Bruce Cascia began drawing when he was young and took his first oil painting class when he was just twelve years old. He eventually received his BFA in graphic design from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. Bruce worked as an art director in Chicago at agencies while continuing to paint and show in multiple galleries around the country. He now paints full time.
Using mostly oil or, on occasion, acrylics or watercolors, Bruce paints in a photo-realistic style that borders on hyperrealism. Referring to his technique, Cascia notes, "Most of the time I paint from a photograph, but I've done watercolors on location. They lend themselves to quick completion, so that you're done before the light changes." Bruce is primarily known for his oil painting, however, and his skill in that medium is apparent.
Drawn to the freedom of the open road and to images that evoke a sense of nostalgia, Bruce's initial paintings were of solitary diners, truck stops, and motorcycles all placed in dramatic vistas of the American Southwest. Through his paintings, Bruce captures urban and rural scenes that reflect his perspective of American life and allow others a glimpse of isolated moments in time. His efforts to elevate these mundane or forgotten elements to that of "painting subject" is a way to preserve on canvas that which may eventually be lost or torn down.
In the late 90s, eight of Bruce's bike paintings were included in the opening of the Field Museum's Art of the Motorcycle show in Chicago, sponsored by the Guggenheim Museum. The exhibit attracted the largest crowd ever at that museum, and the show was very well received by critics and the public alike. Cascia's work is also included in a number of corporate art collections such as Oscar-Maye, DDB Needham Worldwide, and Pearlnesco, as well as the private collections of Jay Leno, Dennis Hopper, and Peter Fonda.
Bruce's recent focus has been on his "Flatland" series, which is reflective of his central Illinois background. Atmosphere, lighting, and scale all play important parts in these rural compositions. His depiction of abandoned farmhouses with dramatic skies captures an intense feeling of solitude and inner peace.