Adam Bloom’s paintings of blood and bone are a strange attractor, holding the viewer quiet and nervous with their dreamlike and symbolic depictions of humanity.
The imagery is at once horrific and yet pointed through composition. The stark revelations within each picture suggest a universal concern with life and it’s counterpart life, seemingly defining each in terms of its abject negation. The formal approach to imagery seems forcedly arch in its intent: humanity is passing.
Through exhibitons in Europe as well as in the States it seems that Adam's messages and views have reached a positive and receptive audience. After extended communications Trebuchet caught up with Bloom to talk about what drives him to paint and whether there is hope at the end of the brush.
Trebuchet: So, Adam tell me about yourself?
Adam Bloom: My name is Adam Bloom I am 26 years old and I am from the south coast of England. I first started drawing at a very young age, I am an only child so I had to be around my own company quite a lot, it led me to get lost in my own imagination.
I used to spend hours drawing and creating as a child and now I am just leading on from what was once a childhood love, I love painting and drawing as much as ever, it keeps me stable. Well as stable as can be anyway.
I attended art college at the age of 16, but quickly dropped out as I felt it was not or me, it took the freedom out of things, I dropped out and worked within a realm of living hell called Tesco, moaning at the loss of freedom within art classes. It made me realise how repulsively disillusioned we as people can be, we are all surrounded by the stress and worries of the humanity machine.
I stopped creating shortly after my 18th birthday and begun a lost road of trying to live a normal 9 to 5 existence, I couldn't do it. I could not understand the logic of suffering in a job you hate with an overpowering boss cramming orders into your mind, whilst he or she is perched on their throne, sitting on their arrogant backsides, laughing and paying you in crumbs.
For me life has always been too capital. I do not work very well on something I do not consider to be beneficial to society, we need to think for ourselves and work together.
But despite my mind being quite withdrawn from a mapped out steady road of 9 to 5, I tried to be a landscape gardener and a Chef and a builder etc. the list goes on. All the time I was searching for myself and really lost my way with art. I mean from the ages of 18 to 21 I rarely picked up a pencil.
When I reached 21 I realised I couldn’t fake it anymore, I am who I am I guess.
Even though I am a self taught artist I went back to college and managed to skip two years, which led to me to start my BA in Fine Art painting which is now a few months from completion. I have continued to paint everyday from 8 hours to 12 hours or more, I need it in my life. I have realised it keeps my thoughts and mind (semi) balanced.
My ambitions for the future are to keep painting harder and harder, to be a part of any shows and enjoy a righteous self sufficient lifestyle as best I can, and explore the world of teaching art. I would love to work with people who are affected by learning difficulties or have special needs, or maybe a youth program or something, I just want to plant something positive.
Trebuchet: Where are you now and what are you working on?
Adam Bloom: I am currently at home, working on a few paintings portraying struggle, for example I have been reading books on animal exploitation and it sickens me. How we destroy the primal instinct of these creatures, I mean I am all for native tribes or villages living off the land hunting for food etc. but as a western society we kick the shit out of animals. They are bred for our greedy needs, they are objects owned by us. And then after they are cultivated by us, they begin to become stripped of any connections of their ancestors.
And GM crops and meat growth enhancers come into my thoughts too, it's all for the government’s profits but at our expense, food is big business for corporate greed, it makes bigger profits the more it's tampered with but it gives us illnesses and life destroying diseases. It's Sick. But I suppose the pharmaceutical industry can pick up the pieces and build bigger income for the governments.
(laughs) Rant rant rant.
So I guess that's what the majority of my work is about, it's about society handing out controlled, and somehow acceptable, torture and how we can beat it. We WILL wade through the fog smiling and laughing.
Trebuchet: So the anger in your work is directed at these issues?
Adam Bloom: My anger and frustrations fuel all of my work, every day something pisses me off, don't get me wrong I am usually quite a happy optimistic person, but my views on life can affect me drastically so I paint to exercise these thoughts and concerns.
I am just searching for fairness and equal justice, when I find it; it gives me faith in the human mind. Other times I can get completely cut up by the ways in which groups of people act without regard for any other links to society, apart from their own immediate circles.
Trebuchet: Your work depicts desiccated bodies, visible skulls, and with an emphasis on organic decay. What do these symbols mean to you?
Adam Bloom: I paint naked organic flesh being hit by the destructive forces of those who are allegedly trying to defend us, the skulls symbolise our once individual faces being banished and abused, or you can look at the skull is a symbol of death, so in order to move on from oppression we have to die to be reborn, the skull for me means a number of things.
Trebuchet: Once you banish the individual face what remains?
Adam Bloom: After you lose your face you become a blank canvas which can go ether way, now this for me can mean that you have been taken over by destruction and your soul is becoming stronger with the usage of corruptive ways, or you are aware of the torturous ways of the human footprint and you are in the process of fighting the damage and oppression.
After the cleansing and righteous fight against destruction and oppression, you become stronger as you join the resistance.
Trebuchet: There is a strong element of post-violence in many of your paintings. When painting are you referencing previous acts of violence or that the bodies have become still lives (no pun intended) in their position or juxtaposition?
Adam Bloom: The violence in my work is about the physical/emotional wounds we all receive directly or through soaking up the planets pain, but we learn to try and cope with pain, anger depression, and be happy, eventually leading us to build up a soul which is educated, bold and brave. We fight on regardless of the odds. (In most cases)
Trebuchet: Can you describe some of the particular pathways you’ve travelled down for your series?
Adam Bloom: I do not usually work in a series, but recently I have incorporated fellow artists and friends into my work, I have called it a series it is titled Strength over Tragedy but, I guess it turned out not to be a series but just a continuation of my work.
I paint my concerns and thoughts if something is destroying me inside, I start a canvas it keeps me from stewing it and going mad.
Trebuchet: Describe the catharsis that comes from painting.
Adam Bloom: For me painting just helps to take the edge off of things a little, I love creating so much, it is perfect, and it usually keeps me on the correct path. It is also fantastic to have your inner thoughts put out there within the medium of paint etc. It is an artist’s own personal remedy but it becomes entertainment, when my work affects someone it is the greatest feeling, I can respect that.
To be able to turn frustrations and anger into something which is considered by some people a beauty is my purification.
For people to understand that my work is not about my personal sadistic views on harming society, as I paint the complete opposite is such a rewarding thing, I paint the battle to bring forward the saviour of nature in living and fight oppressive forces.
Trebuchet: Would you say that you create work for a particular subculture?
Adam Bloom: I do not know who I paint for really I know it sounds arrogant but I paint for my own pleasure and medication, but I love showing my work to anyone who wants to look at it too. I have all walks of life commenting on my work which is so amazing and rewarding, it's more than I ever expected.
I am truly honoured to receive any feedback on my work, good or bad. Thanks everyone!
Trebuchet: Is your work more about message or mood?
Adam Bloom: My work is both message and mood I guess, I soak up a lot of frustration and anger at times, I need painting to occupy my thoughts I use painting to eject my feelings, allowing me to create visual sequences from thoughts.
It is a process I really, really enjoy it gives me a purpose I am obsessed with it, even though I have the odd day where I burn myself out and need to chill I am always thinking about creation. I spend a lot of time painting for my own needs, but it excites me when people explore their own interpretations on my work, it's very flattering that the viewer wants to take time out of their day to lose themselves for a few minutes and pick apart a painting, it is a great experience to make a solid connection, for that I am more than thankful.
Trebuchet: …and thank you.
Adam Bloom: Many thanks.
All images of Paintings remain the copyright of Adam Bloom.
The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance. – Aristotle