world of silence
world of color

No sounds entered the silent world of Charles Bourke Wildbank but the light that enters it is transformed into thunderous explosions of color in the form of floral or figurative paintings in mural proportions. Profoundly deaf since birth, in overcoming the challenges of learning to listen and speak, he would sketch pictures of candy bars, fruit, cake and soda bottles to illustrate his wants.

“Over the years, I’ve worked freely in the photorealism style and occasionally in the visionary style or sometimes a combination of both, The inner world for me is one vast camera obscura with all its images of light and everchanging color. Then I seek outside for models to reflect that vision from within. Recently, I have been attempting on the sidelines to transcend my well earned artistic boundaries into the newer realms of the unknown and unexpressed.

It is for me an exciting area of exploration resulting in a pleasing form of visual poetry with all its dynamic swells of brushstrokes of deep color and nuances drawn mostly from nature. It is executed lovingly and patiently in the contemplative spirit of Zen in my dream state. Along with that I have induced some mindful undercurrents of rhythm and pattern to create that desired lyrical effect in feedback.

Ultimately, I hope to enable the beholder to easily launch upon a friendly trail only to become delightfully lost into the timeless aspects of one’s self and in that process to become transformed from a gift of increased awareness of that humbling act of Creation. In accomplishing this, I hope to user a new form of realism/reality approaching the ephemeral, our Divine birthright.”

Wildbank was awarded several honors including a fellowship at Yale University School of Music and Art in 1969, a B.F.A. degree cum laude at Pratt Institute in 1970 and an M.A. in Education at Columbia University in 1972. Prompted by the lure of artistic expression that took root as a child, Wildbank gave up teaching the deaf in 1978 and went to Europe. Upon his return, he launched his professional career in his portraits of David Hockney and Luciano Pavarotti and his large display of paintings in the windows of Bonwit Teller in New York and Beverly Hills. During 1983, Cartier of Fifth Avenue presented a salon exhibit of his canvases including his detailed 8 foot tall rendering in paint of the famed Cartier Diamond.

“Plans for the future? More art on demand!” Often busy with commissions for private collectors and corporations such as General Electric offices at Rockefeller Center, the MBNA Bank Headquarters, and lately, Cunard’s new Queen Mary 2 passenger cruiseship. It is these commissions that create this unconventionally wide repertoire of diverse themes and periods of evolvement in Wildbank’s artistic career. Commissions and inspiration go hand in hand often in keeping with a renewed element of surprise to this day.

Copyright 1997, 2005 Wildbank. All Rights Reserved

Wildbank, Charles. “World of Silence, World of Color.” charles wildbank. 28 Sept. 2005. 22 Nov. 2005