The themes and subjects of my art are varied and reflect my changing interests over time. I use acrylic paints and markers on wood and fabric canvas to create my art. The work I create is not intended to be an exact copy of objects or individuals, it is stylized and represents my personal interpretation and imagination. I focus on using color and defined shapes to represent objects, to look beyond their real life form.
My first artistic inspirations were the ancient symbols and culture of the aboriginal peoples of North and South America, Africa, and Australia. These cultural influences were what first inspired me to create paintings and they focused on linear forms using bold luminescent colors with a whimsical presence.
In the following years my subjects included abstracts, the American Southwest, stylized fish, fanciful deep sea fish and robots. I continued to utilize vibrant colors and fine details with ink in order to cause the viewer to take pause, and to study the rich scenes.
At a young age I developed an interest in history and the lives of the people who lived it, especially those who struggled. My Van Gogh Monkeys are a tribute to an artist who created unforgettable art while struggling with depression and a lack of appreciation, at the time, for the art he created. My next works were a series of portraits of figures, some based on actual individuals and others intended to represent certain groups, from the 19th and 20th centuries. They are intended to lead the observer into making connections between the past and the present, to question what has changed, while recognizing how much has stayed the same.
My latest work encompases the beuaty of the Mountain West and the Southwest. Using bold colors and contemporary motif, I have created unique landscapes in which I capture the essence of the barren west.
Gary Cunningham has exhibited his work at the Blue Pony Gallery and coffee houses in Bozeman. He was chosen to participate in the Sweet Pea juried art show in August 2000. He had an exhibition of his historical portraits at the Bozeman Public Library in 2012 and in 2017 his work was displayed at Zoot Enterprises in Four Corners.
He was born in Wennatchee, Washington. While growing up he also lived in Spokane and Cheyene before eventually moving to Bozeman, Montana in his 20’s. He received a B.S. & M.A. in Elementary Education from MSU/MSU Billings and was a 2nd grade teacher in Bozeman for 29 years.