Bart Borland

Red and Blue Relief with Insets
© 2018 Bart Borland

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Bart Borland was born in New York in 1941 of a talented, artistic mother and a scientific/business father. The art bubbled to the surface during college. His main study was chemistry, however, there was a burning desire to create so he took several art courses in drawing and painting. After working several jobs as a chemist, Bart left the East coast with his new English bride and traveled to San Francisco where he began to draw and paint in earnest.

Having landed in the Haight-Asbury in 1967, Bart quickly made contacts in the San Francisco art scene including Muldoon Elder, who founded the Vorpal Gallery. Several pieces were loaned to SFMOMA.

By 1969 he had enough works to field a one-man show at San Francisco‘s Sun Gallery, which was reviewed in May by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Thomas Albright, and I quote.

“The mixed-media paintings of Bart Borland at the Sun Gallery, 1749 Union Street, are vivid hallucinations that follow in the tradition of psychedelic posters. Borland abstracts landscapes, and photographic pop images into cartoon like, jig-saw puzzle pieces of intense colors surrounded by heavy black outlines; occasionally he combines them with more directly photographic images that resemble Rauschenberg’s silk-screens. Borland’s strongest works, to my eye, are those in which his transformations are most complete, Yellow Submarine landscape of rising suns, tear-drops and wavelike hills suggesting spaces that are both outer and inner.”

As fate would have it, only a few pieces sold. Bart and his wife were about to have their first child and a job seemed the best way to provide. So Bart temporarily gave up his art. He continued to keep his hand in, more of a hobby, up until two years ago when he discovered digital art. The digital medium opened a door and gave him powerful new tools of creation. This medium, he believes, is revolutionizing art in America. It enables fantastic composition of patterns, shapes, colors and images inviting the viewer to closer inspection. Photographs are inset among amorphous shapes to give the impression of “looking through” one reality to another.

Bart Borland October 2007
Studios of Bart Borland

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