Artists

ALEX PAUKER 1974

Alex was born in Russia in 1974 under a Communist regime. He attended Yekaterinburg College of Art, honing his natural talent for painting. Yekaterinburg is at the beginning of the Tran-Siberian Railroad in St. Petersberg and is famous for its scenic reputation. This scenery was hugely inspiration in the development of Pauker’s visual style.

Once he had graduated from art school, he realized he needed further inspiration, travelling the world. He brought along his wife, Sveta Esser, and they experienced the joys of Europe together. Europe was so inspirational to Pauker that he decided to earn a second degree in the Fine Arts – this time as a foreign exchange student. He continued taking classes while working at a publishing house, eventually awarded the International Leningrad Art Contest.

As he further developed his style, Pauker began painting with both a palette knife and a brush, using the technique of impasto. Their built-up texture gave added depth and dimension to his canvases, capturing the essence of his landscapes. Pauker paints with saturated colors that are bold and contemporary. He often paints en-plein-aire, recreating the light and colors of the seasons. He also studies the works of other artists and is heavily influenced by the Fauves and Post-impressionists.

He has exhibited as a solo artist at the Museum of Ramat Gan in Israel, the Cultural Center of Natanya, the Gesher Gallery of Tel Aviv, and the Smart Gallery at Hilton, Tel Aviv.

He now resides in Haifa, Israel where he maintains a studio while continuing to travel extensively with his wife and two children.

ANATOLE KRASNYANSKY 1930

Anatole Krasnyansky, now residing in California, was already a prominent architect and watercolorist when he left the U.S.S.R. for the United States in 1975, where he found fertile ground for his aesthetic growth. His traditional cityscapes, much admired in Europe, have grown richer, freer and more expressive. In recent years, he has evolved a second, wholly new style with which to render the experience and ideas of his new life in the United States.

With a Master’s Degree in Architecture and Fine Art, he is well-versed in every aspect of the structure and design of the buildings he depicts. Since his arrival in the U.S., the artist has found important uses for his knowledge of architecture, design and his creative imagination. He has realized his tremendous potential and achieved virtuosity in several different artist arenas. Working as a scenic artist in television, motion pictures, and the theater, he has designed sets calling for his specialized background. Always a lover of the baroque, he incorporated the strength and fluid grace of that style into his figural compositions, capturing the sense of motion with which a building makes a line flow from one area to another.

Krasnyansky’s awareness of the interdependence of architecture, sculpture, painting and applied art, along with his knowledge of these diverse disciplines, have shaped his career and found expression in his artwork. Through experimentation, he has developed his own artistic method, one that has freed him from the constraints of traditional watercolor techniques. Krasnyansky’s innovative inclusion of paper texture into the creative process is a dynamic component of his art, resulting in an expansion of the medium’s potential. He is one of the first artists to elevate the watercolor medium to the expressive possibilities usually associated with oil painting. Bordering on the surreal, Krasnyansky’s figures never depart from the recognizable. Altogether new in form, they contain echoes of the artist’s Eastern heritage. Humane and lyrical, they combine the tangible with a timeless and universal spirituality.

Major Exhibitions

  • Dalzell Hatfield Galleries “International Watercolor Masters” featuring Camille Pissaro, Leonel Feininger, Marc Chagall, Diego Rivera, Reuben Rubin, Anatole Krasnyansky, Alfredo Ramos Martinez, and Francois Gilot
  • Stanford University, Palo Alto, California
  • Los Gatos Museum, Los Gatos, California
  • UCLA, Los Angeles, California
  • Park West Gallery®, Southfield, MI
  • Solo exhibitions in New York, Boston, New Orleans, Atlantic City, San Francisco, Beverly Hills, San Diego and Tokyo

Television and Motion Pictures

1975 – 76 | Scenic Artist at ABC and CBS Television Studios | Credits include:

  • General Hospital
  • Variety Specials for Frank Sinatra
  • John Denver
  • Bette Davis
  • George Burns
  • Olivia Newton-John
  • Academy Awards Shows, 1976 – 1977

1977 – 1981 | Set designer at Universal Studios | Credits include:

  • Coal Miner’s Daughter
  • Beatles Forever
  • The Blues Brothers
  • The Bastard
  • Prisoner of Zenda
  • The Archer
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • Condominium
  • Airport ’79
  • Gilligan’s Island

1981 | Stage Art Director at Odyssey Theatre, West Los Angeles | Credits include productions of:

  • “Mandrake”
  • “Machiavelli”
  • Work by L. Dimont
  • Work by K. Maurer
  • Work by Ron Sossi

ANATOLY METLAN 1964

Anatoly Metlan was born in 1964 in Yalta, a city in the southern Ukraine on the northern coast of the Black Sea. Metlan’s interest in art developed at a young age, the child of two parents who both experimented in art themselves. He pursued a formal education to hone his skills, graduating from the local high school of the arts in 1985 and going on to study at the Krivoi Rog University in Ukraine.

Metlan began exhibiting his work while in college and he soon began gaining notoriety among the area art community, accepted to the Artists Guild of the Ukraine in 1989. After the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991, Metlan and his family immigrated to Israel where they continue to live. Metlan enjoys traveling during the summer to Italy and France, capturing the warmth, light, and bold, vibrant color in the seascapes and villages of their coastal regions.

Metlan’s work has been exhibited around the world, including France, Israel, and throughout the United States. He has participated in Art Expos in New York (1999), Los Angeles (2000) and San Francisco (2000). His work is eagerly collected by art lovers worldwide.

Group and solo exhibitions:

1998 – Dan Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
1999 – Claude Hamon Gallery, Paris, France
2000 – ABC Atlanta Fair, Atlanta, USA
2000 – Art Expo, Los Angeles, CA, USA
2002 – Park West Gallery, Southfield, MI, USA
2005 – Estampa Art Show, Madrid, Spain
2007 – Safrai Gallery Show, Madrid, Spain
2008 – Art Expo, New York, USA
2009 – B.L.D. Fine Art, Teaneck, NJ, USA

ANDREW BONE 1957

Artist and conservationist Andrew Bone captures the wildlife and landscapes of his native Africa through his exciting, photo-realistic artwork. Bone was born in Harare, Zimbabwe in 1957. It was during his studies at Falcon College – a bush school for boys aged 12-18 in Zimbabwe (then Southern Rhodesia) – that his deep love and respect for African wildlife began.

After graduation, Bone completed a mandatory assignment in the National Service, fighting in the Rhodesian war. It was during his service that he was first introduced to Zimbabwe’s Zambezi Valley, which would become an integral part of his life. The valley is home to many species of animals, including lions, elephants, hippopotami, impalas, zebras, and buffalo. When a friend established a canoeing company in the valley, Bone became a guide, helping visitors explore and experience all that the valley had to offer. During his time here he studied and photographed his surroundings endlessly.

Upon marrying his sweetheart and fellow nature-lover, Kelly, in 1986, Bone relocated to the Imire Game Ranch – also in Zimbabwe. It was here that Bone began to paint, completely self-taught, using the creatures that surrounded him as inspiration. His work became popular with local art galleries, and he soon became an artist full-time, dedicating his free time to wildlife conservation and fundraising.

Bone, his wife and three daughters live in a forest in the mountains of southern Africa. His studio is the hub of the house, filled with parts for his Land Rover and lawn mower, jaw bones from animals, hyena skulls, and dog collars. His workshop is very organized with everything at his disposal, which may come to his detriment, becoming the supply closet of his home. Although everyone seems to congregate in his studio, it still remains his refuge. Bone explains that his life in Africa is very full and always busy.

As a conservationist first and an artist second, Bone prefers to spend all of his time in the bush. The relationship between the two careers is a happy one. Bone explains that he cannot have one without the other, and he’s very pleased the way it’s worked out. To him, painting is a way to spread his message of conservation and introduce people all over the world to the species of Africa.

He also uses his art as a fundraising tool, establishing the Forever Wild Foundation, where 100% of funds raised go directly to the wildlife. Missions like, dealing with P.A.C. (problem animal control) and the general conservation of the species of Africa are important to Bone. His efforts are intensely focused on conservation, his photo-realistic style is a wonderful means to an end. Bone’s technique begins with his camera. Packing his Land Rover for the day, he goes into the wild, photographing everything – an entire spectrum of flora and fauna. He claims that he’s as excited to study a dung beetle as he is a charging herd of elephants. Each species relies upon the next and this gives him inspiration. Once Bone is back in his studio, he begins with one photograph but finds his inspiration on the easel. He does not copy a photo precisely but maintains the acute anatomy of each species. Each animal is exactly as it would be in the wild.

While Bone occasionally runs into some trouble outdoors, he wouldn’t have it any other way. He’s had to dissect giraffes and shoot animals when they were injured or overpopulated. He’s woken up to lions breathing over him, been chased up a tree by a buffalo, and tipped out of a canoe by a hippopotamus. “It’s an interesting life,” he says. Although he’s seen many good friends killed in the bush, he claims he’d rather become “hyena bait” than spend his last days in a wheelchair. “Don’t paint it unless you’ve studied it, been chased by it, or done something to save it,” he says.

There are no shortcuts in his paintings. Each can take between three and four weeks to complete, and he loves working. Never able to sit still, Bone feels like it’s therapeutic to portray a subject he loves so much. But more importantly, when his clients enjoy his art, his mission is successful. So many of his clients had never dreamed of collecting wildlife art and now they have dedicated safari rooms.

As a general rule, Bone will only paint the species of Africa. He’ll be requested to paint wolves or black bears – American wildlife animals – but will decline. He says that there are many great American wildlife artists and he wouldn’t attempt to paint something he hasn’t studied before. “You must paint what you know,” he says, “and if you don’t know it, don’t paint it.” He calls himself a “control freak” and enjoys making all of his decisions from where he’s going to travel to which photos he takes and which subjects he ultimately paints. Then it goes straight to the gallery, ultimately ending up in the client’s hand, who Bone will be able to meet. “Park West’s clients are very large and diverse,” he says, and this variety in tastes and experiences, to Bone, is the perfect way to introduce his ideas in conservation.

His work is collected by art and animal lovers around the world. The book by the artist, “Brush Strokes of Africa,” includes heartwarming and amusing anecdotes from his journey through life, along with numerous reproductions of his oil paintings and sketches.

BERNARD LOUÉDIN 1938

French painter, sculptor, illustrator and printmaker, Bernard Louédin was born in 1938 in the city of Rennes, in the northwestern part of France. He began his artistic studies at a very early age with noted painter, Pierre Gilles Xavier de Langlais, and he later studied with Roger Chapelain-Midy. By 1963, he began exhibiting extensively in France, Belgium and Germany, and has continued to exhibit throughout Europe, Japan and North America. By 2002, his works had been mounted in 75 worldwide exhibitions.

