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Terry Powers

Does the term Bay Area figurative painter still carry weight? Is there any exalted identity or illustrious lineage to be dusted off, upon it’s use or reuse? Regardless of your feelings on the subject, Terry Powers is actively adapting what it means to be a Bay Area figurative painter with each day. Chameleon-like in his approach to painting, Powers views style not as an immutable and unique personal characteristic but instead as an affected attitude awaiting reanimation. The history of painting is seen not as a series of precedents or linear progressions, but rather as a vast language of symbols, characters and personalities–raw material ready for dissection and recontextualization.

Perhaps the greatest attribute of Terry Powers is his artistic flexibility, replicating the dashing confidence of a John Singer Sargent figure to vulnerably depicting his own modest garden with its potted plants and resilient weeds sprouting from between bricks.  It’s this exact flexibility that’s an essential element of spiritual survival in today’s Bay Area, as the cultural and economic landscapes fluctuate with disorienting rapidity, and the role of the painter is perpetually in flux. And It’s this exact milieu from which Terry Powers emerges as an archetypal contemporary Bay Area figurative painter … or whatever that happens to mean today.