“The images are not necessarily about a particular person but are about enabling an emotive empathy – an instinctive humanistic understanding.”
French’s compositions have a static, voyeuristic enveloping quality that is contrasted with the fluid lines of the figures and their physicality. By stripping away any distinguishing features, Bruce creates elemental, linear images that have a universal resonance and emotive appeal. Drawn from life French’s observations manifest into faceless, figurative forms, emotionally charged, androgynous and anonymous. French’s paintings are a pictorial record of the human condition, French states “The images are not necessarily about a particular person but are about enabling an emotive empathy – an instinctive humanistic understanding.” French explores the human form as a vehicle for expression, and deft strokes of paint are applied with fluidity and emphasis.
French’s compositions are initially crafted through charcoal drawings and with sketches on the iPad. This technology enables French to experiment with the line, form and colour before translating the image to the more traditional medium of oil on canvas. Each image is drawn from life and inspired by the people and events he observes – a collection of visual diaries that form the basis of his oeuvre. The images do not necessarily represent a specific individual, but act as a collection of characters and emotional encounters. The figures inhabit monochrome backgrounds that are seductive and enigmatic. Although Bruce’s paintings are essentially figurative they posses a bold linear aesthetics that evokes mood and movement with concision.