An Isle of Wight Artist who paints in Oil, Acrylic and Watercolour onto canvas and terracotta. Simple but effective, his paintings, which are done in less than two hours, are determined by his desire for quickness and is inevitably distracted in the forming of a image by new colours or influences. Heavily influenced by Edvard Munch, Rothko, Lictenstein Van Gogh and Benny Hill his works seems to reflect both ‘classicism’ and ‘abstraction’ and he does it all at both ends of the image rainbow – some works are so full of images one doesn‘t know where to start to look – his ‘realistically abstract’ paintings whereas at the other end of the spectrum there is nothing but colour – his ‘multiform’ paintings.
Realistically Abstract Paintings – BB Bango
After numerous experiments, Bango concluded that the Impressionist or indeed abstract idiom did not allow sufficient expression. He found it superficial and too akin to scientific experimentation. He felt a need to go deeper and explore situations brimming with emotional content and expressive energy, part of this was discovering his own emotional and psychological state, He therefore began a period of reflection and self-examination as personified in his multiform series of paintings. He paints, or rather regards, things in a way that is different from that of other artists. He sees only the essential, and that, naturally, is all he paints. For this reason Bango’s pictures are as a rule “not complete”, as people are so delighted to discover for themselves. Oh, yes, they are complete. His complete handiwork. Art is complete once the artist has really said everything that was on his mind, and this is precisely the advantage Bango has over other painters – he really knows how to show us what he has felt, and what has gripped him, and to this he subordinates everything else.
While stylistically influenced by the Post-Impressionists what evolved was a subject matter which was symobolist in content, depicting a state of mind rather than an external reality. He said once that “art was human work and not an imitation of Nature”, Bango has always been pleased with any controversy he might stir up and wrote in a letter: “Never have I had such an amusing time—it’s incredible that something as innocent as painting should have created such a stir. His depictions of Edvard Munch’s The Scream have all achieved something that most paintings—regardless of their art historical importance, beauty, or monetary value—have not: they communicate a specific meaning almost immediately to almost every viewer.
Multiform Paintings – BB Bango
BB Bango’s Multiform rectangular boxes could be compared to that of the modernists with an influence of primitive art – his rectangular transcendent fields of colour and light reflect large shapes with the impact of the unequivocal. He is trying to reassert the picture plane and he feels the flat form destroy illusion and reveal truth. Indeed these paintings possess a more organic structure, and are self-contained units of human expression. These blurred blocks of various colours, devoid of landscape or human figure, let alone myth and symbol, seem to possess their own life force. They contain a “breath of life”. The Multiform paintings show typically symmetrical rectangular blocks of two to three opposing or contrasting, yet complementary, colours, in which, for example, “the rectangles sometimes seem barely to coalesce out of the ground. The brown bar in “Turquoise, Brown and Red”, for instance, appears to vibrate against the turquoise around it, creating an optical flicker.” BB Bango likes to paint his Multiforms in oil and acrylic on large canvases with vertical formats. Large-scale designs are used in order to overwhelm the viewer and make the viewer feel “enveloped within” the painting. Others may say the large size is an attempt to make up for a lack of substance which is why Bango also offers the same images in much smaller canvas formats. He says in retaliation ‘I realize that historically the function of painting large pictures is painting something very grandiose and pompous. The reason I paint them large is precisely because I want to be very intimate and human. To paint a small picture is to place yourself outside your experience. If you paint a larger picture, you are in it. It isn’t something I can command! Bango even recommends that a viewer position themselves as little as 18 inches away from the canvas so that they may experience a sense of intimacy, as well as awe, indeed a transcendence of the individual, and a sense of the unknown.
The general method for these paintings was to paint unthinned paints directly onto canvas and then wait for it to dry before touching up. His brush strokes are heavy and demanding trying to get as much coverage as possible before the colour runs out and he has to mix more.
Bango fears that people purchase his paintings simply out of fashion, and that the true purpose of his work was not being grasped by collectors, audiences or critics. He wants his paintings to move beyond abstraction, as well as beyond classical art. For Bango, the paintings are objects that possess their own form and potential, and therefore, must be encountered as such. Sensing the futility of words in describing this decidedly non-verbal aspect of his work, Bango is considering abandoning all attempts at responding to those that might inquire after their meanings and purpose, stating finally that silence is “so accurate.” ‘My paintings surfaces are expansive and push outward in all directions, or their surfaces contract and rush inward in all directions. Between these two poles you can find everything I want to say – I‘m trying to express basic human emotions — tragedy, ecstasy, doom, and so on. The fact that a lot of people break down and cry when confronted with my pictures shows that I can communicate those basic human emotions . . . The people who weep before my pictures are having the same emotional experience I had when I painted them. And if you are only moved by their colour relationship, then you miss the point. ‘Above al’l said BB Bango ‘my paintings are saucy, policitically incorrect and not very good but great great fun’