Working in oil, James Gucwa depicts vintage signs and buildings. Gucwa's paintings glorify the roadside signs and structures of the past, which now seem out of place in an age of cookie-cutter architecture. James Gucwa has earned national recognition for his photo-realistic oil studies of the blazing neon signs of the 50's.
In the mid-1980's, Gucwa gave up a sign painting business and focused his attention on outdoor signs as objects of creative expression. His vivid use of neon-like colors, and the near photographic quality, are signatures of his work. Frequently, Gucwa takes the signs out of their original context and situates them against the vast Southwestern skies, highlighting their monumental and sculptural qualities and adding a touch of humor.
A quote from the artist reveals why he paints imagery that seems so familiar to the viewer, "My childhood memories of the age of the automobile, drive-in movies, small independent motels with their roadside neons and the elaborate theater marquees of the past: impassion me today with a reverence of that bygone era. In my paintings I am trying to retain and preserve a small piece of Americana that reminds the viewer of the swift passage of time. In our ever-changing world of modern architecture, fast pace and high technology, I offer the spectator, through this sampling of my work, a voyage of sorts."
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