Posts Tagged ‘pop artist’

Artist of the moment….Japanese Artist Mr…a.k.a. Iwamoto Masakatu

Mr. is a contemporary artist born Iwamoto Masakatu in Cupa, Japan in the year 1969.  He is among the top “celebrity” Pop art painters of the culture. His works blend many ideas from manga to realism and he works in many mediums including acrylics, photography,  watercolor, video, and sculpture.  For his artistic education Mr. attended the Sokei Art School in Tokyo, Japan.

Whilst still a student he was able to meet the current leader of the Pop Art movement in Japan at the time, Takashi Murakami. Murakami served as a great mentor.

The information contained in his art comes from a variety of sources including manga, science fiction, and even video games.

Masakatu went to work for Murakami and joined his staff.

Mr. currently lives and works out of Saitama, Tokyo.

price range information: Sorry none available.

Has been part of many exhibitions around the globe including Paris,  London, New York City, Tokyo, Chicago, and Miami.

In the coming posts we will look further at the artist collective formed by Takashi Murakami, KaiKai Kiki Company Ltd. Many street artists groups such as Faille based out of New York City have formed collaborative efforts to get increased exposure and with some luck more opportunity.  Here is a link to the website of KaiKai Kiki:

In this clip we visit a show for Mr. given in New York City:


Artist of the moment….photographer Wang Qingsong

In the gallery you may notice some works that resemble sculptures. These are photographs that make a social commentary by describing historic past events. This clip takes a further look at the subject.

Wang Qinsong is a world renown photographer born in Heilongjiang Province, China in the year 1966. Qinsong’s photography work deals with finding the humorous side in modern Chinese consumer culture.  Qingsong is a great example of a Pop Artist photographer. In addition to photography Qinsongs enjoys working with video and exploring performance art and working with collage.

In the series with the artist as a naked model he makes a statement about the Chinese consumer culture by grasping an object from the heavy consumer culture of the U.S. from Marlboro cigarettes to a cell phone.

Below we see the much acclaimed video work by Wang Qinsong that includes him getting hit  by fists. Its meant to show how we overcome obstacles in our lives but sometimes take a beating in trying to do so.

As a painter the first movement he joined was the Gaudy movement. For many works of the time period Qinsong was painting on velvet.

For his artistic education Qinsong attended the Sichuan Academy of Fine Arts.

At first he was a painter and then came to work with digital photography and also oil paints.

An example of his thoughts on consumerism in China and the West’s influence was an image with the artist out front of many world recognized American brands such as Citibank and Starbucks shouting with a megaphone.

Included in shows at the Shanghai Art Museum and the International Center for Photography in New York City.

Wang Qinsong is based out of Beijing, China. Below an image of the artist.


Another great idea from Qingsong is to recreate famous paintings and make photographs from them. An example would be Manet’s work Dejeuner Sur L’Herbe. A photograph was made using Asian people to play the roles depicted in the painting.

Current record holder of a high price for a photographer in China is $864,000 for a work titled Follow Me. This work has a teacher in front of a chalkboard with english and chinese brand names.


Artist of the moment…..Wang Guangyi

A trip to the artist’s studio.

Wang Giangyi is a Chinese and French painter born in 1957. Guangyi is renown for mixing eastern symbols like a chinese soldier alongside a highly recognizeable logo like coca cola or chanel 5.
For his collegiate studies he attended Zhejiang Academy of Art. He had a dream of going to college, but it was delayed and he went to work in state sponsored railway system.

The symbols he uses to represent China are those used by the Communist party and seen in mainstream society back in the 1970s.
Price range information: A work of Mao by the artist broke the 4 million dollar barrier at auction in 2007.
Avoids the media and is quite reclusive. Lithographs range $10,000 to $25,000.
He grew up poor and is now one of China’s wealthiest artists. An interesting change in China right now is at least questioning the authorities and not getting locked up. The negative reader would respond by mentioning Ai WeiWei. Artists like Guangyi have been accepted by the ruling class and now incredible wealth and social status.

Based out of Beijing, China.

Artist of the moment…..Jann Haworth….

Jann Haworth is an American  artist born in Hollywood, California in the year 1942. Her whose most famous work was done more than 40 years ago!  Jann Haworth is renown for  helping to design the cover  of the very popular Beatles record, Sargent Pepper. She worked on the project with her husband Peter Blake.

