James Bearden has a past before the mesmerizing art furniture and sculptures we know from him.
He thinks of the steel figures he creates as people from an alien world, with their fluid lines and rough texture expressing an otherworldly language. His other work, which includes both biomorphic and architectural shapes, “might be the objects from that world,” he says. “That’s how I look at it.”
Suggesting archaeological artifacts from the future, these sculptures and functional pieces have been described as post-apocalyptic and brutalist in style, and they’re capturing the attention of collectors and galleries across the country.
Bearden was born in Alabama but grew up in Des Moines and received bachelor’s degrees in fine art and visual communications from Grand View University. He worked in graphic design for 20 years, most of that time as an award-winning art director at Flynn Wright advertising agency. In 2007, at the age of 43, he decided to leave that job and focus on fine art.
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