Portraiture constitutes one of the great traditional categories of painting. Before the era of mechanical and now digital reproduction, it stood as a primary means for asserting the importance of a person and his or her—though mostly his—character. Bruce Adams is a portrait painter for today, proceeding with all the skill of past painters and a hell of a lot more fun. In his meticulously rendered canvases, friends and acquaintances collaborate in the creation of pictures that tap their fantasies, tastes and projections with evident pleasure. A woman in a blue bob talks on a Heinz ketchup bottle telephone against a romantic landscape of peaks and valleys; a bottle-blonde man in fishnets and heels tussles with a vacuum cleaner against maroon cliffs; a silver-lipped lady in satin gloves, star glasses and purple antennae brandishes plastic uzis against a serene grove of trees and sky. This is total portraiture: not just how we wish to be seen but how we really are, visible and not, wrinkles, fetishes and all, rendered picturesque by a capaciously generous paintbrush.
—Lori Waxman 11/11/16 2:04 PM