About the artist:
Among the generation of American artists now in their seventies, Iowa born painter and printmaker Jim Buckels is a delightful anomaly: an artist more driven by his inner visions than by fashions and trends, while maintaining an innate sophistication that places his work prominently within the post-modern mainstream. In fact, Buckels is a Neo-Surrealist of a peculiarly American Breed: a creator of dream-like images, rendered in a meticulous, modern airbrush technique with the crystalline clarity of a Colonial limner. In his lithographs and serigraphs, as well as in his acrylic paintings, Buckels limns a seamless realm of fantasy that has won him a major reputation in a remarkably short span of time. Jim Buckels' fascination with fantasy began in early childhood, when his mother, a professor of English composition and literature at Iowa State University, would read to him from storybooks illustrated by N.C. Wyeth, Maxfield Parrish, and Howard Pyle. His artistic talent would later win him a scholarship to the University of Northern Iowa. His adventurous spirit compelled him to interrupt his studies during his sophomore year, when he enlisted in the U.S. Army for a three-year stint that would include a tour of Vietnam. Returning to civilian life and his studies at UNI in 1971, Buckels earned a bachelor's degree in art and began his career as a freelance illustrator. He would become known for his stylized landscapes, inspired by such regional artists as Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton, as well as by the primitive dreamscapes of the great French painter, Henri Rousseau. These unique influences are reflected in the acrylic paintings, lithographs, and serigraphs for which Jim Buckels is now best known. The visionary vistas and fantastic architectural details offer the viewer a restful respite from reality. These paintings and prints provide a magical refuge for the viewer, a return trip ticket to the storybook realm of childhood reverie. As one New York art critic recently noted, Jim Buckels works "tell stories that linger in memory long after one has viewed them, hinting at truths that lie just below the surface of the seen world". For this reason as well as for his outstanding technical skills, Buckels has emerged as a contemporary master whose work will continue to enthrall us for many years to come.
Among the generation of American artists now in their seventies, Iowa born painter and printmaker Jim Buckels is a delightful anomaly: an artist more driven by his inner visions than by fashions and trends, while maintaining an innate sophistication