His works have been featured in more than a dozen books about art and artists. Nine monographs have been published on his work alone, including the hardcover book, Louédin; Phillippe le Guillou; la Biblioteque de Arts, Paris, 2002. Two films have been created featuring his art and life, and numerous articles have been written about his imagery and techniques. His work is included in important public and private collections including the City of Lannion, France, the Nantes Museum, The Hermitage Foundation, Lausanne, Switzerland and the Chateau de Vascoeuil, France.

Louédin’s wife, Dominique de Serres is also a renowned fiber artist, and interprets his works and the imagery of other artists, as well as her own imagery, into highly sought-after limited edition tapestries.

Louédin’s imagery, although dream-like, poetic and unique in conception, draws from influences as diverse as classical Greco-Roman art, Flemish and Northern Renaissance, to 20th century artists such as Yves Tanguy, Joseph Cornell and Giorgio Morandi. Excelling in painting, drawing and sculpture, Louedin is also considered a master engraver, having created more than 300 intaglio editions since 1972.

CHARLES LEE 1948

Korean born Charles Lee is a diverse, multi-talented artist with the capability of creating many different types of art from pencil-drawn portraits to tranquil landscapes and arresting abstracts. His most recent works are low-relief and richly textured mixed media compositions.

In the execution of his designs Lee embraces oils, watercolors, and acrylics. He also has a penchant for painting with a bright, eye catching pallet (including gold foil) that demonstrates his keen sense of color. Yet in spite of such vibrant imagery he presents his subjects in a calm and reflective – almost ethereal – way.

Working on canvas and paper, Lee reveals a knowledge and fascination with Roman, Greek, and Egyptian architecture. He is also interested in exploring the dimensions of the female form, traditionally set against neo-classical backdrops such as palaces or mansions.

He also frequently uses columns – an element of his craftsmanship that recalls classical Greek and Roman history. “I want people to be there… to be inside of this period in time… inside those beautiful buildings,” he says.

Growing up in Seoul, Korea, Lee began showing an affinity for art at the young age of seven. In high school, he received his first official artistic honor – a gold medal in an international competition. He went on to graduate from a university where he majored in art and had his first personal show at the age of twenty three. Shortly after, in the 1970s, Lee exhibited in group shows in Hong Kong and Tokyo. He presented his second one man show at the Tae Yoon and Man Kang galleries in Seoul, as well, bringing wider acclaim. Subsequently, during the 1980s, while employed at the Gaius Art Studio, many of his works were exported to America. Lee arrived in the United States in the onset of the 1990s and worked with a Miami wholesaler of fine art.

Today, Lee shows his true talent and true versatility as an artist. His art reflects his uncompromisingly high standards. He now resides in Florida with his wife and two children.

CHRIS DERUBEIS 1978

Chris DeRubeis paints on metal, mixing pigments and chemicals and incorporating power tools and natural elements such as fire, water, and freezing techniques. He calls his art “Abstract Sensualism®,” in reference to the organic nature of his paintings. DeRubeis believes his work can alter the way people perceive contemporary art.

Born in 1978, DeRubeis showed an early proclivity for drawing, which was quickly recognized by his family. At age 13, DeRubeis’ grandfather gave him his first airbrush, and after watching him use it, proclaimed he would be the artist his grandfather had always dreamed of becoming.

School was viewed as a chore for DeRubeis. He drew during math tests, rather than solving equations; he preferred sketching landscapes on blank sheets where teachers expected essays. Teachers scolded him for not concentrating on his studies and warned that he was on the wrong path; however, this criticism did not deter him from his goals.

At age 20, DeRubeis attended the Pasadena Art Center and the Associates in Art school in Sherman Oaks, California. To pay for his education, he painted custom Harleys and started a successful small business. His professors tried to convince him to choose a more commercial style of art but he was never satisfied painting in a traditional manner.

DeRubeis continued his quest, searching for something greater and undiscovered, until one day while grinding base paint off a Harley gas tank in his workshop, he discovered something remarkably unique: With each pass of the grinding pad a new area of metal was exposed to the light, unveiling extraordinary patterns which “danced” off the tank, as if coming to life.

DeRubeis began experimenting with different tools to manipulate the way light reacted with metallic surfaces, and introduced chemicals and pigments which created unique reactions. Regarding his artwork, DeRubeis states, “I favor metal because I can combine a form of sculpture as the foundation for my expression and have found a way to enhance my ability to communicate emotions more intently. All art should inspire and evoke emotion. Art should be something you can actually feel.”

The introduction of his unique style to the art world was met with uncertainty, as galleries had never seen or sold art like it before. But it did not take long before his innovative style and techniques were embraced, and galleries across the country began inquiring about his work.

In 2005, DeRubeis’ work was submitted and honored with two nominations by the First Annual Fine Art Awards, televised live from the MGM Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. Nominated in the “Mixed Media” and “New Movement” categories, he earned the MUSE Award in “New Movement.” DeRubeis, then only 27, dedicated his award to his grandfather who had passed away just months earlier.

His artwork has appeared on the DIY and HGTV networks. In 2009, he signed with famed art publisher David Smith. In March 2010, DeRubeis opened his own signature gallery in Key West, Florida. Now, DeRubeis’ artwork is exhibited in galleries throughout the world.

CRAIG TRACY 1967

Never one to be satisfied with conventional art, Craig Tracy has created mesmerizing images using human bodies as his canvases since 2001.

Tracy was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana. The city’s colorful and vibrant culture played an integral role in developing Tracy’s passion for art, including his family’s tradition of painting each other’s faces in celebration of Mardi Gras. His parents nurtured his individuality and creativity, with Tracy attributing their “Flower Power” and “Power to the People” mentalities as being responsible for how he views art and life.

Tracy received his first airbrush at the age of 15 from his parents, and one year later, at the age of 16, he took his first steps into the professional art world by working nights and weekends as an airbrush artist. The experience taught him how to paint detailed works on a myriad of surfaces. He would later hone his artistic abilities by attending and graduating from the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale in Florida.

Tracy worked as an illustrator at the age of 20, but creating industrial and commercial imagery didn’t energize him or interest him. He retired from illustrating six years later, freeing himself to explore what he loved, including painting on various surfaces. This led to painting on faces and bodies, which he found strangely motivating and powerful. His passion for art reignited, and after researching bodypainting further, Tracy realized he had found his calling and became a bodypainter.

His first series of bodypainting images, titled “The Nature Series,” was well received, leading him to travel to Europe to work with other bodypainters. He learned of the World Body Painting Festival held in Austria, and in 2005 Tracy and fellow artist and friend, Jeral Tidwell, received the festival’s first place prize. Tracy now attends the event every year.

The compositions of Tracy’s works are inspired by a specific body shape or pose combined with culture, nature and intellectual constructs. Artists who have been an inspiration to Tracy include Norman Rockwell, M.C. Escher, Boris Vallejo, Chuck Close, Robert Mapplethrope, H.R. Giger and Gottlieb Helnwein.

Tracy’s process unites a number of techniques, including traditional paintbrushing, airbrushing, finger-painting, sponging, splattering and dripping. The majority of his art is bodypainting captured through photography, and amazingly, it requires little in the way of digital and non-digital manipulation. Tracy typically spends a full day creating a bodypainting.

Some of the works incorporate a backdrop that Tracy creates by hand to complement or complete the desired image. Both the bodypainting and the backdrop are photographed at the same time, removing the need to splice them together. Tracy’s intention is to create images representing a single surreal moment captured in a real work of art, often causing the viewer to pause and question what is and isn’t living.

Tracy has had the honor of serving as a judge and “Bodypainting Guru” on the GSN TV series “Skin Wars” since it began airing in 2014. He has also judged the U.S. body painting competition Living Art America and helped organize the New York Body Painting day. Tracy married his wife, Ashley, in New Orleans in 2014, where they currently reside.

CSABA MARKUS 1953

1There are many other painters in the world, but the collectors of Csaba Markus will tell you that there is only one whose paintings can create such contrasts within such harmony and one who can express the Eternal Feminine in her many guises, both as mortal woman and as mythological goddess. There is one who does not paint merely to please the eye but to shake the soul of the viewer. There is only one and his name is Csaba Markus.

The gradual shaping of Markus’ artistic style and philosophy found its origins in Budapest, Hungary, where the artist was born in 1953. He spent the first half of his life enmeshed in the traditions and Old World ideologies of Europe and in his search for direction he discovered and thoroughly embraced the artists of the Renaissance. His mentors became the works of artists such as Michelangelo, Caravaggio, and Botticelli, and his goal echoed their own: to find the perfect way of expressing himself through his art.

Markus’ quest for artistic expression brought both frustration and inner tension as he yearned to discover the world and to open himself up to every possible experience. He began to travel and his wanderings and exposure to different cultures were a source of endless inspiration. He began to experiment with hundreds of different techniques and media such as glass, sculpture, ceramics, handmade papers, etchings, mono prints, and even animation, as his paintings reflected the universal influences of his travels. Even as he continuously challenged himself with new ideas and techniques, Markus was always drawn back to the ideals of the Renaissance period. This resulted in the creation of his own highly unique style, a contemporary fusion of Renaissance Europe and Classical Mythology.

His artistic development, however, was hindered by the rigorous controls of the Communist system in his native country. His desire for individuality and recognition clashed with the tenets of the Communism and he eventually realized that he could not flourish in such a restrictive environment. With the Old World ideals and Renaissance philosophies of his youth firmly in mind, Markus left Europe to travel the world and eventually established a fine art studio in California.

The studio was a realization of one of his lifelong dreams which was to design a fully creative environment that would allow him to challenge himself daily, plus someplace that would inspire exciting new ideas and innovations. With the creation of his studio he was also able to turn his incredible focus and determination to fulfilling yet another dream: to make the finest art prints, such as etchings, stone lithographs and serigraphs. It was not only a dream but also a reaction to the demand for his art from his world base of collectors. He could not fulfill the need to share his art strictly through originals as there could never be enough to satisfy the demand. He also would not compromise the quality of his editions. “I want to create editions that are unique and of the highest quality,” the artist has explained. “They should look as though I’d just finished painting it and put my paintbrush down five minutes before.”

Markus has described serigraphy as the “beautiful struggle,” illustrating the continuously evolving and intensely difficult process in which he works with many layers of colors, textures, and intricate details of the serigraph until he has finally fashioned the masterpiece of his vision. Each piece is extensively hand-embellished by Markus himself with dried pigments, ground glass, platinum, and 24 carat gold, in the tradition of European artisanship that Markus brings to all of his limited edition serigraphs. It is his desire for each and every piece to be a unique and individual objet d’art and his most recent creations have proved no exception. Like a symphony for the eyes, every design, detail, and hue has been finely tuned for the blending of an artistic masterpiece.

