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Abstract Expressionist BJ Price was born in Brisbane, Australia on 24th of April 1962. After graduating with a BA from Griffith University in 1985, with a High Distinction in Creative Writing, he worked as an independent filmmaker for several years before moving to North Queensland to establish a tree farm.
On October 15th, 2009, whilst scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef, BJ experienced an artistic epiphany that would forever change his life. This personal revelation that opened his eyes to the reef’s coded natural language saw him return home, build a studio and pick up a brush to paint for the first time in his life. BJ returned from the reef that day, exhilarated by his vision of translating the profundity that exists within the largest living organism on the planet. The Great Barrier Reef, in all her beauty, had become BJ’s muse. Her coded language had spoken to him and he answered, with a commitment to give voice to her silent language through his art.
Whilst BJ’s references are all marine-based, he believes his art addresses a diverse range of topics wholly pertinent to the terrestrial world in which we live. The artist spent a year painting before showing his art to an architect and sculptor friend who spends much of his time in the US. After being introduced to a contact in New York, BJ held his first group Exhibition at Amsterdam Whitney Gallery in New York City in September 2011. Amsterdam Whitney Curator Ms Ruthie Tucker says of BJ’s work “Intensely utilising colour to convey an emotional state, rather than physical vistas, Mr Price expresses a world without borders in an abstract modality with ideologies resonating in a vociferous rhythm.“
Her husband and veteran Gallery Owner H.E. Ambassador Dr. Alton Louis Amsterdam III declared to all at the Gala Champagne Opening “This man is truly a master artist of this age. Time will prove me right!”
Following the Exhibition, BJ visited another contact in Hollywood Los Angeles, where he was invited to paint ten architectural pieces for an upcoming show. The result was his Coming Up For Air collection.
Whilst his art encompasses the timeless pursuit of the artist’s study of nature, BJ’s style is both idiosyncratic and dynamic. “I weave an anthropomorphic abstraction of hard-edged characters, often vibrantly highlighted with colour fields and minimalist suggestion, “says BJ. “My paintings each bear a common DNA of style and yet are lucidly individual.
I do not aim so much to shock as to seduce, entrance, captivate and intrigue. I aim to entice the viewer at first glance and then mesmerise and move them with the acuity of meaning woven within the frame.”
BJ believes he is charged with the task of speaking for the World Heritage listed Great Barrier Reef and its multitude of creatures through his artist expression. “I see my role, foremost as a type of artistic interpreter. My aim is to give voice to this silent language through my art.”
From his tranquil rural property near Queensland’s tallest mountain, Mount Bartle Frere, BJ nurtures his relationship and obsession with the Great Barrier Reef. “The Reef is the largest, most complex living thing on this Earth. I devote myself to this task because the Reef speaks to me and as I answer through my art, others hear its voice. Through my art, I bring to the surface a glimpse of the insightful treasures beneath for the benefit of all to experience. To this end I trust the viewer will embrace the moral imperative we face to protect such a vulnerable and strangely sage being. Such is my task. That I will honour it to whatever end is my vow.” BJ Price.