Growing up in a small Wyoming town, Bruce Cody developed an appreciation for small town life. His father was a sign painter and as Bruce Cody grew up, he proudly worked alongside his father. Many of the murals that Bruce and his father created on the sides of buildings were much more than signs. They were art. It became only natural for Bruce to paint small towns and their signs later on in his artistic career.
In the late 1930's-1950's Bruce Cody's father would prepare small detailed paintings and drawings which he used in proposals for new signs. There were hundreds of these small proposal paintings which Bruce thought in later years would make a wonderful exhibition. Unfortunately, after the death of his father, Bruce found out that the signs had been discarded during one year’s spring cleaning. So instead, Bruce decided to revisit the town where he was raised to see the signs and murals that he and his father created. It was devastating for him to find that most of the buildings no longer existed and on those that remained, most of the signs and murals had been painted over.
Cody found that the evidence of a time when life seemed more peaceful and less complicated quickly disappears much like the murals he and his father had painted. In an attempt to preserve what remains, Bruce Cody still strives to find the remnants of these by-gone times and immortalize them on canvas.
Bruce Cody’s early training in his Dad's sign making business helped establish an attention to design and detailed craftsmanship which are evident in Cody's sophisticated portraits of Americana. “My primary objective is to paint the forms of places in the West that are also part of what I term ‘The American Experience.’ To me, part of that experience is the migration across the west to the places where people live their lives...or the places from which they derive their livelihoods or are perhaps their social anchors, like cafes and gas stations in small towns.”
Cody's paintings capture the places that we often pass by without noticing. He makes us pause our busy lives and notice the beauty in simplicities taken for granted. Cody’s oil paintings celebrate these places that function as a landscape Americana. Formally, Cody is especially interested in how sunlight plays on buildings, creating cast shadows and abstract shapes.
Bruce Cody's paintings are a part of over 30 public collections including the Jack Blanton Museum in Dallas and the Seattle Art Museum. His work has been acquired by more than 50 corporations including Exxon-Mobil, Citicorp, Qwest and Hilton Hotels.
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