Magical Realism | Wendy Jane Bantam

May 30, 2019 - July 9, 2019
Tales from the Natural World by Wendy Jane Bantam
You can get by a long time following your dreams and painting life. Where do the ideas come from? Everything comes from nature. I disappear into the woods and fields, following old deer trails, exploring dragonflies by the river. How much animals and insects and birds are like humans! Humans, like every living thing, are a playful, loving and dangerous circus act.
The truth is there is not a single line in all my work that does not have a basis in reality. The principle thing is not the creation of imaginary beings or worlds but the discovery of the mysterious relationship between humans and their circumstances… a reality which is already in and of itself magical or fantastic. Ordinary life is the scene of the extraordinary.
Wendy Jane Bantam, a graduate of The University of Kansas and the University of Nebraska, worked with painting professors, Keith Jacobshagen, Roger Shimomura and Robert O. Wright. Her paint is densely applied and manipulated not only with loose brush strokes, but pushed around with a knife, giving a thick and creamy texture that reveals Bantam’s strong interest in and celebration of the sensuous process of painting.
The dynamism, energy, and sensuality in Bantam’s paintings are revealed not only by her densely applied surface, but through an intense color palette that bears the influence of such Bay Area painters as Wayne Thiebaud and David Park.
 The expressionist formal characteristics of her painting highlight symbolic content of narrative compositions. Bantam transforms her experience of the natural world through highly-charged symbolic narratives with her idiosyncratic drawing style that suggests the influence of the sophisticated “naiveté” prevalent in the tradition of magical realism.