Bruce Riley is an ingenious artist with a unique style who creates incredibly vibrant captivating psychedelic artworks by using a combination of dripped paints and resins.
Riley was born in Cincinnati, Ohio, United States and has lived in Chicago since 1994. As a student at the Art Academy of Cincinnati, he enjoyed spending his time studying the works in the Cincinnati Art Museum. The artist also studied fine arts at the University of Cincinnati where he discovered The Princeton University Press’ Bollingen Series. These published works of renowned philosophers and progressive thinkers like Eric Neumann, Carl Jung, David Bohm and J. Krishnamurti, contributed greatly to the artist’s development.
“I can’t stress enough the importance of this find and its impact on my art and life. This body of work exposed me to a literature that explored the mysteries of the human condition, something that I felt I was looking into with my art. I’ve always known my work was about everything, all at once. This reading began to give me an intellectual tool to investigate what I knew and felt,” the artist writes on his website.
In addition, his artwork was also influenced by his relationship with nature, developed during a cross-country exploration that led him to ski and hike mountain peaks and ride raging rivers. “The outdoors is a space aside from human endeavor that has been so important to my vision of mankind’s place in the universe”.
Riley is an alchemist. He uses experimental techniques in order to create his artwork. He plans his paintings while making use of the accidents and mistakes that are inevitable during the creative process. By quickly and carefully pouring his ingredients onto a smooth surface, he lets the paint and the acrylic interact.
The result is organic and unpredictable works of art. He doesn’t work on a single painting. Instead, he deals with multiple works which inform and feed on each other. When finally his artwork is ready, it comes naturally as it’s just apparent to him.
His recent paintings have a psychedelic feel about them. They rely on chance as well as intent. Riley paints for himself, but his intention is to make the viewers forget themselves while looking at his psychedelic artworks.
“I’ve made up my own technique for creating the paintings presently at Miller Gallery. Accident and mistake are probably my most important tools. In the studio, I focus on a sense of flow allowing immediate observation to guide a painting’s progress. From there I keep it rolling in this daily routine for a couple of months focusing on a family of paintings that feed on and inform each other. Some paintings are documented and leave the studio while others are held back. I couldn’t tell you what it is that tips a painting in one direction or the other. It’s just apparent when I look and listen. My process is a living thing that’s of the moment. I feel very fortunate to be able to do what I am doing”.
Watch this amazing video to see how Riley creates his psychedelic artworks: