Raised in Queens, Bruce Zeines's decision to be an artist came at an early age, and shaped his career as an illustrator and graphic designer. He studied fine art and graphic design at The School of Visual Arts in NY. His published work has appeared in national and international publications. As a graphic designer he has worked for corporate and institutional clients for over 35 years. “My life has always been one of creative enterprise. My work seeks to be an expression of deeper concerns I have about living a spiritual life, and being open to the inner mysteries that abound. Other than that, drawing is the most relaxing activity I have ever known, and somehow, in the scheme of things, feels like it must be done. The universe beckons.” He currently resides with his wife and son at the edge of the Kelly Street Garden in the South Bronx.
WHY DO I DRAW? This question is not one I think of often. In truth, thinking and drawing do not fit together for me. Drawing for me is about discovery. The act is always met with excited anticipation because in truth, I have no idea what is about to happen. There is no grand plan. There is this hope of being lead in a direction which will show me something that may make sense at another time.
For now, it is just intrigue that leads me on.
On the contemplative side, the process I engage in is an attempt to relate inner discoveries that have no verbal equivalent. Drawing is a language. A form of writing. But the message will be seen differently by every viewer, but only if the viewer takes the time to look. Then something happens. After all, it is not madness or confusion I am trying to express, but a perpetual search for truth. A truth that lies beyond the mind or the feeling. It is a truth that is larger, and more mysterious than anything I know. It is the great unknown.
How does one express the unknown? That is a “koan” to say the least. It is not something for just the mind. It requires a search for a presence that is larger. It requires that I accept my place in the Infinitesimal. And the struggle to relinquish the ego, whose main role seems to be to delude my self importance in the midst of this cosmic drama we call life.
So in fact, I fail to answer the question. I draw because I like to. I enjoy it. As an artist walking the fine line between cartoon and fine art, it is hard to stay only on a serious note. The process of drawing, this particular series, that I have now been engaged with for 7 years, manages to hold in balance humor and seriousness. And for those who have the patience to spend a little time with them, my drawings can be entertaining. They will make you laugh, question, wonder or respond with anguish. In looking, you may not even know why. It is the same feeling I have while working on them.
As I get older, I am less concerned with beauty. The story is more interesting to me. Telling a story, even if I do not know what that story might be, is what compels me. Maybe I have finally answered my own question. But hopefully, that will soon be followed by another question.
Drawing is my only valid response.
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