Circular Journey III
Bryan McFarlane’s work continues his long-standing commitment tothe exploration of color, form and abstraction as means to expand theboundaries between art and consciousness. Over the past three decades, hehas consistently remained true to an artistic vision that is firmly rootedin the fissure between the natural world and the world of the imagination. Hedraws on a synthesis of intellect and emotions to create work that simultaneouslypreserves an overall fluency, intensity and beauty. An astute observer of theworld around him, he draws inspiration from his travels throughout China, EastAsia, Turkey, West Africa, South America, Europe and the Caribbean as he seekto integrate his rich and varied cultural experience into a critical frameworkthat quietly and powerfully address issues of history, culture andidentity. The visual resonance in his work is undeniable, attesting to anawareness of art historical precedents and ability to seamlessly fuse ancientand modern concepts and aesthetics with the flow of ideas between East and Westto confront tradition while encouraging us to embrace a more expansivedefinition of modernism.
Bicycles inform the conceptual and aesthetic underpinning of BryanMcFarlane’s recent pictures. To the artist, the bicycle serves as a symbol ofChina’s rapid transformation and allows him to develop deeper understanding ofthe country. In this body of work, the artist endeavors to give visual forms toimaginations animated by perceptions of the bicycle as a ubiquitous icon inChinese society. As eloquently stated by Edmund Barry Gaither, Director, Museumof the National Center of Afro-American Artists in Boston, Massachusetts in hiscatalog essay for the artist’s recent exhibition in Kingston, Jamaica: BryanMcFarlane deconstructs the bicycle treating the parts as fragments and freelysuggesting ways in which they might be reassembled. He also abstracts from thebicycle conceptual notions such as circularity. Circular tire forms evolve intospirals of color and movement. The aesthetic overwhelms the practical, theconcrete images yield to the liberation of abstraction.