Much more than a painter, the artist is also renown for her work with what is titled soft sculpture. In this clip we hear from the artist about her parents who were both very creative professionals. Her mother was a ceramist and her father worked in Hollywood as a production designer. As a youngster her father would love to take her to the various theater sets and designs. She also talks about her studies abroad and what she learned from them.

A great feature on the artist and her Sargeant Pepper cover, a remake of the artist. The first one featured only 1 african american and 13 women! Times have changed! I love public art like this!

For her collegiate studies Haworth attended the University of California at Los Angeles. She also attended the Courtauld Institute in London where she studied art history. Haworth also attended the Slade School of Art in London, England.

She learned to sew from her mother and has been making dolls, doll clothes, and even clothes for her person since the age of eight years old !

First exhibition in 1966 in the States. First exhibition in London was in 1972.

Price range information: The only price I could find was for the collaboration with Peter Blake and herself for the cover. The original has sold for the low six figures. Many dolls range $12,000 to $20,000.

If you enjoy soft sculpture be sure and check out my article on Claes Oldenburg, who works with soft sculpture but uses food for his main subject. An example of Oldenburg is below.




Another very interesting couple working with dolls was the family of Calvin and Ruby Black. The couple made very large dolls and opened up a small amusement park in California. For more just search my previous posts for the couple. Most works were carved in wood.





Artist of the moment …..Robert Dowd

Robert Dowd was another fantastic artist that painted works of art using currency as a subject. Dowd was born in Detroit, Michigan in the year 1936. He sometimes used O’Dowd for a last name.
He joined the marines and after getting discharged Dowd attended the Society of Arts and Crafts/ Center for creative studies which was located in Detroit. Whilst at the center het studied with an artist deeply associated with Detroit, Sarkis Sarkisian. Sarkisian emigrated with his family at the age thirteen from Turkey. He was always gracious about the opportunities Detroit gave him. Below is an image showing Sarkisian’s style.
Dowd is associated with the Pop art movement and first jumped onto the national scene for some paintings of every day objects such as postage stamps. Dowd decided to head west to California to further his career. Dowd moved to Los Angeles and was invited to exhibit at the Pasadena Art Museum in 1962. The show featured many well known artists such as Warhol, Jim Dine, and Lichtenstein.
In the 60’s any anti goverment or anti-establishment was frowned upon and painting currency,even the ones that were just done to make a political or humorous statement, and Dowd caught the attention of the F.B.I. The agents went to his studio, confisscated his art, and then told collectors they would be next! If he continued to paint money he would be arrested.
Dowd started to concentrate on painting ordinary postage stamps. Like the money he painted the stamps
were extremely larger than in real life. One fact to remember is that he had just finished a stamp painting of President John Kennedy the day the president wad killed.
Los Angeles would have some bad events that led to Dowd relocating to SoHo and New York. Dowd painted murals for large companies and window scenes for offices that didn’t have any. New York gave Dowd many chances to nuture his professional career.

When he first moved to Los Angeles he met a lady artist that was well known in art circles for her bold and geometric paintings, her name was Mara Devereux. The two would go on to marry but had no children. She hasn’t remarried since Dowd passed away in 1996. Below is an example of Devereux’s style of painting. She also became known for some sculpture like work that was based on a five sided box. Here is a link to a gallery featuring the art of Mara Devereux:



Price range info: Sorry, none available.

Like many other artists he had no health insurance. He developed kidney problems and didn’t seek out financial help as he was too proud for that. His complications grew worse and he passed away in 1996.

More money, currency, and postage stamp painters to come!


Artist of the moment…….Eric Daigh….the push pin artist

Eric Daigh was born in Orange, California in the year 1977. The artist gained national acclaim when he won a the ArtPrize for one of his push pin portraits. He is the essential modern artist making use of all of the technologies such in his process as he uses photographs as a basis for his work. He then uses computer software to help aid him in color placement. He uses a very simple palette, think of a computer printer, he uses only black, white, red, yellow, and blue.

He is now based out of Michigan. For his collegiate studies he attended the great University of Montana at Missoula! The best small town city in America! I am biased as I lived there for 4 years but what an artistic community!

The artist is well known for what he uses to depict people, push pins! In some cases he has used more than 100,000 push pins in some of his works.

A clip from when he appeared on Sunday morning talk show on CBS.

