Bryce Holt

Artwork

Harpies

Creation Date: November 4, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas


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Two Bits For Eight Bits

Creation Date: October 27, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas


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Zebra Cakes

October 22, 2021

Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

This piece is a counterpart to "Nutty Bars." In Bryce's high school, Zebra Cakes and Nutty Bars (you'll never get him to call them Nutty Buddies) were the most popular snack available for purchase. Bryce and his friends spent way too much time - and money - debating which one was better.

"There's a clear and obvious choice," says Bryce, "but if you disagree with me, I know that I won't be able to convince you and you won't be able to convince me. Basically, it's like Republicans and Democrats trying to change each other's minds. Good luck."

This piece is intended to be fun and to give you the chance to turn to the person next to you so that you both can angrily declare that your Little Debbie choice is far superior to theirs. "I could have done a third one," Bryce muses, "but we all know Oatmeal Cream Pies aren't worth the packaging they come in."

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Bust Of Aeschylus Dying

Creation Date: October 21, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

Aeschylus is the father of Greek tragedy, and was the author of 70 to 90 plays, only 7 of which survive today. However, it's not his plays that inspired Bryce to create this piece.

"He died in such a weird way," says Bryce, excitedly. "According to Pliny, someone had prophesied that Aeschylus would be killed by a falling object, so he was staying outside as much as possible. An eagle was trying to crack open a tortoise to eat, mistook Aeschylus' head for a rock, and dropped the tortoise on his head, killing him. I mean that is one of the craziest deaths. I'm fascinated by weird deaths like this." Bryce laughs. "Truly, though, this piece is my favorite to date. But now I'm on to the next one."

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Self Portrait As A Latchkey Kid

Creation Date: October 19, 2021
Size (h w d): 60 x 48 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

This is an homage to Bryce's youth, and the afterschool experience of many latchkey kids in the 1980s/90s. The boy is playing 8-bit Nintendo in a house with the dated oranges and browns that were a hangover from the late 70's motif. He's deep in a game of Kid Icarus or Castlevania, already imagining himself as an ancient soldier, while the satin jacket and TMNT t-shirt tell us what time period he truly exists in.

"I loved that time after school," says Bryce. "Sometimes my parents were home, but a lot of times, it was just Kyle and I. We'd watch Ducktales or WKRP In Cincinnati reruns. Play video games. Run around the neighborhood to see what other kids were able to come out and play. I considered doing the actual couch from my youth, but I didn't want people looking at the furniture. The boy is the story. He's into his game so hard that he's forgotten what time period he's in. That's me and, like, 90% of the other kids I hung out with back then. I miss that kid. He was beautiful in his simple wants and needs, and this is how I remember him."

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I Will Love You Until I Fall Apart

Creation Date: October 12, 2021
Size (h w d): 60 x 48 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

This is a painting of a stuffed Sesame Street Ernie doll that Bryce's brother, Kyle, had as a baby. It was Kyle's favorite stuffed animal, and he took it everywhere. It was so used up that both of Ernie's arms fell off. One was lost while the other was repaired with thick red thread by Sharon, their mother.

At 43 years old, while going through a divorce, Kyle decided it was time Ernie found a new home with someone who would love Ernie as much as he had. So he passed it on to Bryce's daughter, Frida, who proceeded to take the doll with her everywhere. Bryce - like nearly all parents - loves his daughter so much that he would do anything for her.

We all deserve someone who will love us unconditionally, even if it means their own demise. Hopefully you have an Ernie - someone who loves you so much they'd fall completely apart for you.

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28 Days, 30 Minutes

Creation Date: October 12, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

On October 12th, 2021, Kyle Holt (Bryce's brother) received the draft of the final documents to dissolve his marriage of 20 years. He had been anticipating them, and yet, the odd mixture of relief, sadness and self-evaluation hit him when the two sat down for lunch.

Kyle said, "If all goes according to plan, I'll be divorced in..." He looked at his phone, and continued, "Twenty-eight days and thirty minutes."

This piece was conceived during a conversation, born within but a few hours, and yet, it will likely be the longest piece Bryce (and Kyle, for that matter) ever takes to "complete." You see, this is a countdown clock of a moment in time, and whether you are seeing it during, shortly after or years in the future, the two brothers took 28 days and 30 minutes to complete this painting.

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The Desperation Of Sleeplessness

Creation Date: October 7, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

Everyone has suffered from sleepless nights. In the darkness of night, everything seems more frightening and more hopeless than it really is. Those nights can absolutely wreck your mental and emotional stability.

Bryce's brother, Kyle, was experiencing significant insomnia and sleeplessness in October 2021, when Bryce said, "Tell me what I should paint today." Kyle told him to paint the mental trick Kyle used to try and get to sleep. He didn't count sheep, or focus on breathing. Kyle would imagine a black and white fish jumping out of the water in slow motion, and he had to mentally see the fish change into the brightest, wildest colors before it could splash back into the water. It usually took 10 to 20 fish before he could fall back asleep. Bryce said, "That is amazing. I don't know if it's going to look the way you imagine it, but I'm going to paint that desperation of sleeplessness."