Markus is the innovator of Caldographs, an art form that combines his mastery of ancient techniques with modern technology. Watch this video to learn more about this amazing art on wood.

Markus’ distinctive style is like no other and for this reason he stands alone, incomparable to other artists. From him, one can expect the unexpected as he continues to surprise his collectors with new art forms and innovative ideas, exceeding his own incredibly high expectations. His painting, which has been shaped by the varied influences and experiences of his journey through life, has an undeniably universal appeal. He is one of the most widely collected contemporary artists across the world and his collectors wait eagerly to see what he will do next. His work is currently displayed in prestigious art galleries throughout the United States, England, France, Russia, and Japan, and his commissioned pieces hang in some of the most exclusive private collections in the United States.

DANIEL WALL 1965

Daniel Wall began drawing and painting at the age of 4. His first art teacher was his mother, a talented and diligent self-taught artist. Wall earned numerous art awards in his childhood and was accepted into a fine art academy when he reached his teens. He went on to study art in China, Italy, and the United States.

Wall’s artistic development was enhanced through his exposure to a variety of cultures and solidified through his extensive experience as an art instructor, illustrator, art editor, and fine art professor. He made a decision to become a professional artist after receiving his Master’s degree from Georgia Southern University. He has published hundreds of illustrations in journals and books, has exhibited widely, and won awards in China, Germany, Italy, Japan, Spain, and the United States.

Wall describes his work as “Intense Impressionism,” and as a means of extending the Impressionist approaches made famous in the 19th Century into the 21st century. He views his work as a reflection of contemporary times.

Influenced by the Impressionists, principally Monet, Pissarro, Sisley and Seurat, Wall has extended the concepts of the impressionists into a contemporary dialog. The idea of allowing the brush work to be fully evident, and even imbuing his pigment applications with an expressionist energy re-invigorates the impressionist style and has allowed Wall to find his own unique approach.

Initially developed in the 1980s, Wall’s bold imagery is characterized by large, forceful and conspicuous strokes created with palette knife using heavy textures and thick impasto. He employs vibrant colors and achieves striking lighting effects.

He also attaches specific symbols to certain elements in his art and describes light as a representation of hope; the open sky, as freedom; a road, as the path of life; water, as emotion, among other visual references, all pointing toward an optimistic and joyful view of life.

Wall is also adept a juxtaposing color to create striking contrasts and dramatic effects. His many years of training have allowed him to develop the knowledge of color relationships to be able to accomplish his extraordinary dramatic effects. At first glance his combinations of colors, with their warm and cool, dark and light contrasts may appear spontaneous, but further viewing reveals his dedication to a fixed light source and to strong fundamental drawing, which bring his compositions into focus. These qualities also demonstrate his artistic integrity and his appreciation for art of the past masters.

Wall now resides and paints in North Carolina in the United States. His paintings continue to be widely collected in the United States and around the world.

DAVID NAJAR 1962

David Najar is an emerging international artist. His works (oils and acrylic on canvas) present energetic movements of color and shapes, projecting scenes from nature. Najar describes nature as a large subject, something that is simultaneously in perfect harmony, near God, and full of beauty. While he doesn’t consider himself a philosopher, he is pulled to the subject and feels passionate about the natural world. He once explained that, to become an artist, you don’t need to attend a formal art school but to just look around you and let nature be your instructor. He says that the modern world is so busy that everyone should slow down.

“You don’t need to travel far to see something worthwhile.”

Najar’s studio sits between Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv, and he describes it as a “very old, magical building.” Established 100 years before Israel became a country, the building has three floors and Najar is on the second. His studio is a happy place, as well. “Good mood means no suffering,” he says. He paints at least three hours each day in a large room with brightly lit windows, facing Jerusalem. It’s quiet and sunny and has “the best coffee.”

Najar graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Social Science and has studied painting with various artists such as Moshe Rosentalis. For years, Najar had been working closely with Itzchak Tarkay, exchanging ideas in the arts and painting together in their studios. When Najar paints, it heals him. He keeps his own schedule and loves what he does, using both God and his love for artists like the Impressionists and the Nabis (especially Bonnard) as inspiration. For more inspiration, he listens. He paints spontaneously, using his hands instinctually to express his emotions. Through his acrylics, heavy impasto, and rubber brushes, Najar instinctively chooses his colors.

Drawing from previous styles, especially Impressionism, Najar uses color and texture to define the relationship between light and shadow in his paintings. Often focusing on landscapes, his compositions dance around themes of reflection. Utilizing water sources, the setting sun, and shadows, Najar splits images into their reflections – almost an optical illusion. He also paints figures and still lifes, focusing on very bright colors that are deepened with heavily contrasting shadow.

One can describe his work as “Contemporary Expressionism.” Najar’s paintings are sold worldwide, which have been shown in group exhibits and one-man shows in Israel, the United States, and Canada.

DESTINO

The short animated film “Destino” was a historic collaboration between Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí. The graphic works that have been produced from the film, as well as the film’s original storyboards and paintings, are enthusiastically collected by art and film fans around the world.

Walt Disney and Salvador Dalí started talking at a party one night in 1945 at Jack Warner’s house (of Warner Brothers Studio). Each had respected the other’s surrealist work (for Dalí thought of Disney as a surrealist) and decided to create a short film together. Disney had been increasingly interested in collaborations with great artists because he felt, “Like the ‘Night on Bald Mountain’ sequence Kay Nielson designed for ‘Fantasia,’ I want to give more big artists such opportunities. We need them. We have to keep breaking new trails.”

Dalí began work on the collaborative animation short, “Destino,” in 1946 and created 22 paintings and over 135 storyboards, drawings, and sketches. Dalí thought “Destino” was “a magical exposition on the problem of life in the labyrinth of time.” The project was shelved after just eight months due to low funds and the anticipated inability to market “Destino” after World War II.

While working on the animated feature “Fantasia 2000,” Roy E. Disney, nephew of Walt, Vice Chairman of The Walt Disney Company, and Director of Animation at the time, decided to complete the overdue “Destino” project. A team of twenty-five artists in the Paris-based Disney animation studio worked under the direction of Dominique Monfery to fulfill the Dalí-Disney dream.

“Destino,” completed, is six minutes and 40 seconds long, set to Armando Dominguez’s dreamy Mexican ballad of the same name (to which Disney owned the rights and recruited Dalí to visualize on film). It was released on June 2, 2003 at the Annecy International Animation Film Festival.

“Destino” is a harmonious blend of evocative Dalí imagery and flawless Disney animation. Monfery stayed true to the 2-D style of animation used in the 1940s and was devoted to carrying out both Dali’s and Disney’s vision for the animation short.

“Destino” has received the following accolades:

  • Oscar nomination for Best Short Film, Animated (Academy Awards, 2004)
  • Annie Award Nomination for Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Short (ASIFA-Hollywood, 2004)
  • Winner of Special Citation for Restoration (Los Angeles Film Critics Association Awards, 2004)
  • Winner of Certificate of Merit (Chicago International Film Festival, 2003)
  • Winner of Grand Prix for Dominique Monfery, Director (Melbourne International Film Festival, 2003)
  • Winner of Grand Prize for Best Animated Short (Rhode Island International Film Festival, 2003)
DOMINIC PANGBORN 1952

Dominic Pangborn’s artwork is always changing and he’s fearless in his approach, which is never the same twice. Pangborn credits his unique childhood for the constant evolution in his creative life.

He was born in Korea in 1952 – a product of the Korean War. He’s the son of an unknown American G.I. and a poor Korean villager who was left on her own in the devastated post-war country to raise Dominic and his two full-Korean siblings. Knowing that her mixed-race son would likely encounter prejudice and limited opportunity, she sent him to the United States where he was adopted by the Pangborn family of Jackson, Mich. He was 10 years old.

Language and culture barriers at first were formidable for Dominic. However, he believes those same barriers ultimately led him to art. At an early age, he found that art allowed him to express himself to the fullest without the need for words. He bought his first set of paint and boards at 12, and he very quickly grasped the medium. In no time, he sold his first painting – for $145 – to his father’s colleague. At that moment, his art career was born.

Dominic enrolled in the Chicago Academy of Art. With a goal of financial security, he majored in graphic design. Within a year of starting his first apprenticeship at Ed Jasper Studio, the young Dominic was promoted to chief designer.

In 1978, Dominic and his wife Delia moved from Chicago to Detroit. He set up his graphic design studio in its heart, immersed himself in the culture and politics of his new home, and seized opportunities to make a difference in the economically challenged city. Very quickly, his designs soared in popularity, and he began speaking at various industry conferences nationwide. Dominic opened Pangborn Design studio branches in Chicago, New York and Tokyo.

At the start of the new millennium, Dominic continued to evolve returning to a concentration on fine art. As he took that step into the artistic river, it differed greatly from the course of his youth. He began to revolutionize his work by experimenting with new mediums – often combining them to create completely new kinds of artwork. His first all fine art show was in 2007, and it completely sold out. It was then that the next phase of the artist’s dynamic career was born. Today, his works of art are collected worldwide.

  • Born in Korea in 1952 to a single mother and a family of predominantly women. At four years old, Dominic saw his first Korean bride – the most beautiful thing he had ever seen – and it affected his art and inspirations for the rest of his life. With so many feminine influences, women have become a major theme in his work.
  • Believes that art should reflect a current mood, expression, and point in time. Pangborn’s works grow and change in style, medium and subject matter based on that particular period of his life.
  • His heritage is intrinsic to his work striking a fine balance of eastern and western culture, philosophy and outlook. He never knows what he’ll create until it’s done.
  • Maintains cutting-edge techniques with spontaneity and by absorbing his surroundings. Environmental influences spark new ideas and themes in his work.
  • Red has found its way into the majority of his works. After a collector observed that red must be his favorite color – since it was in all his paintings – he decided to consciously focus on red, making it one of his most predominant themes.
  • Readers followed his red shoes across the globe to many famous international landmarks in his children’s book Follow Me.
  • Received his formal education at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and started his art career in Chicago before moving to Detroit in 1975.
  • Attended the Illustrators Workshop at Syracuse University in Terrytown, New York, and the executive program at Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
  • Former professor at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies (CCS) and awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Marygrove College in Detroit.
  • Career spans graphic design and fashion design, and he has a never-ending passion for fine art. Pangborn’s critically acclaimed fine art has been published in Playboy and exhibited at museums across the country, including the Detroit Institute of Arts.
  • His work is in private collections worldwide.
  • Established the fashion label the Pangborn Design Collection. Upscale retailers including Saks Fifth Avenue, Nordstrom and many exclusive boutiques, have carried his label.
  • Incorporates art into fashion, home décor and other media including giclée, lithographs and serigraphs.
  • Has opened retail stores bearing his name in metropolitan Detroit and St. Thomas US Virgin Islands.
  • 60 pieces of his fine art are included in a retrospective exhibition of his work “Evolution of Art & Design Through Revolution” at the Ella Sharp Museum in Jackson, Mich., June 11-Oct 11, 2014.
  • Serves on a variety of boards for charities and nonprofit organizations. He travels extensively throughout the United States, Europe and Asia. As a Korean adoptee brought to America, he reflects on the opportunities presented to him and in turn, passionately gives of his time, talent and heart.
DUAIV 1952

Duaiv was born in 1952 in the maritime region of France near the city of Bordeaux. He’s traveled the world as a classical musician and accomplished painter, receiving accolades for his incredible work in service of nurturing and promoting the arts. With the world as his canvas, Duaiv’s work is a contemporary representation of Impressionism at its height.

When Duaiv was just 3 years old, he picked up his first paintbrush, but at the dismay of his parents, the walls of his home became his first canvas. Nevertheless, by the time he was 9, Duaiv completed his first oil painting. Still in his early years, Duaiv’s family moved to a nearby island off the coast of France, which inspired Duaiv’s love of boats and coastal scenery. His mother was a classical pianist and his father was a sculptor, so Duaiv was raised in a very artistic environment. Although he began showing a natural talent for painting at such a young age, his father didn’t want him to become an artist – so he bought him a cello. The cello was a fitting choice for Duaiv, who had met renowned cellist Pablo Casals when he was only 8. With his new instrument, he continued to practice, but chose not to leave his painting behind.

As Duaiv grew older, he chose to be classically educated in both art and music. He attended the Conservatoire Nationale de Musique in Paris, trained in the cello under Bernard Michelin. He also attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris to further his studies in painting. Duaiv’s art and music began taking him everywhere, opening doors to incredible opportunities. When he was 23, Duaiv met artist Salvador Dalí. Dalí continually inspired Duaiv throughout his life, constantly reminding him to blend his passion for the arts, transitioning his music throughout his painting and throughout his life.

Many collectors love Duaiv’s paintings because they’re so uplifting. They’re colorful, cheerful, and bright – almost buzzing with movement across the canvas. The artist uses cans of paint rather than tubes, working with various sizes of palette knives and tiny brushes, smoothing with his fingers. While he only uses six to eight colors on his palette, a full spectrum of hues shines within each painting. His inspiration comes from his travels and his favorite artists of the past, especially nineteenth and twentieth French artists such as Monet and Cézanne and Dutch artists such as Vermeer and Frans Hals.

Duaiv became a U.S. citizen in 2011 and is currently a resident of Florida. Duaiv spends much of his time in live performances. Through the means of what he calls, “Happenings,” Duaiv performs spontaneous concerts at galleries and outdoor spaces, accompanied on piano while playing his cello before his book signings and gallery openings. Most recently, Duaiv has traveled aboard cruise ships, painting in live performances and inspiring audience participation. Notably, for Barack Obama’s inauguration, Duaiv painted a portrait of the president in front of a live audience while the inauguration sounded on television around the ship. The most important thing to Duaiv is being able to share his art as an experience, inspiring his audience.

Duaiv has painted for many events in Cannes, including the Salon de la Gastronomie at the Palais des Festivals where he painted world-renowned chefs. For the fiftieth anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival, Duaiv designed the sides of two buses with the landscape of the area and faces of popular film stars over the decades, which were hung in the former transportation museum in Mougins.

Duaiv has received many awards and accolades. He was awarded the Commander of the Order of the Star of Europe, European Foundation Prize, for his efforts to assist contemporary artists and his country, awarded by HRH Prince Henrik of Denmark. In 2006, Duaiv entered the Benezit Directory of top-rated painters. He is also featured in “Who’s Who” in International and American art. He has also received the Lys D’Or from the Cannes International Carlton for his international career. Duaiv has exhibited all over the world, especially across France, Switzerland, Belgium, Spain, the United States, Tunisia, and Australia.

Today, Duaiv continues to paint and play his cello without relent. For two hours every morning, Duaiv practices his cello, maintaining his technique. Each night, he paints in his studio for four to six hours, always listening to music. The two disciplines are so entwined for the artist that he cannot paint without music. He claims that there’s no such thing as Sunday and he never takes vacation. For Duaiv, his art is his life. His home is filled with memorabilia from events and accolades – newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, and frames. For Duaiv, it’s essential to give back to his community, and through his art, he is able to do so.

EMILE BELLET 1941

Emile Bellet was born in Provence, France in 1941. He began to paint at 5 years old and by the age of 19 he held his first exhibition in 1960. When he was only 12, Emile won first prize in a national art journal. In 1976, his career began in earnest when he was noticed by Galerie Guigne. Bellet completed the stained glass windows of the church “Notre Dame de Bon Voyage” (Our Lady of Happy Travels) in 1978, in Port de Bouc, France – a beautiful display of his talent. He was also commissioned by the Alpine Maritime Region to paint the work, “Travaux des Champs” (Work in the Fields).

Bellet is a self-taught artist who has aligned himself with the discipline of the Fauves (French for “wild beasts”) — a school of artists who lived at the turn of the 20th century that includes Matisse, Cézanne, Dufy, and Vlaminck. They painted in vivid non-authentic color and Emile has mastered this discipline with an impasto knife, using highly saturated colors to paint his elongated mannerist forms. Bellet loves his brushes and oil paints. When he began painting, there were no acrylics, and his love for his favorite tools increased.

He enjoys painting “en plein air” as the Impressionists did, choosing to paint the villages and scenery from his native France. He lives high up in the mountains, taking in the breathtaking colors of the Mediterranean that suit his painting perfectly. By painting outdoors, Bellet feels like he is bringing a small piece of Van Gogh to our time.

Every morning, Bellet rises very early and eases into his activities of the day – what he calls his “second breathing state.” He arranges flowers, tends to his olive trees, and decodes the various themes of his paintings in his head. He thinks about his paintings for hours, has lunch, and begins working around noon for the rest of the day.

Emile’s paintings are notorious for the mysterious female he includes in his compositions. His wife, his daughter, and musings on an idyllic kind of woman are all sources for his inspiration. The familiar female figure used throughout his work is symbolic of his impression of femininity. She represents all women and for this reason has no facial expression. She is timeless, ageless, and universal. He also paints her in stages – first in blonde, then in brunette, and finally with red hair. The whimsical movement derived from Bellet’s impasto knife lends a sense of vision to his work, taking the viewer to a passing, momentary location. His settings are ethereal and transient, creating an atmosphere of mystery.

Patrice de la Perriere, Director of the Art Revue, “Univers des Arts” (Universe of the Arts) says of Bellet:

“Les femmes rouges de Bellet, evanescentes, s’exposent avec magnificence dans la fragrance d’une lumiere d’ete. Qu’elles soient debout, pres d’une fenetre s’ouvrant sur un paysage romantique, ou bien assises langoureusement dans un interieurconfortable, les “femmes” de Bellet n’en finissent plus de vous attirer dans un monde onirique.” Leur presence, indiscutablement, apporte au spectateur une reelle emotion.”

“The ethereal, red women of Bellet magnificently show themselves in the fragrance of summer light. Whether they are standing near a window opening onto a romantic countryside, or sitting languorously in a comfortable interior, Bellet’s women never cease to draw you into a dreamlike world. Their presence undeniably brings a real emotion to the viewer.”

He has held numerous exhibits in France: Grenoble, Aix en Provence, Cannes, Marseille, Lyon, and Megeve. He has also held numerous exhibitions overseas: Senegal, Cote d’Ivoire, Switzerland and Japan (Gallery Mainichi). He currently enjoys permanent exhibits in Cannes, Lyon, Salon-de-Provence, Grenoble, Toulon and Annecy. His impressive resume also includes illustrations for “Les Cahiers d’Art, Regards vers Ailleurs, Empreintes” (The Notebook of Art, A Look Beyond Printmaking).

Emile Bellet delights in his work like a peasant in the fields of Provence. Both treat their labors with love and respect and his body of work reflects this feeling. While he works with Park West, Emile has said that he feels enchanted to be able to share his work internationally with his collectors, enjoying such freedom to create.

ERIC DOWDLE 1968

The love Eric Dowdle has for people and places is expressed in his signature style of storytelling, depicting the world’s most recognizable locations through fun and detailed art.

Dowdle’s upbringing began on a rural Idaho family farm. He is the 10th of a 12-child family, 10 of whom are boys. The Dowdle family moved from Idaho to Wyoming when Eric was 10 years old. When he graduated from high school, the family moved once again to Massachusetts, where Dowdle’s love of folk art took hold alongside a love of culture and adventure.

Dowdle has been creating art for over 20 years, having first picked up a brush in his early 20s and parting ways with college to “go make something happen.” He did just that, setting out to explore and create. He has traveled to Kenya, China, the South Pacific, Europe and around the U.S. Today, Dowdle’s oeuvre includes more than 200 works and is collected throughout the world.

Dowdle’s paintings capture rich rural landscapes, cityscapes featuring local foods and customs, and the interesting people that work or live in these places. Dowdle doesn’t limit himself – he paints everything from holidays and national parks to sports venues, landmarks, beaches and cities, all of which reveal playful and fascinating stories when examined closely.

“When I travel the world, everything I see comes alive to me,” Dowdle says. “It wouldn’t matter if it was an event or a city, my job is to find the personality of the town and put it in the painting.”

Each painting is transformed into limited-edition puzzles and giclees, allowing collectors to connect and bond with his artwork in multiple ways. In 2010, Dowdle sold his first millionth puzzle, and in the following year, sold his second millionth puzzle.

Dowdle hosts his own PBS television show, “Painting the Town,” in which he explores locales, talks with inhabitants and shows how he integrates these experiences into his fun and lively paintings. He also hosts his own radio show, “Traveling with Eric Dowdle.”

In 1997, Dowdle was named the honorary artist for the Utah Sesquicentennial Celebration. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints purchased the Sesquicentennial Pioneer Patterns, which is on display today at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City. One year later, he earned the Mayor’s Choice Award at the St. George Arts Festival held in St. George, Utah.

His collection of Utah paintings were published in 2008 in “Utah: Featuring the Art of Eric Dowdle.” In 2013 he published “Nauvoo: Featuring the Art of Eric Dowdle.”

