This Week's Artist Spotlight is Ross Bleckner. His slideshow featuring some of his work is in the far right column.
Ross Bleckner new he wanted to be an artist from childhood, but unlike most children who eventually leave behind the joy of creativity, he stayed with it, and today at 60 he has achieved a level of skill and popularity most can only dream of.
He graduated high school in 1967, and attended NYU where an influential art teacher advised him to enroll in art school, which he did in the early 70’s. At California Institute of the Arts, conceptualism and minimalism were the trends and his early painting reflected some aspects of those genres.
For the last 25 years, his art has been largely an investigation of change, loss, and memory, often addressing the subject of AIDS. Mr. Bleckner uses symbolic imagery rather than direct representation, and his work is visually elusive, with forms that constantly change focus. An influential Gay Activist, He is also a philanthropist, donating time and money to many organizations and is on the board of ACRIA, the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America.
When asked how the AIDS epidemic affected his work he said in part, “For me, AIDS in the 80s when I was in my 30s, was an issue which signaled kind of an end to an era of unbridled optimism about what it actually meant to live, a normal life-span. So suddenly endless optimism became a sense of a fear of mortality. I think that became a very pervasive sense of consciousness regardless of what your sexuality was, and that was very profound”.
http://www.rbleckner.com/press28.html , http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ross_Bleckner , http://bigthink.com/rossbleckner