Bruce Atherton was born in 1968 and from early childhood followed his vocation of becoming an artist. Upon completion of his Foundation course at St.Martins in London, Bruce decided that he preferred to remain outside of the art school system and continued to train as an autodidact, whilst working in the commercial art sector.
In his mid twenties Bruce Athertonfelt it was time to return to his fine art full time and made the bold move of relocating to Rome in Italy to frequent the Scuola Libera del Nudo, an advanced life painting school. During this time Bruce's work developed greatly, and he began exhibiting.
In 1999 he formed part of the artistic movement ‘Neoiconica’, founded by the celebrated Roman art critic Guglielmo Gigliotti and in collaboration with the ‘Studio di Arte Cannaviello’ in Milan, one of the major galleries in Italy, began a series of prestigious exhibitions at an international level. Bruce was also one of the founding artists of the movement 'Metropolism' which also went on to exhibit in many state-run institutions and was promoted by the famous Italian critic, Professor Bonito Oliva.
In 2001, Bruce won official recognition at the XXIII annual international exhibition of fine art in Sulmona, winning the Targa D’Argento, and shortly after, he began his collaboration with the gallery Magrorocca in Milan.
2001 heralded the beginning of another important phase of Bruce's career when he was asked to collaborate with the Vatican in Rome painting new images of neo-canonized saints and official portraits. Bruce completed 13 official paintings for the Postulation of the Vatican, and continued to collaborate with the Vatican as a official Vatican Portrait Painter until 2007.
In 2004 Bruce Atherton returned to London to finalize his education receiving his master degree in Digital Art with distinction at University of the Arts, London and began working for the research department with Dr. John Tchalenko. In 2006 Bruce started collaborating with Factum-Arte in the production of large scale airbrushed artworks, for the high end art market.
Bruce is currently developing his new works and is preparing a series of upcoming exhibitions, in Denmark, Germany and the UK.
I am perceiving that there is a huge shift in consciousness going on in the world, an awakening on a spiritual level, perhaps because people are finally starting to look at the system and begin to profoundly question what they are being told. The spiritual awakening which I refer to is causing more and more people to seek what is genuine in life and turn from what is hollow and meaningless, or worse, what they have been falsely lead to believe are the truly meaningful needs in life. I believe that art should be at the frontier of this new awakening.
Art, for me, has always been a spiritual quest. As a child I would look at the world and see a miracle all around me, and art called me as a way of being able to engage with my own understandings and to deepen them with each work. When I say that my art is spiritual in nature I mean it in the sense of a vocation, a calling, a philosophy, a means of finding higher meaning in life and in those energies that cross my path and inspire me. I have always needed to engage with what calls me and what I find to be genuine.
I am now in my middle years and I finally feel that I am ready to focus my creative perceptions on ever broader and more engaging levels, to start looking beyond the core of my subjects and to show how they interact and affect the worlds they create around them. This is a time for me of great expansion and excitement, and I feel at last that it's possible to remove any limits from my creative ideas and live them with all the intensity and integrity that I can muster, to begin actively engaging with the creative and spiritual awakening which is happening all over the world.
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