Archive for June 22, 2012

Artists working with the face and figure….Mural artist Art Mortimer…


I enjoy mural artists and after honing their painting skills a large number move on to just being professional studio artists. This artist has painted more than 100 murals, mainly using acrylics, over the entire United States.

The artist was born in Long Beach, California.

Crescent City, California  is featured in this short clip. The artist loves to paint murals for the fact that it represents an old quality of life, a life that has disappeared in much of modern America. Gone are the malls that employed many locals. They have been replaced by companies that offer many advantages to the consumer. Lets take Best Buy and for example.  I can go to best buy and look at any product I want to buy and check it out, touching it and trying various applications . I can then go home and make the purchase online and most of the time get free shipping, a warranty, and don’t have to pay sales tax in most cases. The artist is a throw back to an era when the U.S. was growing at a 4 to 5% annual rate.

Crescent City, California had a tsunami nearly fifty years ago.  Art Mortimer has done several mural projects where he and local artists work on  a project and try to finish it within a weekend. Its great to see how art can help revive and save a community. I hope you take the time to check out the entire clip!

His first mural was in 1971 on the side of a house he was living in. Also that year he worked with film maker Terry Gilliam in producing a series of animated cartoons for the viewing public. In 1988 he gave up his commercial art career to concentrate on plein air painting and painting his very large commissioned works. Some are as large as twelve feet by seventy feet.

The artist is adept at making compositions with several people. His work reminds me of the masters of yesteryear like Giotto.

The artist paints in acrylics but seals his work with many protective layers to keep it safe from wind and water.

The artist also paints wonderful landscapes that show the exciting coast line of the West.  The artist has a fantastic work ethic. He considers his work to be part of the community. In many locations his works are located in run down parts of town and he wants to bring them back to life. In many paintings he spends two to three months doing plein air sketches and researching the people of the towns making his work historically accurate.

I hope this artist inspires you to at least try designing a mural. If you enjoy this artist please check out Michelle Torrez and John Pugh. Torrez now works only in oils doing fine arts. Pugh paints in a “trompe” or fool the eye motif.

Happy painting!


Artists working with the face and figure…. Paris artist the Invader…


Sorry I haven’t been writing daily, been working a lot but I am anxious to make my 500th post! So look for a couple essay’s tomorrow!

This artist is from Paris, France and was born in 1969. He is known in Europe mainly, but also the United States, for his artwork concerning pixelated images of celebrities as well as video game images from the first home video games that were available in the 1970s and 1980s. Games for the first Atari console such as Pole Position or the 1978 video game for which the artist is named ” Space Invaders.”

A brief clip showing the artist and his work invading the Hollywood sign in California. Its very interesting to see in person what happens in a short period of time. The artist appears and starts destructing the area.  Someone off camera tells the artist to leave or the cops will be called.  Back and forth and then the artist leaves. Around 80% of the artist’s street art lives on. A very high amount compared to another street artist such as Swoon whose wheatpaste images disappear due to elements of nature.  The tiles are difficult to ruin and resistant to the water and winds of mother nature.  The “Hollywood” sign had only one character on the “D” placed  on December 31 of 1999. It took many trips to install all of the characters.

The artist in a short interview explaining his pixelated style and an exhibition.

The artist mainly works with ceramic tile or rubix cubes and glues them to panel. He also paints, works with glass, and forms sculptures.

low price range: $500 for original works

high price range: $25,000 for original works.

On line and land based galleries:  Lazarides Gallery in London, United Kingdom

The artist installed his first work in this style in 1990.  The artist takes a long time to decide on the location of his work, most are located above the ground from 10 to 15 feet off the ground. He builds half the work before he arrives and takes one week to install most of them.

The artist doing works and a show in Lazarides Gallery in London.

I enjoy this artist for the sense of nostalgia he brings to his work. I am transported instantly to video games such as Pitfall, Pole Position, and Space Invaders. Even more fascinating is that the works exist and for the most part live on public land or statues and for the most part remain untouched. His works with the figure leave a great deal to the viewers imagination as you only see the pixelated image. Having never seen fine art done with rubic’s cube, this artist is just beginning to blossom.

Happy painting!