In 2010, Dowdle was commissioned to create a painting of his hometown. Following the painting’s completion, he was inducted into the Green River, Wyoming Hall of Fame and presented with the key to the city by the mayor.

Dowdle and his family reside in Utah.

FRANCISCO GOYA (1746-1828)

Famed artist Francisco Goya, often considered to be among the last of the Old Masters, created numerous paintings, etchings, drawings and lithographs. He served as a court painter to Spanish and Napoleonic rulers and uncompromisingly captured the horrors of war and the darker side of human nature.

Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes was born on March 30, 1746 in the small village of Fuendetodos in northern Spain, though the family would soon move to Saragossa. Goya’s introduction to the arts began at an early age. At fourteen, he entered an apprenticeship with local artist José Luján, later moving to Madrid where he studied with Anton Raphael Mengs. In 1771, he returned to Saragossa, where he painted Rococo frescos for a local cathedral, gaining him early notoriety.

In Madrid, Goya worked in the studio of artists and brothers Francisco and Ramón Bayeu y Subías and he married their sister in 1773. In the mid-1770s, Goya began working for the Royal Tapestry Factory in Santa Bárbara, creating preliminary paintings known as tapestry cartoons. This work gained the initial attention of the Spanish royals for whom he would later become court painter. They would also help Goya develop his expertise in the portrayal of human nature in his art.

Goya was appointed member of the Royal Academy of San Fernando in 1780 and would soon become a favorite of the aristocracy and royals by whom he was commissioned to create numerous portraits. In 1786, Goya became the official painter of King Charles III and was named court painter to his successor, Charles IV, in 1789.

In 1792, during a visit to Cádiz in Andalusia, Goya contracted an illness which would leave the artist permanently deaf. This turn of events would profoundly affect Goya’s life and art. He spent much of his recuperation over the next few years in isolation and during this time, he read and observed the events and philosophies of the French Revolution. He created a series of etchings portraying the crueler side of human nature – particularly criticizing Spanish society in the 18th century – in a darker, freer, and more satirical style for which Goya would later become known. The series of eighty prints, called “Los Caprichos” (“The Caprices”), was completed and published in 1799.

That same year, Goya was promoted to first court painter by the monarchy and was also commissioned to produce numerous society portraits. His portraiture was noted for its unapologetic realism, refusing to flatter his subjects in his work. In 1808, Napoleon’s army invaded Spain and Goya was named court painter to the French. When the Spanish monarchy was restored in 1814 Goya was pardoned for his work with the French but Ferdinand VII did not enjoy Goya’s art and the artist no longer painted for the crown.

From 1810 – 1820, Goya created an 80-piece series of etchings, capturing in often horrifying detail the atrocities of the French/Spanish conflict, titled “Los Desastres de la Guerra” (“The Disasters of War”). The series would not be published until 1863, decades after Goya’s death. During this time, his wife, Josefa, also died. In 1816, Goya created etchings on bullfighting, called “Tauromaquia” and between 1816 and 1824, Goya created another series of etchings critiquing human nature, “Los Proverbios,” also called “Los Disparates.”

From 1819 to 1824, Goya retreated into deeper seclusion, purchasing a house outside Madrid called Quinta del Sordo, or “The Deaf Man’s House,” though the name was acquired during the previous owner’s residence. Here Goya created “The Black Paintings,” a series of nightmarish works executed on the walls of the house.

Discontent with the political state in Spain, Goya left Spain for France in 1824, settling in Bordeaux. Here, Goya began to explore the printmaking form of lithography. Goya created some of the first masterpieces in the medium – a series on the subject of bullfighting. Francisco Goya died in Bordeaux on April 16, 1828. His works continue to be avidly collected worldwide by both private and public art lovers and are also featured in numerous exhibitions, retrospectives, and permanent museum collections, including the Museo del Prado in Madrid, which display many of his works. Goya’s work would inspire artists for generations to come and his unflinching portrayal of the world around him served as a precursor to the realism of 19th century art.

FRANCOIS “FANCH” LEDAN 1949

The art crafted by Fanch Ledan, known today primarily by his Breton nickname “Fanch,” is inextricably tied to the events of his life. While a student in Paris at the Ecole Superieure des Sciences Commerciales in 1968, Fanch’s artwork was accepted by several galleries and major European exhibitions. He soon abandoned commercial design in favor of full-time studies in painting and fine art. In 1972 he entered the MBA program at Sacramento State University and started to display his original acrylic paintings in galleries in California and New York.

In 1975, after he learned the difficult technique of lithography, his first edition of lithography was published by Tallandier in Paris. He is noted for delightful scenes of his native Brittany and locales from around the world, executed in a colorful “primitive” or “naïve” style.

Fanch creates imaginary scenes that run the gamut from worldly and exotic destinations to intimate interiors. His interior scenes, dubbed “interiorscapes,” often feature hanging paintings of the artists he most admires – a way for him to pay homage to their influences on his own art. He also occasionally takes commissions from his collectors for their favorite works to be displayed inside each piece, a way of personalization. Travelling is how Fanch gets most of his inspiration for these scenes and, so far, he’s reached more than 100 countries.

Both his landscapes and interiorscapes have a romantic mood and beckon the viewer to enter them. He tries to express both a sense of whimsy and technical detail in each scene. Fanch will often create combinations of locations that cannot exist in reality, like a view of the Taj Mahal or the Pyramids of Egypt from an elegant private balcony. His works feature a remarkable sense of detail and subtlety regarding color, as well.

Fanch does not paint the human form within his compositions, civilization is always present, felt from the remnants of a once-occupied space. A pair of eyeglasses, a coffee cup, or other human articles can often be spotted, signifying a human presence.

His technique is similar to a draftsman or an architect, drawing first in pencil on his canvas laid flat on a drafting table. Once everything is drawn in pencil, he uses a large brush to paint the background then smaller brushes to fill in all the details. He never uses a palette knife or an easel. His Mediterranean studio is a calm place of creativity. Facing south with plenty of space and a quiet simplicity, Fanch likes to use his studio to paint two or three paintings at a time. He keeps smaller works on the falls of the space and occasionally feels moved to touch-up paintings more than 20 years old. To him, they are never finished. His choices are made instinctively, especially when choosing colors, and he can’t always explain why.

Fanch’s talent and achievement in painting were quickly recognized by critics abroad and his work was accepted by the two major European exhibitions: the prestigious “Salons des Artistes Francaises” and the “Salon des Peintres temoins de leur temps.” Fanch became involved with printmaking in 1973 when he learned the difficult technique of lithography in Paris, and later, serigraphy, which became his preferred choice for the creation of original prints.

Over the next few years he would work in a number of highly respected printing studios in San Francisco, London, New York, Melbourne, Los Angles, Paris, and Tel-Aviv. His prints have been distributed by major publishers around the world: Original Print Collectors Group, Circle Gallery, Brentano’s, Hammer Publishing, Christie’s Contemporary Art, De Francony, Okuda Art, Blinder Fine Art Collectors, and Park West Gallery.

In 1980, he met Armand Hammer in New York, who started collecting his paintings. His artwork is also in the collections of Jacques Cousteau, Baron Bich, Jack Nicholson, John Williams, and Prince Albert. Fanch has done paintings and projects for major organizations and companies like the U.S. Air, Air France, Nissan, Mitsubishi, Tokyo Dome, HAVAS, Esso Exxon, and Yokohama.

Since 1973, Fanch has had more than 51 shows including exhibitions at the Pantechnicon Gallery, San Francisco; Centrao d’Arte Naivo, Milan; Galerie Malle, Aurray, France; Champs-Elysees, Paris; and Park West Gallery. He has participated in group shows in Germany, France, Venezuela, and Italy, as well as in the United States.

Following the publication of the book “The Collected Works of Fanch Ledan,” a major catalogue raisonné was published. With 235 color pages illustrating 258 different graphic works published since 1975, it was released by Park West Gallery in 2003.

GRAEME STEVENSON 1958

Born in New South Wales, Australia, Graeme Stevenson’s passion for art began at age 5, knowing even then that he wished to become an artist. He took his first art lessons at age 11.

Alongside art, Stevenson studied martial arts and bred Australian parrots, learning falconry and studying taxidermy in his teenage year. Through these hobbies Stevenson gained him a better understanding of avian anatomy. This would prove invaluable as he combined it with his passion for art, using his pet birds as subjects and starting his journey as a wildlife artist.

After leaving school he took up carpentry and became a paramedic while attending the Sydney Art College, but left his career as a paramedic in early 20s to travel the globe. He obtained a pilot’s license at age 21 and has been around the world 16 times, living in five countries in search of subjects to paint. This all culminated in his becoming a wildlife artist, photographer, explorer and naturalist.

With more than 35 years as a professional artist, Stevenson is both skilled and prolific, and has dedicated his life to painting and promoting the art community. Stevenson enjoys combining math, history, archaeology and nature into his paintings, which have been featured in galleries and private collection throughout the world. He has evolved from painting photorealistic animals to scenes of surrealism and expressionism.

He was commissioned in 1988 to provide every image for “The Atlas of Parrots,” which is one of the largest editions in the world regarding parrots. Published in 1991, the book remains one of the greatest reference books on the subject, and can be found in natural history museums around the world, including New York, London and Paris.

His works have been featured prominently have been featured in U.S. Art Magazine and International Artist Magazine, which referred to Stevenson as a “master artist.” Stevenson is also a dynamic public speaker who lectures on topics such as wildlife, painting, science, philosophy and building an art career.

Stevenson is perhaps best known for creating the award-winning TV show, “Colour in Your Life,” which chronicles the techniques and personalities of artists from around the globe to promote creativity and a love of art. The show premiered in 2010, and as of 2015, it is in its 11th season.

On Australia Day 2017, held January 26, Stevenson received the Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) “for service to the visual arts.” The award is one of the highest honors an Australian citizen can receive.

Stevenson donates his time and talents. In 2003, he raised funds for aids, multiple sclerosis research and children’s cancer research in the U.S. for the Ripple Effect Project. Three of the works were collected by former President Bill Clinton. He also established a charitable foundation, “Paint Your Life,” in 2013, which uses art to brighten the lives of the disadvantaged or physically impaired.

GUY HARVEY 1955

Guy Harvey was born in Bad Lippspringe, Germany on September 16, the son of a Gunnery Officer in the British Army. He grew up in Jamaica, the country of his English ancestors who immigrated there in 1664, making him a 10th generation Jamaican of English heritage.

As a child, Harvey spent much of his time fishing and exploring nature with his family on the Caribbean isle. He distinctly recalls his mother hooking a blue marlin, enchanted by its beauty. His love of depicting nature surfaced during boarding school, where he often sketched birds and fish.