Hence the title. Get some sleep.

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On The Count Of Three

Creation Date: October 1, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

Bryce is obsessed with space and the human efforts to push the boundaries of Earth. He wanted to create a piece that honored Austrian skydiver, Felix Baumgartner, who was the first person to go supersonic without a vehicle during his 2012 freefall from a weather balloon 24 miles above the surface of the planet. Bryce has rewatched the clip dozens of times, and was inspired enough to paint this. He also looked at the history of jumping and was intrigued by the horse diving shows that were popularized in the late nineteenth century.

Both Baumgartner and the horse are making a leap that were considered crazy by most, but were also spectacles to behold. In this, they are twins of each other, thus the Gemini constellation behind them in the night sky. Now, get ready to jump. On the count of three...

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I Will Protect You From The Dark

Creation Date: October 1, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

Bryce's daughter Frida experienced a serious sleep regression just before she turned 5 years-old. The reason? She was scared of the dark.

Nearly everyone has experienced this fear. Frida told her dad that the only thing that would make her feel better was to have one of his paintings in her room, because it reminded her that her daddy would protect her from the dark. Bryce placed "Self-Portrait with Frida" in her room, and Frida said that the cactuses helped her get back to sleep.

This piece shows the scared child in all of us, along with the orange barrier of protection we get from those we love keeping us safe from the dark.

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The Anatomy Of Two Hearts On Fire

Creation Date: September 22, 2021
Size (h w d): 60 x 48 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

The name says it all. Whether two people just met or have known each other for their entire lives, when both hearts are on fire for each other, nothing else matters.

The woman's heart is on fire with passion, and the man's heart burns as the sacred heart most often seen in Catholic iconography.

This piece mixes the science of physiology with the mystery of the human heart. Bryce hopes that intense passion and desire resonates for you, but if it doesn't, when you meet the person who sets your heart aflame, you'll know.

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Self-Portrait While Driving

Creation Date: September 17, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

This piece is an homage to Edo paintings mixed with the road rage that each person can feel during rush hour traffic. The face is referencing the famous painting "The Actor Otani Oniji III as Edobei" by Toshusai Sharaku, with multiple angry gestures as he is behind the steering wheel.

Says Bryce, "In Kansas City, Kansans say that Missourians are the worst drivers, while Missourians say that about Kansans. I have come to realize that everyone makes me mad while I'm driving, and I'm sure I make everyone else mad. This piece was so fun to make because I wanted to put Edo in front of the audience wrapped up in the humor that I think Edo pieces inspire. It was also a joy to add all of the varying gestures. What I'm trying to say there is that, no matter your age, gender, race, religion, or place of origin, it takes all of us to truly ruin the driving experience."

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Falling Through Memory

Creation Date: September 15, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

When a memory hits you, often you get a fleeting feeling of the emotion that experience gave you, whether that's regret, joy, longing, or pain. But sometimes you get the full dive, as if you're reliving the experience entirely. The beauty or horror of watching the movie of your life.

This piece is symbolic of the latter. On September 14, 2021, Bryce experienced a flood of memories from one of his first jobs, working at a pie pantry as a teenager. Not a life changing single experience, but instead a period of time. Bryce was fell through that memory quickly, beautifully and fully.

Whether you're drawn to the pie, to the figure crashing through it, or the evening clouds below, this piece seems to evoke wildly varying memories specific to each viewer.

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Skill Crane

Creation Date: September 14, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

Bryce said of this piece, "After finishing 'The Human Heart,' I wanted to do something sarcastic with really different colors than I'm used to using together. The picture where I found that dead flamingo comes from an alkaline lake where it's basically a death wish to be nearby (Note: Lake Natron, Tanzania - photo credit to Nick Brandt). I just loved the photo, started painting it immediately, but I didn't want to do the whole lake and had no idea where I was taking it.

"The claw idea came when I was nearing completion of the bird. My brother, Kyle, told me I should call it 'Skill Crane,' given that it's a bird, and it made all the sense in the world to finish it out that way. I mean, talk about the world's worst prize, but when you see a claw...you go play that claw."

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Skill Crane

Creation Date: September 14, 2021
Size (h w d): 48 x 36 x 1.5 in
Medium: Acrylic On Canvas

Bryce said of this piece, "After finishing 'The Human Heart,' I wanted to do something sarcastic with really different colors than I'm used to using together. The picture where I found that dead flamingo comes from an alkaline lake where it's basically a death wish to be nearby (Note: Lake Natron, Tanzania - photo credit to Nick Brandt). I just loved the photo, started painting it immediately, but I didn't want to do the whole lake and had no idea where I was taking it.

"The claw idea came when I was nearing completion of the bird. My brother, Kyle, told me I should call it 'Skill Crane,' given that it's a bird, and it made all the sense in the world to finish it out that way. I mean, talk about the world's worst prize, but when you see a claw...you go play that claw."

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