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Alexander William Bigney

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Alexander William Bigney

(1952 - )

At times I want to say to my audience, "Look what I experience for you. Look what I can do." At other times I want to tempt the viewer to peep into my hat and vicariously participate in my secret life. We are all about revealing ourselves, yet we hide. My art is about telling all, and keeping quiet. Some things are said aloud, but other things can only be shared in allusion, on the fringes, peripherally. The picture is a channel, a station, a shared set of clues and cues. Art that is real is shared between us someplace in the air. Alex Bigney was born March 3, 1952, in Boston, Massachusetts. Both of Alex's parents were first-generation U.S. citizens. His father grew up in a small village in Nova Scotia, Canada, and his mother was the daughter of Ukrainian immigrants. Both parents brought to the family the folklore and culture of their native homelands. The Celtic and Slavic traditions of his parents have had a commanding influence on the person, and artist, Alex Bigney has become. His New England home also had a great influence on Alex. The thickly wooded landscape, the lush plant life, and the powerful ocean filled his mind with their earthly living energy. The legacy of generations of Native American and colonizing Europeans developed in Alex a similar love for the human energy of the area. These influences combined to develop Alex's inspiration for his early years of painting. In 1970, Alex enrolled at Brigham Young University and moved to Utah. The open spaces and naked landscape of Utah were new experiences for Alex. Gone were the preformed images that had carried him through the creative process. Now Alex was faced with an empty stage waiting for him to formulate and develop his own images. About this experience, Alex states, "In Utah my images became spare like the empty landscape around me, isolating myself as the figure most often on center stage, doing a spiritual strip tease." In 1971, Alex took two years to serve as a missionary in Italy. He returned again to Italy in 1974 and 1975, and through his experiences there he incorporated the culture, language, and history of Italy into his artworks. In 1976 Alex Bigney moved permanently to Utah. In speaking of Utah, Alex states, "Living here in the desert keeps me defining and redefining life through my images. It is a good place to focus on the visions and dreams that inhabit my pictures." All of the influences that formed what is presently Alex Bigney's inspiration for his paintings do not completely explain why he paints. That can best be explained by a childhood experience he had while growing up in New England. He was visiting a countryside park in a meadow surrounded by thick New England trees. Around the perimeter of the meadow were paintings of the fourteen stations of the cross, a Catholic tradition. The paintings themselves have long escaped Alex's memory; however, the way each painting marked the route of park visitors who paused briefly at each one has left an indelible mark upon Alex. His own paintings serve a similar function. They work as markers for the path of his own life and also remain as what he calls a "healing residue," a by-product of self-discovery.

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