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  • Writer's pictureSheldon

To Elevate the Ordinary: The Magic Realism of Del-Bourree Bach

The art world in the 1970s was experiencing a crisis of identity. The focus on minimalism and conceptual art to the exclusion of all else polarized collectors, casual viewers, and students. This background is important as it allows one to understand why master realist painter Del-Bourree Bach considers himself "self taught", despite having been a student of the visual arts during this time.

He studied fine art and voice at the University of Hartford before moving to NYC after graduation to focus on his opera career. While singing with the repertory company of the Light Opera of Manhattan and The Gilbert and Sullivan Players, he began building up his portfolio of artworks; studying at the Art Students League and The School of Visual Arts. He decided to become an illustrator. He found that he was able to cobble together a living between performance and taking illustration commissions for the New York Times, and publishing houses McGraw Hill and E.P. Dutton among others. The transition from illustrating the ideas of others to painting creations of his own came quickly and naturally and Del-Bourree began exhibiting his original work in galleries and in pop-up exhibitions on the sidewalks near the Metropolitan Museum of Art. People liked what they saw - refreshed by the clarity of light and careful realism of his approach - and Del began to see the first glimmer of a future as a professional artist.

He hasn't stopped painting since.

Moonrise Melody

Del's work runs the gamut from maritime, to cityscape, to portrait, to still-life and back again. No matter the subject, he always approaches his works with the delicate hand and clear-eyed vision for which he has become so well known. There is a certain theatricality to his work, not drama per-se, but an understanding of visual pathos and romance of staging that can only have come from his time as a performer.

While he works entirely in his studio he admits to not painting directly from photographs either, instead approaching his subjects with a wide open imagination to create a world entirely his own. When asked about his philosophical approach in an interview with The Copley Society he stated that:

Sometimes I will elevate the ordinary things, such as a telephone pole or turn daytime into night... I love the beauty of nature and man’s relation to it. Sometimes there is beauty even in the texture of “ugly things”.

Almost Finished

Del-Bourree Bach is currently a board member of the American Society of Marine Artists, Artists for Conservation, Allied Artists of America, American Artists Professional League (Fellow). Audubon Artists, National Society of Painters in Casein and Acrylic, National Oil and Acrylic Painters (Master) and International Society of Acrylic Painters (Master), among others. He is an elected artist member of the Salmagundi Club New York (former board member), Providence Art Club (Art Committee Member), Copley Society of Art Boston(Copley Master), Lyme Art Association (current board member) and the Mystic Museum of Art (former board member) among others.

His work is featured proudly in private collections across the country as well as many celebrated public collections including the Florence Griswold Museum in CT, the Albrecht Kemper Museum in MO, the Salmagundi Club New York and the U. S. Embassy and Coast Guard Art Collections.

A true philanthropist, Bach regularly donates to and works with conservation charities to help preserve the natural world which has given him so much inspiration throughout his life.

He and his wife currently reside in Mystic CT.

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