(Artwork above: White Bear by Paula Bullwinkel)
Art in the Atrium, Franklin Crossing will feature narrative and figurative allegorical oil paintings by noted Bend artist, Paula Bullwinkel. The artist will attend the April 6 First Friday opening.
Also appearing in the Franklin Hallway of Franklin Crossing is a selection of Ann Bullwinkel’s (mother of Paula Bullwinkel) oil landscape painting in memoriam to the artist. Both exhibitions open on April 4 and continue through April 28.
Paula Bullwinkel arrived in Bend with a noteworthy background as a professional photographer in New York City and London for 18 years. Hired by Andy Warhol (Interview), and working on assignment for Vogue, British Elle, The London Sunday Times Magazine, Bomb and others, the artist captured the female figure and attitude in a narrative format, usually fantastical and sometimes absurdist. She continues to explore this theme in her current paintings and prints.
Bullwinkel notes that she regards each painting as a part of a whole, similar to frames of a film. The artist writes of her art, “The figurative, narrative and allegorical images of heroines and animal heroes comprise a visual story created through intuition. These subjects balance marvel and mystery, in a sense of conflict and uncertainty, which may be internal or caused by outer violence in the symbolic form of snipers, goblins or monsters. For some 13 years, I have been painting women and girls facing conflict elegantly, moving, even floating, strong and beautiful.”
The artist adds that the animal images represent animal familiars – a part of a person’s spirit in animal form serving as one’s protector who is protected in turn. Powerful spirits, the animals help their humans survive and fulfill their quest. She hopes that these allegorical subjects encourage viewers to wonder about animal and human relationships and perhaps to recall childhood stories of animals.
Bullwinkel concludes, “I bestow upon my characters the goodness they want, deserve or need. I will them to not only survive but to successfully complete their journey. The paintings are about the hardest part of the trip – the intersection between potential and conflict.” She also informs viewers that the models are often her teenage daughters and that her inspiration comes from them, her mother, her grandmothers and great grandmothers.
Reflecting the artist’s sources of inspiration and in memoriam, are her mother’s, Ann Bullwinkel’s, exhibited artworks. Ann Bullwinkel, also a noted painter, moved to Bend from the Menlo Park, CA area and continued her successful San Francisco Bay area career as a landscape artist in Central Oregon. Her art appears in many corporate art collections including Adobe Systems, Kaiser, Chevron, Pronghorn and Cushman Realty.
Paula Bullwinkel, also a successful artist, notes the influence of her youth on her art, “I spent my childhood making art alongside my mom, playing in the woods and concentrating on imaginary characters I invented.” She later studied art and literature at Montclair State University and the University of California at Berkeley.
After pursuing fashion photography, she moved to Bend and began her successful visual arts career, continuing with recent fellowship awards to prestigious Djerassi, Sept. ’17, one month; Playa, January ’18, one month; and, Kala Art Institute, July ’18.