Since graduating from Goldsmiths, Juan Bolivar’s work has evolved from colourful comic-strip-style images which often invited smiles to darker, more sombre symbolism. The technique of suggestive abstraction remains, the paint flat, the shapes simple but loaded with meaning, but it’s a less friendly landscape that Bolivar now explores in a mainly grey-tone palette: ‘I found that, when you combine cartoon-like images with a certain pitch of colour you can end up with something that looks like props from an Italian game show, and I wanted to find a way to filter that aspect but still let you see some of the humour. The greyscale palette is a mid point where you oscillate between the tragedy or the comedy.’ Bolivar describes his approach as: ‘Like Ellsworth Kellys with stories. My paintings are high modernism for the modern age – abstraction for the kids.’
Juan Bolivar graduated MA in Fine Art from Goldsmiths College, University of London. After graduation Juan received the Warden’s Purchase Prize, Goldsmiths College, has been awarded a Pollock-Krasner Foundation Award twice, selected for East International 2007. His work can be found in public and private collections including Goldsmiths College, University of London, the Government Art Collection and Ernst and Young Art Collection.