Harvey’s passion for marine life grew after reading “The Old Man and the Sea” by Ernest Hemingway, a book he says to have read “at least 100 times,” inspiring a school project in 1971 where he wrote his own version that included original drawings. Two years later, Harvey has his own adventure paralleling Hemingway’s story, capturing a blue marlin himself.

Though he loved art, Harvey sought a science-based education, inspiring him to study marine biology at Aberdeen University in Scotland. As he studied, the self-taught artist was able to supplement his income by selling his artwork. He earned a first class honors degree in 1977, and furthered his education by returning to Jamaica and obtaining a doctorate in fisheries management at the University of the West Indies in 1982.

In 1984, Harvey met his future wife, Gillian, who encouraged him to exhibit his works of art in local shows. Nature lovers and anglers flocked to his artwork, and he was sought out for create commissioned works. A year later, a successful one-man exhibition featuring 44 original “Old Man and the Sea” drawings catapults Harvey into the world of art.

By 1988, Harvey became one of the world’s top saltwater game fish artists, and decided to turn his hobby into his profession. He uses his background in marine life and his experiences to create marine wildlife art with unparalleled authenticity and appeal.

In addition to his paintings and graphic works, his artwork can be found in large murals at Fort Lauderdale Airport and at Nova Southeastern University in Florida, and is seen all over thanks to his game fish clothing and accessory designs. In 2014, Harvey was selected by Norwegian Cruise Line to paint the hull of the Norwegian Escape cruise ship.

Harvey continues to blend his passions, working not only as an artist, but also as a scientist, conservationist, diver and an angler in support of “catch and release” fishing ethics. In 1999, he formed the Guy Harvey Research Institute in collaboration with Nova Southeastern University to protect fishery resources on a global scale. In 2008, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation is established to educate and fund projects that conserve marine environments.

He even took his passion to the small screen with his syndicated TV show “Guy Harvey’s Portraits of the Deep” that blends sports fishing with education.

Harvey has received numerous awards for his efforts, including the NOGI Award from the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences (2004), The International Game Fish Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award (2008), the Artists for Conservation Simon Combes Conservation Award (2011), its highest honor; and most recently, the Elon University Medal for Entrepreneurial Leadership (2014).

Harvey and his family live in Grand Cayman where he maintains his art studio.

ITZCHAK TARKAY (1935-2012)

Itzchak Tarkay was born in 1935 in Subotica on the Yugoslav-Hungarian border. At the age of 9, Tarkay and his family were sent to the Mauthausen Concentration Camp by the Nazis until Allied liberation freed them a year later. In 1949 his family immigrated to Israel and was sent to the transit camp for new arrivals at Beer Yaakov. They lived in a kibbutz for several years and in 1951 Tarkay received a scholarship to the Bezalel Academy of Art and Design where he studied under the artist Schwartzman and was mentored by other important Israeli artists of the time such as Mokady, Janko, Streichman and Stematsky. Tarkay later graduated from the Avni Institute of Art and Design in 1956.

Tarkay achieved recognition as a leading representative of a new generation of figurative artists. The inspiration for his work lies with French Impressionism and Post-Impressionism, particularly the color sophistication of Matisse and the drawing style of Toulouse-Lautrec. He drew upon the history of art to create many of his compositions, designing a kind of visual poetry from the aura of his cafes and intimate settings.

As well as being an acrylic painter and watercolorist, Tarkay was a master graphic artist and his rich tapestry of form and color was achieved primarily through the use of the serigraph. In his serigraphs, many colors are laid over one another and used to create texture and transparency.

When asked about his technique, Tarkay said it’s impossible to describe. “Can you explain your own handwriting?” he asked. He used his instinct to choose his colors and couldn’t define any other reason. “The color is coming,” he said. “When it’s finished, sometimes I’ll change the colors. It’s not something I think about.”

Most of his choices were instinctive – inspired by his surroundings, the music he listened to, the places where he traveled and nature. Very often, Tarkay painted “en plein air” and brought his sketchbook outdoors. As it grew dark, he would take a series of photos and finish the work in his studio. Tarkay said that the most difficult part of his painting is realizing when a work is complete. He recalled going to a show once after he had not seen his paintings in about three months, having the urge to re-touch each piece. To him, the works were never done.

In the later years of his life, Tarkay shared his gifts by mentoring younger Israeli artists including, David Najar, Yuval Wolfson and Mark Kanovich who often visited his studio, worked alongside him and received his critiques. Tarkay was also the only artist to collaborate with Israeli master, Yaacov Agam (1928). He and Agam created two paintings which incorporated both artists’ imagery in a single painting.

Tarkay spent between five and six hours each day in the studio, six days a week. While he had very little free time, he enjoyed going to concerts, reading books and listening to music, and visiting friends. Tarkay expressed how much he enjoyed meeting his collectors and his happiness to work with the other artists when working with Park West. He felt no sense of competition with them – only love – and was proud to have such a wonderful relationship with the artists, collectors, and gallery.

In an excerpt from “Itzchak Tarkay” (1993) by art historian, author, and critic, Joseph Jacobs, PhD, the author writes:

Itzchak Tarkay is a refreshing anomaly in today’s art world, and perhaps it can even be said that his work, which seems to stand outside of the mainstream, nonetheless anticipates the direction of art in the near future. In a world so preoccupied with being politically correct, with dealing with social issues, with making art that is anything but painting, Tarkay holds onto timeless, universal values–to values that have staying power and do not simply ride the tide of fashion. In contrast to the work of so many of his contemporaries, it will be impossible to look back on his work in the twenty-first century and describe it as dated.

Unlike so many artists working today, Tarkay believes in painting and he believes in beauty. Aesthetics and human psychology are the forces that drive his art, not vogue. He has no need of video, mixed-media installation or site-specific sculpture, all of which are the rage of such art centers as New York, Los Angeles, Toronto, London, Paris, Cologne, or Milan. Instead he makes art ‘the old-fashioned way’ — applying paint to canvas, or printer’s ink to paper. In other words, he makes the art of the future — the art that artists invariably come back to, the art that lasts and holds up to the test of time.

… It is clear that Tarkay, who studied with Mokady, Janko, Schtrichman and Stematsky at the Avni Institute of Art in Tel Aviv, is thoroughly grounded in European artistic traditions. There are touches of Bonnard, Vuillard, Picasso, Modigliani, Klimt, and Magritte in his art, which includes drawings and prints. His work, however, does not look like that of any of these masters. But he shares many of their aesthetic values, and in particular, the idea that art should not proselytize or preach, but instead should deal with timeless issues.

After exhibiting both in Israel and abroad, Tarkay received recognition at the International Artexpo in New York in 1986 and 1987 for works in several forms of media, including oil, acrylic and watercolor. Today, Tarkay is considered one of the most influential artists of the early 21st century and has inspired dozens of artists throughout the world with his contemplative depiction of the female figure. Three hardcover books have been written on Tarkay and his art, the most recent, “Tarkay, Profile of an Artist,” was published in 1997.

JIM WARREN 1949

American artist Jim Warren was born in 1949 in Long Beach, California to Don and Betty Warren. Warren grew up with an older brother, Rick, and older sister, Kathy. He began drawing at the age of 2 and continued drawing, on and off, through middle and high school.

While in high school, Warren considered all the usual career choices – artist, magician and rock star – but it wasn’t until 1967 that he decided to be an artist, a “rich and famous” one at that. He began working in surrealistic fantasy in 1969.

Using traditional oil paint on stretched canvas, Warren started his early career through the 1970s as a fine artist, winning first place awards at large outdoor art shows in California. Although inspired by master painters in museums by some of the great artists of all time such as Dali, Rockwell and Rembrandt, Warren is mostly self-taught and prides himself on his famous advice to aspiring artists, “To hell with the rules…paint what you like.”

During the ‘80s, Warren pursued his high school dream of painting album cover art and painted hundreds of magazine illustrations, movie posters, book covers and especially album covers for such stars as Alice Cooper, Prince and Bob Seger, the latter winning a Grammy Award for best album package for the cover of “Against the Wind,” which topped the Billboard 200.

Warren’s 1976 painting, “Sexual Explosion,” was banned from many exhibitions during the 1970s, but gained new life in 2011 after online search results regarding the controversial painting included complimentary terms like “most famous contemporary paintings” or “most famous modern paintings.”

The ‘90s ushered in a new focus, that of the environment and saving the earth. Warren painted “Earth – Love It or Lose It,” which received critical acclaim and was featured on numerous magazines, billboards and shirts. It also became a popular visual representation for the global environmental movement.

In the mid-90s, the Neo-Surrealist began painting famous actors and incorporating celebrities and friends into his work referring to the works as “personalized paintings.” Warren painted Juliette Lewis, Wyland and Michael Parnell (CEO of Oakley Sunglasses) during this period.

In 2004, Warren’s collaborations with Disney were released as fine art prints. Warren continues to paint Disney characters and his own unique interpretations of Disney characters to this day. In 2009, he began painting celebrities for the Fame-Wall project in New York and Hollywood, painting portraits and unveiling them with the likes of The Beach Boys, John Stamos, Kelsey Grammar, Kristin Chenowith, Brooke Shields and others.

Warren’s collaborative efforts also include painting with Michael Godard in 2009, which combined Warren’s fantasy and horses with Godard’s olives.

Warren continues to expand on his work and create new worlds on canvas. When not in his studios in Florida and Oregon, Warren enjoys time with his wonderful family.

JOAN MIRÓ (1893-1983)

Joan Miró was born in Barcelona, Spain, as the son of a goldsmith and jewelry maker. He studied art at the Academia Galí and at the Barcelona School of Fine Arts, where he was admitted at 14. His parents dissuaded him to pursue his desire to become an artist and he initially worked as an accountant.

Eventually convincing his parents of his determination, Miró made his first trip to Paris in 1920 and settled there in 1921. He met Picasso and other important emerging artists in Paris, the cultural center for art in the early part of the 20th century. In 1924, Miró aligned himself with the Surrealist movement through founder and proponent, Andre Breton. He associated with the artists Max Ernst, Andre Masson, and others, but always remained on the periphery of Surrealism.

By 1930, Miró had developed his own unique style of imagery derived from elements of Catalan folk art and the art of children. Eventually, Breton described him as, “the most Surrealist of us all.” His fame and recognition became international during the 1930s. From 1940 to 1948, Miró returned to his homeland where he began to experiment with many media, including lithography, etching, ceramics, sculpture and the creation of murals. In 1947, he visited the United States for the first time and was the subject of many important museum exhibitions, including two at the Museum of Modern Art in New York (in 1951 and 1959). In 1956, Miró settled in Majorca, Spain, in a studio that was eventually transformed into the Miró Museum.

