Bernard Meyers’ graduate thesis explored the roots of creative expression and paths to moments of inspiration, so you’d think he’d be fairly verbose about the artists that have inspired him. But some points of inspiration are so powerful it’s enough to simply point and says: “There.” Meyer took to art at the age of 12, when he began developing his own film. At Rochester Institute of Technology he studied not only fine art photography but traditional lithography and etching. In a class on American Art he was intrigued by the Abstract Expressionist painters. “Visiting the Phillips Collection in Washington D.C., I saw my first Mark Rothko in person and it completely enveloped me,” he says. “The scale and impact took me by surprise, I just sat there, for an eternity.”
Meyers has taught photography at the University of New England and the University of Southern Maine, Rochester Institute of Technology and the Maine Workshops and currently teaches at the Waterford School in Sandy. His abstract contemporary work is inspired by the urban environment. His imagery explores the intersections of photographic realism and abstract expressionism.
“For me the higher ground of art has always been occupied by the unexplained, the abstract,” he says. “This work moves in and out of the representational, architecture and advertisements and street life. I want the temporal elements shifting between both the original reality and my imagination. I play with and push software to discover these unusual collisions of color and form, I want the original intentions of visual structure to find new life. I want to rattle the bones of reality. I want the work experienced as an emotional reaction, rich with intrigue and wonder. The reward lies in creating what I have never seen before. Throughout my career as an artist my guiding premise, from Minor White, has always been, photograph something not for what it is but for what it can become.”
At the heart of his current Urban Abstract project he continues to experiment and push beyond the boundaries of software and convention. His abstract sensibilities and desire for exploration and visual surprise is evident within all of his imagery.
During the month of February we ask Utah artists about a specific piece of art or artist, living or not, local or global, that has sparked their curiosity or influenced their work. We run their responses throughout the month.