There’s a reason I paint celebrities and entertainers like The Beatles, Johnny Depp and Steven Tyler, as well as flags, hearts and images like that. Simply put, it’s because I’m interested, just like you, in popular culture and classical brands like flags and celebrities.
Pop art has been around since the 1950s. You remember Andy Warhol, right? He’s the New York artist who became famous for mass-producing paintings, prints and silkscreens of Campbell’s Soup cans and Marilyn Monroe, Jackie Kennedy and even Chairman Mao. Another New York artist, Jasper Johns, painted American flags. Robert Indiana painted the word love in all capital letters. Jim Dine painted a series of hearts. Robert Rauschenberg incorporated images of JFK into many of his prints. And today, photographer Chuck Close creates hyper-real images of celebrities like Brad Pitt and Cindy Sherman, blemishes and all.
Each of these artists used their own unique style and media to create pop art images, and so do I. But for me, it’s more about the emotions I feel when I think about and paint these popular images. That’s because I’m not merely reproducing or mass producing images on a piece of cardboard, canvas or a wooden door. Each celebrity, each flag, each of my heart paintings or Love Letters uniquely expresses my personal and internalized feelings about the subject I convey. Sometimes the emotion I’m expressing is nostalgia, as is true of the Beatles series. At other times, it’s love of country and the patriotism that courses through my veins, as is evident in my series of American flags. On other occasions it may be love or sympathy for people who are battling cancer. And I express these emotions or moods by means of the brushstrokes or handstrokes I use and the color palette I choose.