Miró’s personality was surprising, as well. He was a remarkably modest man and wore dark business suits. He was orderly, detail oriented, meticulous, and reliable. Defying the stereotype of the modern artist, there was nothing of the “bohemian” present in him at all. He became one of the most prolific creators of original lithographs and etchings, using highly-textured applications of color – a technique that would later be called carborundum aquatint. Today, Miró is viewed by the art world and collectors as one of the most important artists of the 20th century and the precursor for much of modern art.

LEBO (1972 - )

David Le Batard (Lebo) was born in New York City in 1972 to Cuban immigrant parents. He was raised in South Florida, surrounded by Cuban art, which had a great influence on his artistic style. Starting in childhood, Lebo was fascinated by cartoons and creating artwork of his own. While in school, he dedicated his free time to teaching himself to draw and learning different forms of art such as archaic brush techniques, ancient calligraphy, and classic cartoon drawing.

In 1995, Lebo graduated from Florida International University and took residency at the International Museum of Cartoon Art in Boca Raton, Florida, lecturing on the practical and technical approaches of illustration. During this time, Lebo began looking for ways to work on his art in a more social setting rather than alone in his studio. This led him to work during his friend’s band practices; he found that this atmosphere brought his work to a new creative level.

Lebo’s rise to success began in 1996 during his first public exhibit at Johnson & Wales University. Since then, he has exhibited at a wide variety of events and venues. Heavily inspired by music and the music scene, Lebo has participated in many live-art performances, painting on stage and bringing the music to life. He has painted alongside many headlining musical talents, including The Beastie Boys.

Lebo refers to his artistic style as “Post-Modern Cartoon Expressionism,” combining abstract imagery, cartoon drawing, bold hues and calligraphy together in a narrative style to convey emotion and story.

In 2003, Lebo created the official artwork for the Latin Grammy Awards. He has created many private and publicly sponsored mural installations including works in Wynwood, Florida, Calle Ocho, The American Airlines Arena—home to the Miami Heat, Hart Plaza in Detroit, Orleans Parish Juvenile Courthouse and the Hotel des Artes, San Francisco.

Lebo’s art can be found in the permanent collections of companies such as Bacardi USA, Ferrari, National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, San Francisco Sentry, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal Music Group, Red Bull USA, William Morris Agency, Art Publishing Ltd and Gibson Guitar Corp. Lebo has worked with Adidas, ESPN, Google, Harley Davidson, Lululemon, Macy’s Inc., Microsoft and Simon & Schuster. Lebo was commissioned to paint the hull artwork for the cruise ship Norwegian Getaway, launched in January 2014.

LINDA LE KINFF

Linda Le Kinff was born in Paris in 1949 from French and Brazilian parents. She started her career as a painter at the age of 20. In the 1970s she traveled to India, Tibet, Mexico and Italy. She lived and worked in Italy for 12 years learning the ancient techniques of tempera, egg painting and the gold leaf method taught by masters in Florence and Livorno. She also served an apprenticeship in wood engraving, copper engraving, and excelled in learning the modern techniques of acrylic and airbrush painting.

In Paris, in 1975, Le Kinff learned lithography, meeting the artists Brayer, Corneille and Lapique. In 1976, she met Okamoto Taro, the “Japanese Picasso,” who introduced her to the sand and sumi technique. In 1981, she spent six months in Morocco where she worked with Chabia, the poetess of the naive abstraction movement. Le Kinff returned to school in south Tyrol where she became interested in painted, polished and varnished woodwork, using a special material made of casein. She applied it to her paintings and continues to use this technique today but still keeps the traditional approach of painting in acrylic on canvas, as well. She began to create serigraphs in the mid 1980s and excels in the technique.

When it comes to choosing her favorite techniques, Linda struggles. She explained that each technique and medium depends greatly on her subject matter and she pulls from all her experiences to project the essence of what she’s painting. When she lived in Italy, however, Linda found a rare passion in painting on wood paneling and it became one of her favorite media. Italy is the place where she truly found herself as a painter and her memories from that time are especially fond.

Le Kinff also expresses herself through watercolors or, more precisely, a mixing of greasy pastels, ink and watercolor. Recently, she began to use collage. She works without a model and her inspiration comes from travel, her dreams, reading, and her imagination. Most recently, her color palette has been inspired by Japan and the Scandinavian countries. Each place has its own unique set of colors and Linda tries to carry this throughout her work.

Her subjects are extremely diverse and include musical scenes, poetic interpretations of people caught in an intimate moment of their lives, and couples elegantly dressed, out for a night on the town. She has fallen deeply in love with attending the circus, especially Cirque du Soleil, inspired by the amazing flexibility and movement of the performers. She also often includes an image of a black cat in her works, sitting near the edge of the composition. When asked, the artist expressed that the cat is there for graphic purposes, balancing the colors and composition of her work. It pulls together the black hair of the women in her paintings and provides a point of reference for the other shapes.

Le Kinff’s studio is her haven. With memories of places she’s traveled posted on the walls, she is able to focus and find her creativity. Rising early in the morning, Linda will work until 6 p.m. in solitude, enjoying her quiet moments to think. Her influences include the hidden sensuality of Braque, the masterful drawing of Matisse, the elegance of Modigliani and the precocious maturity of Egon Schiele. She also finds inspiration in the work of Gauguin, Picasso, and Gustav Klimt.

In 1998, Le Kinff was selected as the Official World Cup Artist and exhibited in the cities where the matches took place: Montpellier, Saint-Denis, Nantes, Marseille, Toulouse, and Lyon. For that distinction she created a painting that was minted into a commemorative coin by the French Government, an honor never before offered to a living French artist. The medallion was exhibited at the prestigious museum, the Monnaie de Paris, where French Nemaic has been minted since the 15th century, and the Euro since 1999.

In 2002, Le Kinff participated in the “Exposition of Prestige,” organized by the Ambassador of France in Japan, and her work was exhibited in museums and art foundations in Japanese cities, including: Tokyo-Bunkamura Museum, Nagoya-Tenjin Salaria Art Foundation, Osaka-Kirin Foundation, Fukuoka-Loft Gallery, and Yokohama-RedBrick-Warehouse.

In 2008, a catalog raisonné of Le Kinff’s graphic works was published by Park West Gallery with an introduction by art historian, essayist, art critic and curator for several museums, Joseph Jacobs.

Most recently, Le Kinff was honored to be the official artist of the 2010 Kentucky Derby, featuring her work on posters, prints, tickets, racing programs and officially licensed products for the 136th Kentucky Oaks and Derby. She challenged herself by painting horses for the first time, a brand new subject featuring the Winners’ Circle and the guests of the Derby.

Le Kinff has been working with Park West for more than 25 years, and in that time, she has become engrained in the Park West family, enjoying every moment she has spent with her collectors and other artists.

MARC CHAGALL (1887-1985)

Marc Chagall’s masterful, evocative works are characterized by their poetic, mystical qualities, their expressionist perspective, and their use of bold, vivid color. Chagall’s style has been associated with the art movements of surrealism, fauvism, and cubism but instead of fitting neatly into one category, Chagall created a style uniquely his own.

Chagall was born as Moyshe Segal in Vitebsk, Russia, on July 7, 1887, the eldest of nine boys. The members of the Chagall family were devout Hassidic Jews; Chagall’s faith would greatly inspire his art in the future and themes of Jewish symbolism were frequently featured in his works. The experience of growing up in a close-knit family, impoverished but happy, would also influence his artwork.

Chagall’s parents did not support their son’s early desire to become an artist. He began studying at the local Yehuda Pen School of Painting in 1907 but after a bitter argument with his father only a few months later, he fled to St. Petersburg to pursue his passion. He continued his studies there at the Imperial Society for the Protection of the Arts and the Zvantseva School of Drawing and Painting.

During this time, Jews were only allowed to live in St. Petersburg if that residence was necessitated by their professions – and then only with a permit. Chagall was jailed briefly for a time for residing in the city without the proper paperwork. He left for Paris in 1910, attracted by the Parisian art scene – in particular the Montparnasse district. In Paris, he encountered works by surrealist, fauvist, and cubist artists. His now characteristic style began to develop and his works began to receive recognition from the art community. He participated in the Salon des Indépendants and the Salon d’Automne in 1912. A one-man show in Berlin in 1914 helped to solidify his position as an important up-and-coming artist.

Chagall returned to his hometown in 1914. “The soil that nourished the roots of my art was Vitebsk,” he said in his 1994 autobiography, “My Life.” It was here that he met Bella Rosenfeld, whom he married in 1915. Love is a recurring theme in Chagall’s art and is often personified in his work by the image of Bella. “In our life there is a single color, as on an artist’s palette, which provides the meaning of life and art. It is the color of love,” Chagall said. “Only love interests me and I am only in contact with things that revolve around love.”

The start of World War I in 1914 prevented Chagall from returning to Paris and he and Bella remained in Vitebsk where he served as Commissar for Art, founding the Vitebsk Popular Art School in 1918. After resigning from the school following tensions with the supremacist painters, he, Bella, and their daughter, Ida, left for Moscow and then Berlin before settling in Paris in 1923. There Chagall met and began working with famed art dealer and publisher Ambroise Vollard who commissioned him to illustrate Nicolai Gogol’s “Les Ames Mortes” (“Dead Souls”) and Jean de La Fontaine’s “Fables.” Chagall also began a series of etchings based on the stories of the Bible at the request of Vollard, which he completed in 1956.

The Nazi occupation of France forced the Chagalls to flee Paris, first for the south of France, and then, in 1941, to the United States where he would remain until 1947. His wife, companion and inspiration, Bella, died in 1944. Chagall sunk into a depression and was unable to work for months.

Chagall returned to France in 1948 and would remain there for the rest of his life. The cloud over his life lifted through a relationship with Virginia Haggard, with whom he had a son, and his creativity returned. He began to explore new media, working in stained glass, sculpture, mosaics and ceramics.

In 1952 Chagall married Valentina Brodsky – “Vava,” as he affectionately called her – who would be his companion throughout the rest of his life. That same year he was commissioned by Teriade, the heir to Vollard, to create a series of gouaches illustrating Longus’ love story Daphnis and Chloe which was translated into an important series of lithographs in 1961. Chagall created twelve stained glass windows for the Hadassah Hebrew University Medical Center in Jerusalem in 1961, St. Etienne’s Cathedral in Metz, France in 1962, the glass at Notre-Dame de Reims in Reims, France in 1974, and the glass at Saint Etienne Church at Mayence in 1981. He also decorated the ceiling of the Paris Opera in 1964 and murals for the Metropolitan Opera House in New York City in 1966. In 1964, Chagall created his famed lithographic series, “Le Cirque” (“The Circus”).