A clip featuring the artists work at Northwestern Michigan College.

I consider Eric Daigh to be a pop artist for the fact that pop art was about looking at simple things, lets say a fire hydrant, with new eyes. This is a clip showing the largest ever mosaic made using push pins. The subject is an ordinary door handle that is made spectacular using Daigh’s push pin method. The work used more than 109,000 push pins. This work was done to fulfill a commission request from Acura motors.

I love to talk about art and business coming together. Make sure and check out some commissioned cars that were painted by famous artists like Warhol, Frank Stella, and Roy Lichtenstein. The cars began in 1975 with a design from Alexander Calder. This clip goes from the beginning until 2010. What a novel idea and I give kudos to BMW for their unique concept:

Mediums used: In addition to push pins Daigh has made his work out of duct tape and acrylic paint. This method of filling in the grid is reminds me of the great Chuck Close. Close started out in the 70s by using the airbrush to make very tight and hyper realistic works. He then found a method using paper pop which made the face into a grid of abstraction. An example of Close’s style done with a child is below.


I so enjoy looking at the way this artist sees the world. His process is very interesting and I hope one day to view his art in person. His works are done on board and it would be interesting to see the colors on the pin sort of float above the surface.

A link to the artist’s own website:

Get out there and paint!


Artist of the moment……Elizabeth Peyton….


Price range information: Peyton is very prolific as an artist and has conquered many mediums. Oils range up to $615,000.  Watercolors range from $30,000  to $130,000. Lithographs range from $2,000 to $8,000.

A great clip of the artist’s work is below.

Elizabeth Peyton was born in 1965 in the city of Danbury, Connecticut.

For her collegiate education Peyton attended the School of Visual Arts located in New York city.

Peyton’s work has a modern Pop feel to it. Similar to Warhol and other pop artists Peyton uses images that we are all familiar with at some level. A beautiful man or women in a pose from a fashion magazine. Sometimes the artist paints celebrities as well.

Her big breakthrough in the art world came with a show given in 1993. It was held at the Chelsea Hotel in New York city and featured figurative works from the 1800s. In 1995 she did some very impressive works featuring the ex-Coldplay band leader Kurt Cobain.

Currently lives and works out of New York and also Berlin, Germany.

For a period of time she was married to a fellow artist named Rirkrit Tiravanija. This artist is very modern and his recurring theme has to do with getting people together. For some gallery shows he didn’t actually have works, but rather cooked Thai foods for the gallery visitors.


In some works he makes large maps of his travels and then includes pages from his passport. I found him to be similar to Andy Warhol in his manner of gathering large groups of people, this was the idea behind Warhol’s Silver Factory, and then documenting them.

Here is an example of Tiravanija’s style of art using his passport and his travels. The couple divorced in 2004.




I try to profile many different styles of art here but its tough to get the total feel of an installation work via computer. In this clip we Tiravanija bringing people together at a wonderful art event I hope to attend someday, Art Basel.



Peyton’s work reminds me of fashion illustration layouts. She was chosen to produce prints for Parkett art magazine, and then took up printmaking as a full time artistic endeavor. I enjoy the freshness and sometimes dripping effect she has on her portraits. The fact that she uses many small glazes of oil paint gives her work a plein air quality that reminds me of master Richard Schmid.

Here is a great example of the Peyton’s  use of photographs with this painting of J.F.K. and his mother.





And we have this very unique painting of a very young Prince William.




In this clip we visit a gallery show with our beloved artistic friend James Kalm checking out the art of Elizabeth Peyton.




If I had to compare her work to another contemporary artist it would be the artist and actress Delia Brown. Brown has appeared on nationally syndicated soap operas and has built a name in the art world for her paintings which portray her and her friends living the good life in mansions and other well to do hangouts. Below is a wonderful example of Delia Brown’s style of art. You can her use of glamour and celebrity is very similar to the way Peyton uses it.


Artist of the moment…Patrick Caulfield….

Patrick Caulfield was born in London, England  in 1936. His father was employed by a major aircraft producer and the family moved to another English city called Bolton. Caulfield starting work for a salary at an early age and worked designing food displays as a sixteen year old.

At the age of seventeen Caulfield joined the Royal Air Force.

He found inspiration in the French artist Henri de Toulouse -Lautrec and the movie Moulin Rouge from 1952. The artist for the first time signed for evening drawing classes at the Harrow School of Art.

