Finding the Essence in Florida's Landscape

530 Burns Gallery
Sep 23, 2018 6:04PM

A painting by Gary Borse reaches out and immediately steals your gaze.

Gary Borse
Sunset Overture, 2018
530 Burns Gallery

Gary Borse is an artist who, the more you delve into his life and work, the more you think, “yes, he is doing something very special.” Borse was born in 1950 and has an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Art and Design from the Chicago Academy of Fine Arts. The Art Institute of Chicago played a vital role in his study, and he is influenced particularly by Contemporary American and European Modern Art. He is also an accomplished musician, having performed rock, jazz and blues as a bassist and vocalist throughout his life. He now resides in Fairfield, Florida. Also known as the “Color Research Cowboy,” he spends his time riding horses, raising cattle, and working at the easel. But he does not stop there. Borse stretches his canvas and makes the frames for his paintings. Start to finish, Borse methodically and meticulously paints the essence of Florida’s landscape.  


Gary Borse
Cypress Tango, 2018
530 Burns Gallery
Gary Borse
Carnival , 2018
530 Burns Gallery

We often hear this term, “essence,” thrown around in art. Essence is not the exact existence of an object or landscape. Rather, it is indicated by the choices Borse makes in color, perspective, subject matter, etc. that pull at our emotional heartstrings and make the viewer realize the significance of the painting.

Notably, you will not see animals or other wildlife in his work. As Maya Ellenson from Art Kaleidoscope described so perfectly in an article from 2013, “by using close values of reds, greens, and blues, Borse allows the viewer to discover a landscape inside the landscape by removing a physical shroud and stepping into its spiritual realm.” In saturating the colors, Borse emphasizes the fantastical qualities and beauty of the precious, natural world.

Gary Borse
The Golden Hour, 2016
530 Burns Gallery

In a conversation with Borse at 530 Burns Gallery during his solo Exhibition in 2017, Borse walked up to his painting, Lighten Up, and exclaimed something to the effect of “I like to paint big.” He continued and I summarize,  “when you get up close to a large canvas you see nothing but the landscape in your periphery.”  While painting, he discovers himself in that particular moment and space. Completed, the painting transports the viewer, a complete escape found within his variation of the landscape.

Gary Borse
Lighten Up, 2017
530 Burns Gallery

Previously an accomplished jazz musician, Borse paints with vibrant color because it creates a vibration, like in his music, that can be best described as a window to old Florida’s soul. Borse says, “Painting what you see and what you feel at the same time is like walking the fence. If you fall one way you will have what everyone sees, if you fall the other, you will have what everyone feels. Therefore, you must stay on the edge of the fence.” As the viewers, we jump up on the fence, walk it like a tightrope, and balance by the unification of what we see and what we feel.

CLICK HERE to view Gary Borse's Artist Page

530 Burns Gallery