrapolated from the complex with patience and attention... they "speak the truth to power". From my understanding this is part of how I see his work. They are in part a filter, or a lens to look through. His color works: a kaleidoscope.

"The human heart, as of course we all know, is essentially good. But between governments, false gods, striving for survival, the heart gets mixed up with the head and the feet and the elbows and the intestine. And the peace and the madness. And the heart gets strangled out a bit. It's a good organ and there is complete hope for humanity if it ever gets a little bit straight. It's all there, it's totally there, there is total hope of goodness forever. But we got lost somewhere. How we can ever straighten that out, I don't know."

- Charles Bukowski

To straighten things out, perhaps: with undulating curves and rhythms? What is true in a line? Each of his spare lines express so much, yet remain compact. The work becomes focussing on the essentially useful lines and playing with the harmonious calligraphy of their forms. They are to drawings as Japanese haiku is to poetry.

Times of stillness as well as the moments of movement like roller derby, or dancing are equally focused on the character of the important minimum set of lines needed to lay out the dramatic scene.

The lines wander with the unceasing wonderment of an innocent being, and the sage wisdom of years of understanding the human experience. They fear no truth and treat all subjects with liberal honesty.

Work in Color

His works in color are alive, experimental and vibrant in their chroma. He plays with pens, watercolor, and digital tools equally well.

Some Questions for Bruce

Q: Please give us a brief bio, where you are from and how you first discovered your creative talents?
A: I grew up in Warrenton, Missouri from a very early age I really enjoyed drawing. Creating arts and craft things in elementary school, then my interest dropped for years then late in High School it seemed like it was the ONLY thing I could do reasonably well. I attended CMSU in Warrensburg, Missouri and while it wasn't the best for fine arts it did give me the tools, discipline and desire to create things that could sometimes be called art.

Q: What is your definition of art?
A:Art has to be expressive about something, a new way of looking at things otherwise you might as well take a photo.

Q: What is the role of the artist in society?
A: Speak truth to power.

Q: What else do you do besides make art?
A: Lament that I am not doing art.

Q: What medium do you use?
A:Pencils, inks, paints, and now my ipad.

Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: Proposals for events at the Art Guild, attempting to use my drawings for low relief sculpture.

Q: How much of your day is spent drawing?
A: I spend a lot of time at the Art Guild, practicing the craft of drawing.

Q: How do you describe your style?
A: I try to achieve a linear drawing that evokes volume and grace without shadow.

Q:  What inspires you to keep going and how do you keep yourself motivated?
A: Seeing myself improve, and feeling challenged to better myself.

Q: Describe one challenge you constantly face in your practice.
A: Finding the time to do all that I wish to do.

Q: When are you most creative?
A: At very odd times, often after some very dark days of moderate depression.

Q: How do you know when an artwork is complete?
A: When I can objectively look at it and realize that it is not mine anymore but apart from me.

Q: Any influences or anyone you look up to when it comes to art?
A: I like Japanese art both ancient and modern, German Expressionism, and Minimalism.

Q: Who are your favorite artists?
A: Paul Klee, Lucian Freud, Anish Kapoor, Cindy Sherman, David Hockney

Q: What artistic trend are you seeing a lot of lately?
A: Two trends a renewed interest in outdoor painting also realistic figure work and its opposite in Graffiti imagery, grotesque reality. These both seem to be vying for public attention, I kind of think that they work well together.

Q: How has your artistic practice changed since you first began making art?
A: It has grown smaller, more one dimensional, I try to make things now that I can keep as opposed to large things that get damaged.

Q: What is the strangest comment someone has said about your work?
A:What's that? Are you well?

Q: What advice would you give to a young artist?
A: Talk to old artists. Don't try to reinvent the wheel, make your style your own.

Q: Some people claim that they aren’t “real artists”. Do you think such a divide exists, and if so, where is the line drawn?
A: Yes there is a divide, unfortunately being an artist is as complicated as sexuality, politics, or religious affliction. You have to be true to your self with creativity, be willing to change, grow and persist.

Q: Do you have a website where we can look at your work?
Bruce on MySLART
Bruce on Facebook

Thanks to Alessandra Plattner for formulating these helpful questions and also to Bruce Wulff for allowing me to share his artwork on this site.

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