Other well known artists he met in college were Allen Jones and David Hockney.

When I look at the artist I am reminded of such masters as Juan Gris. Gris was a Spanish painter who experimented in many styles and was reknown for his Cubist style paintings. Below is an example of Juan Gris style of painting concentrating on the flat shape of the object, but also adding in fun varieties of texture such as wood and other fun patterns that you would expect see in a collage.  The item that is most important to me of Gris’s style is that even still objects are life and vitality. A boring pot on a table becomes a wonderful piece of eye candy filled with many different texturs and patterns to feast their eyes upon.


Caulfield,s style of painting takes me back to the sixties when people first started looking at ordinary objects as art. Be they a fire hydrant, a can of soup, or a box of brillo pads objects started to be seen more as artifacts of the time we inhabit now. Time capsules if you will. I hope that we start to see some twinkie and hostess paintings soon as they too will change.

In this clip we take a art critics view of a work about the inside of a cave.

Below is a great clip showing the artist’s work with the artist’s second known print titled “Still Life in Red and White.”

Patrick Caulfield attended the Chelsea School of Art in London. He also attended the Royal College of Art also located in London. Caulfield also served as part of the teaching faculty at the Chelsea School of Art for eight years from 1963 until 1971.

Has received many notable commissions over the years including painting the London Life mural for the London Life Associations new headquarters in Bristol. Also designed the stained glass windows in the Ivy restaurant located in London.

Also chosen to do design theater sets and costumes for the Michael Corder’s ballet “Party Game”  for the Royal Ballet. Also designed the sets and costumes for another theatrical production titled ” Rhapsody.”

Price range information: Screenprints are available from fie hundred to five thousand dollars. Works painted in acrylics can range from $50,00   to $827,000.  Occasionally an oil painting is found and they usually start at six figures.

The artist admired the photorealist movement and incorporated some of their methods into his artwork.

Caulfield passed away in 2005. He was 69 years old.

I enjoy this artist’s still life paintings the most. Another artist that comes to mind now that I look freshly at the artist’s work is Matthew Brannon. Brannon enjoys working with the shapes of objects, not trying to depict three dimensions but rather celebrating the vignette of the object. Below is a great example of Matthew Brannon’s artwork.


Try a still life and concentrate only on shape and color. Don’t try to render any objects in three dimensions! Good luck, you can do it!


Artist of the moment….Evelyne Axell…

The artist was born in Namur, Belgium in the year 1935.  She was born Evlyne Devaux.  She was known as one of few female pop artists. Her main subject was feminism and empowerment of women. She also worked with the female figure. If you like her work she reminds me of Tom Wesselman. The most interesting part about her technique was her choice of surface materials. She often used plexiglass as the surface.


Here is a great selection of works by Evelyne Axell.

Her family was upper middle class, her father was a dealer in silverware. At the age of two, she was chosen the most beautiful baby in her hometown of Namur. She would later become an actress. Her family home was destroyed as a result of World War II.

She finished high school and went to Namur School of Art, taking lessons in pottery and then switching to acting and the theater. In 1956, she married a well known Belgian film maker who specialized in shooting art documentaries.

At her husbands encouragement, she changed her acting name to Evelyne Axell and became taking small roles. In 1959, Axell relocated to France to pursue a more serious acting career. She would move back to Belgium and star in several movies including three that were made by her husband.

In 1964 Evelyne Axell gave up acting to start a new career as a painter. She enjoyed the Surrealist movement and chose Renee Magritte to be her teacher. Magritte was a friend of her husbands. Axell visited Magritte two times per month, and he helped her improve her technique and process of painting. Her husband was making many art documentaries and she went alongside him and thru his movies met such artists as Allen Jones, Peter Phillips, Pauline Boty, and Peter Blake.

First solo exhibition was in 1967. Later that year she abondoned the use of canvas and started using plexiglass and auto enamel. She perfected her technique and she worked in this style until her untimely death in 1972.

1969 brought the artist an award calling her the best young painter in Belgium. After this she increasingly made her paintings full of more sexuality, sometimes painting herself naked in some portraits.

This artist is often forgotten when it comes to Pop Art and more importantly women in Pop Art. Though she died young, she still had a prolific work output.

Price range: Not much info available here, oil painting record is $22,000.