4bstract is the creative hub of visual artist Bruce Mortimer's work.


This work is diverse, underpinned by a lifelong love of photography but having evolved into the fine art works for which he is now best known.  His creativity does not stop at all things visual, however, and his capacity for design and conceptual and practical development is best illustrated in the section of this site detailing his 4bstract/MYTHOGENY anamorphic lenses.

4bstract / Bruce Mortimer is best known as an award-winning pencil photorealist using charcoal and graphite and creating artworks of true value in their uniqueness and exquisite technique...


The brain behind 4BSTRACT, a so-called 'third culture kid', Bruce Mortimer was born in England and was raised in Holland and South Africa, and calls New Zealand home.  Maybe this staggered stability triggered his love of adventure, or maybe he just bores easily.  Still, when adventure combines with persistence and dedication, the creative process is hard to derail, and in Bruce's case has produced a body of professional work in distinct periods, styles and series since 1995, having turned his back on a career in Earth Science, choosing instead to understand his relationship with the landscape that surrounds him in a visual and conceptual way. 


Underpinned by a long love of fine art photography, his contemporary contributions are either far more expressive than that history might imply, or alternatively engage the viewer in a surprise encounter during which they discover the true nature of artworks that they imagined were photographs.  In terms of the latter, that is, in essence, the point of photorealism.  To challenge what was is initially thought to be, and more selfishly to provide the artist with an outlet for his mastery of tone and texture with graphite and charcoal.

Beyond his photorealism, those mediums give way to a much greater release of boundaries, in which he loosely uses various paints, found objects and industrial materials to build artistic statements that command attention often in a paradoxically subtle way.


The collection presented here reflects this duality, the refusal to command but one single style, and the preparedness to risk confusing an audience ever more intrigued by what appears to be a consistent inconsistency of styles and mediums.  This possible confusion is mitigated, however, in Bruce's innate feel for where his work is destined to hang, in modern, clean, contemporary spaces valued by their occupiers for their level of sophistication and Zen-like appeal.  And therein lies the common thread that links his various series.  His diversity has, when you take out the obvious differences, a thoroughly authentic continuity.



I have a fascination with 1990's four wheel drive vehicles.  I use them as daily drivers, delivery vans and adventure vehicles for 4BSTRACT.  I am not a recreational 4x4 enthusiast, my need for all four wheels being driven is so that I can get myself out if I get stuck somewhere while exploring off the beaten track.  That said, I currently own a '93 80 series Landcruiser which, having 3 diff locks, would make most recreational trails look like sealed roads.  I love their look, and I love working on them and modifying them, the latter being something much more suited to 4wd vehicles than to most normal cars.  My most recent 4x4 purchase is a very rare 1999 Isuzu VehiCROSS, an homologated Paris Dakar vehicle.  Of the 1805 handmade for the Japanese market, the last 175 of them received the red and black Recaro interior (and some other aesthetic touches) destined for the left-hand-drive American production vehicles, of which 4153 were sold in North America.  Of those 175 right-hand-drive limited editions, only one has made it to New Zealand, and that's mine (there are 44 others registered in NZ, all either 1997 or 1998 models with conventional cloth seats). Mine is one of only seven VehiCROSS worldwide painted in Lava Grey Metallic.