Pittsburgh-born Richard Bush has spent the greater part of his life in St. Petersburg, Florida. At 17, he attended the Juilliard School of Music in New York. Bush graduated in 1968 with a degree in music composition. In the early 1970’s, he moved to Cape Cod and worked as a pianist, conductor and composer, receiving awards from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation. But since relocating to Fort Myers in 2011, pictorial and graphic arts have been his most ardent avocations.
A self-taught practitioner of drawing, calligraphy and computer graphics led to computer drawing. His "film noir" style of black and white computer drawings is a homage to Hollywood mystery movies of the late 1930’s through 1940’s.
Film noir is a trendy sub-genre that combines nostalgia, glamour, mystery and kitch. Most feature figures dressed in attire from the late '30s to early '50s complete with snap-brim fedoras, suits with suspenders for the men, and dresses with high heels and sexy lingerie for the women. The atmosphere in most film noir renderings couples ominous enigma with sexual tension, with the men and women paired up in each picture in the act of considering, initiating, or parting after an illicit tryst.
Bush's Piano Bar B&W with Red and Railway Terminus break that mold. While his compositions focus on anonymous solitary men, he substitutes formless black hat and long coats for femme fatales to create the mystery, intrigue and enigma that make his compositions so compelling.
But to see the full scope of his atmosphere and imagery, you'll just have to visit the Small Gallery at Arts for ACT in January. You can get first view of Bush's film noir exhibition this Friday during Art Walk from 6-10 p.m.