Arriving at a place somewhere near 10,000 hours, Adam Hale emerges with a mastery of style that enchants the soul while engaging the cultivated mind. His subjects reveal a sometimes satirical, and often comical view of business, politics, culture and society. As he playfully entertains, he invites insights into our humanity. This process delights the artist as much as his observers.
“I see a lot of humor in my work. I like to watch these silly ideas in my head take shape and become even funnier as they emerge onto the canvas.”
At least three technical aspects support an original Adam Hale piece. First, its background, which exposes rich layers and astounding color blends that intrigue the senses and offer an exploration into the worlds between our folded matter. Dramatic borders feature reckless drips and feathered strokes to create windows that offer a voyeuristic opportunity to peer into other realms.
Secondly, Hale is influenced by the use of black ink in historical Asian art. As did his ancient predecessors, he considers black a “color”— capable of such a range of shading that even a monochrome piece can give the impression of many colors.
“Black is critical—it’s going to capture the dramatic side of the piece and illuminate the idea, or it’s going to point and snicker at the flaws. I am intimidated by the use of black lines. I’m usually fairly confident in the element before I invite the black lines to come in—they’re just so opinionated! It’s like inviting your worst critic to review your work.”
Hale’s art is bold in both attitude and color. Color is used strategically, sometimes delicately, sometimes brightly, but always conforming to the subject.
“My color ideas come from the printing world. If you can print anything with just four colors (Cyan, Magenta, Yellow, Black), then you can also paint anything with them. They are my favorite colors anyway, so it’s easy to think about how they can be laid down in new and different ways. It helps me see color in endless possibilities.”
In addition to Hale’s powerful color resources, his superb use of light is his third signature feature.
“I am constantly thinking about the light—where is it coming from? Where is it going? What’s it going to do when it gets there?”
Painting for Hale is not merely a flat representation of a concept, but a means of symbolic expression. His creations of peculiar and charming creatures, both real and imagined, invite us to look into a magical world that seems innocent enough, yet upon reflection, can evoke a sobering message. He doesn’t strive to reproduce the forms of nature as they are realistically, but as he sees them: in their innocence and simplicity.
“I’m a likable person. I’m not angry or rebelling or trying to make a statement. I’m as amused with my own foolishness as I am with the absurdity of the characters I create.”
Hale’s work is uncomplicated, allowing the viewer to first indulge in the child-like interpretations on the canvas, but as the larger piece breaks apart into more meaningful images, the observer can feel the emotion, intention, and dedication that emerges from every Adam Hale original.
His work will astound you, amaze you, make you think, and most importantly, make you laugh.