Zander Bice comes from a family where art was great encouraged, and portraiture played no small role. Giving a sense of story and experience in these portraits is central to this UCLA and Art Center College of Art graduate’s recent paintings. More at the links below!
Can you tell me a little bit about you?
I have always been drawing from a very young age. Art was always encouraged in my family; my grandfather was a portrait artist in Spain that painted members of the Spanish and English royal families. I grew up in Berkeley, where everyone had a “you can be whoever you want to be” attitude, so I decided to paint. I graduated from Art Center in Pasadena in 2015 and have been living in Los Angeles and Oakland since.
What ideas are you exploring in your practice?
I draw figures mostly. I try to infer a story behind each piece. Even if it is just a portrait, the background, the figure’s posture, expression and clothing need to hint at a story or give a mood. Lately themes in my work have revolved around beauty and vanity.
What is your process like?
Most of my paintings and large drawings begin with either a sketch or a reference photo. I am always looking for things that interest me. Sometimes its the littlest detail of a photograph. Then I either make sketches or just dive right in to a piece. I have a tendency to do things in a different way every time I work on something.
Do you have a mentor, or a piece of advice (or both), which has influenced your practice?
Philip Guston once said that he tries to put as little time between thinking of something and doing it as possible. I try to work like that.
Do you have any routines or rituals in the studio that help to get you into a creative mode?
I usually show up to my studio with some coffee and put on a podcast. Listening to people talk puts me in the zone a lot faster than music does these days.
What is your studio like?
My studio is messy.
What are three words you would use to describe your work?
Big, bright and beautiful
What are you working on right now?
Right now I am working on a series of watercolors that are more loose than my usual stuff.