After a long and prolific career in the arts, Chagall died in Saint-Paul-de-Vence, France on March 28, 1985, at age 97. His work continues to be studied and admired in numerous public and private collections throughout the world and his name lives on as a modern master in art history.

MARCEL MOULY (1918-2008)

Marcel Mouly’s boldly colored semi-abstract works attract private and public collectors around the world. Whether they are still lifes, landscapes, interiors, boats, or port scenes, they are collected with equal enthusiasm. Having studied with masters of modern art, including Picasso, Mouly created a unique trademark style and developed a reputation as one of the most important modern artists of the late 20th and early 21st centuries.

Marcel Mouly was born in Paris, France on February 6, 1918. His interest in art developed in grade school. A precocious, mischievous child, Mouly was first sent to a drawing class as a form of punishment. However, Mouly loved learning to draw and exhibited a natural artistic talent, though his path to a career as an artist proved not to be a linear one.

After leaving school at thirteen, Mouly worked as an apprentice to a local dentist and later worked for a wine merchant, carrying heavy baskets of wine to make his deliveries. In 1935, while still employed by the wine merchant, Mouly began taking night classes in the arts at the Cours Montparnasse 80, where he remained until his military duty began in 1938.

After France fell to Germany in June 1940, Mouly became a civilian again and eked out a living during these difficult economic times working odd jobs. Mouly befriended a fellow artist named Bernard la Fourcade and the two of them established a studio in Auteuil. During a trip to Normandy in 1942, the pair was stopped by German officials and they were questioned for their lack of travel documentation which was, at the time, required by the Vichy government. Mouly and la Fourcade were arrested shortly after their return to Paris and imprisoned as spies. During his solitary confinement, Mouly constantly thought about art and formed the belief that when he became free, he would become a famous artist.

Shortly after being released from prison, Mouly, along with fellow artist Édouard Pignon, rented the Boulogne studio of famed modernist sculptor Jacques Lipchitz (1891-1973). Mouly learned a great deal from Lipchitz, particularly about the style of Cubism. In 1935, after studying painting at the French Academies, he began to show his work publicly. In 1945 he participated at the Salon d’Automne, took part in the open art forums of the Ecole de Boulogne, and studied with Leger, Pignon, and Bertin. The following year, he exhibited at the Salon du Mai. By the mid-1940s, Mouly’s art began to gain notoriety from his peers and collectors and his first one-man exhibition was held in 1949 at the Libraire Bergamesque.

Mouly continued to develop his technique, expertly incorporating his formal art education and the influences of such masters as Picasso (whom he was to study with) and Matisse to create his own unique, trademark style. While one may note his use of the deep, bold colors typically used in Matisse’s Fauvist works, or the Cubism of Picasso, Mouly’s style is uniquely and unmistakably his own. By the 1950s Mouly was already looked upon as an emerging brilliant and skilled young painter. In the mid 1950s, he began to work in the printmaking medium of lithography and he was soon recognized as a master printmaker, as well.

Marcel Mouly’s work has been exhibited throughout the world and is included in the permanent collections of more than twenty museums, such as the Museum of Modern Art in Paris, the Museum of Modern Art in Japan, the Museum of Geneva, the Museum of Modern Art in Helsinki, and Paris’ Bibliotheque Nationale. He has also been the subject of numerous books and has been recognized by such honors as the “Chevalier de L’Orde des Arts et Lettres” (1957) and the “Premier Prix de Lithographie” (1973).

Though Marcel Mouly died on January 7, 2008, weeks shy of his 90th birthday, his art and his legacy live on. “His art is pure and direct in its message,” art historian and writer Joseph Jacobs said. “It is an art about beauty and life, an art about the more familiar and comfortable world we live in and know. In this respect, Mouly is quintessentially French, his roots firmly planted in the School of Paris. Picasso, Braque, Matisse, Rouault, Vlaminck, Chagall, Vuillard, and Dufy are his patrimony, and he has carried their mantel with unflagging dedication.”

MARCUS GLENN 1968

Marcus Glenn is one of the most exciting young artists to emerge in recent years. Marcus is proudly a Detroit native – born and raised. His studio has long been in the heart of Corktown – the oldest neighborhood in the Motor City. He has commissioned works of art hanging in exclusive private and public collections throughout the world. He’s is one of the most widely collected contemporary artists, and his collectors eagerly await each new creation.

Marcus has sold artwork in 67 different countries to many thousands of art enthusiasts. His artwork “One Nite Outta This World” was selected as the official art for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles in January 2014. Glenn is also the official artist of the 2014 Amelia Island Jazz Festival.

Marcus’ first introduction to art was at the age of five when his kindergarten teacher asked him to illustrate a board in the classroom. He says his mother enjoyed painting and fostered Marcus’ creativity as he grew by always making art supplies readily available throughout the house. As a teen, Marcus won a full scholarship to the city’s prestigious Center for Creative Studies. Although he says he didn’t quite connect at the school, it didn’t stop him from endlessly drawing, cartooning, painting and creating. He became the first African-American and the youngest cartoonist in the Detroit News. As a freelance cartoonist, his comic strip “Double Trouble” was published daily in the News and ran for three years.

Marcus credits his artistic skills as God-given ability and to studying artists like Picasso, Jacob Lawrence, Romare Bearden, Benny Andrews and Ernie Barnes. His work deals with issues that continue to fascinate him, such as the creative process of making art, the solitary experience of the artist, the dialog between art and the viewer, and music (mostly jazz).

Known for his use of bright colors and his expressive use of paper and fabric, Marcus creates a masterful textured collage effect. He fascinates viewers by inviting them into his realm of colorful and unique imagery. While he gets a good amount of his supplies from local art stores, the fabrics he uses are often passed through his family.

Marcus combines painting and sculpture in a bas-relief effect, calling his style “Flat Life,” which he has developed for more than a decade. Marcus is always trying to further refine this style by enhancing his technique and taking his collages to the next level.

  • In the Artist’s Studio with Marcus Glenn (video)
  • Marcus has sold artwork close to 70 countries to many thousands of art enthusiasts. He has commissioned works of art hanging in exclusive private and public collections throughout the world.
  • His artwork “One Nite Outta This World” was selected as the official art for the 56th Annual Grammy Awards held in Los Angeles in January 2014.
  • He’s the official poster artist for the 2014 Amelia Island (Fla.) Jazz Festival
  • His series, “A Day at the Gallery” pays homage to other artists by incorporating their work into his.
  • Marcus paints with “the palette of God,” something that kept him grounded when his career began to spike. His works are peppered with symbolism, most apparent in his colorful floorboards, which jut at different angles in a spectrum of colors and provide a “foundation of love” for humankind.
  • His figures are animated and mannerist in approach, often stretching and twisting into impossible positions. Glenn says that he elongates his figures, breathing life into their instruments as they become one through the element of jazz.
  • Glenn’s works are heavily jazz-infused. Although not a musician himself, when he was growing up, his father was an avid jazz collector. Glenn remembers listening to the records, capturing that moment in time. When he began painting from these memories, he liberated the vision of the characters and instruments like the creativity within the jazz.
  • Glenn likes to paint straight on to board, rather than canvas, tearing paper and fabrics to build his collage. When creating his instruments and characters, he uses illustration board, sketching them first before they’re cut out, painted, and added to the work. Once it’s finished, he needs to live with it for two to three days, adjusting it later if necessary.
  • In his studio, he’ll work for 14 hours without eating or leaving, unaware until his wife calls him to attention. For the artist, though, painting is incredibly liberating, removing all of his stress. Without painting, Marcus says his life would be boring and unfulfilled.
  • In 1988, at the age of 20, Glenn participated in his first public art exhibition hosted by Gerald Marant Gallery and former Detroit Pistons player, John Salley. The group exhibition featured nationally known artists Annie Lee, Carl Owens and Gilbert Young.
  • Also working as a freelance cartoonist, he became the first African American and the youngest cartoonist in the Detroit News. His comic strip, “Double Trouble”, was published daily and ran for three years. The strip was based on his twin daughters, 6 years old at the time, telling stories about the exciting and hilarious moments he encountered as they grew up. His career as a cartoonist only enhanced his painting, giving him the tools to tell his stories through other media.
  • In 1998, Glenn was commissioned by Daimler-Chrysler to paint a mural. Later that year, he was commissioned by renowned restaurateur, Patrick Coleman, for a mural. And In 1999, he was featured in a group exhibition hosted by Daimler-Chrysler.
  • In August of 2005, Glenn’s work was featured in his first museum exhibition held at the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History in Detroit. The museum now hosts one of his paintings in its permanent collection.
  • In 2014, Glenn was chosen as the official artist for the Amelia Island Jazz Festival, held annually on Amelia Island in Florida. The event helps raise money to provide scholarships for young musicians.

MARKO MAVROVICH 1960

Marko Mavrovich was born in 1960 to Croatian parents living in California. At age 10, his parents moved back to Croatia with him. They moved around several of the islands off the coast of Croatia but spent most of their time on the Island of Unije. This was his favorite island and the beauty of the sea and coastline inspired Marko to begin sketching. With the support of his father, who was a watercolor artist, and his mother, his strongest critic, Marko honed his artistic abilities. During the summers, Marko sold his drawings to German and Italian tourists.

At the age of 17, despite encouragement from his parents to attend an art school, Marko chose to enroll in a school for Navigators. He never lost his passion for his art, and for the 4 years he was at Navigation School, he continued drawing. When he was finished with school, he went to work on ships, perpetually struggling with his two loves – the sea and his art.

It was not until his father died that Marko had moved back to the United States where his love for art finally took over. It came after working more than 3 years as a commercial diver. “Being underwater in absolute silence helped me clear my thinking,” he said. “I finally realized I should be doing something better with my life.” When a rogue propeller nearly took a limb one afternoon, severing his air hose and cutting his wet suit, Marko realized it was time for a career change. His solitary hours underwater gave him the time and insight needed to push him back toward his love for art for good.

Marko then began drawing, painting and exhibiting his work in street shows where he was discovered by established galleries. Those galleries gave him valuable exposure through exhibiting his artwork around the country. He began painting what he knew: coastlines, seascapes, and landscapes. He initially attempted painting nudes in the legacy of his father but felt he should wait until he had matured as an artist before attempting the genre again. He focused on the colors of California – warm shades of red and gold that felt special to him.

Marko’s artwork is influenced by his father, Winslow Homer, John Singer Sargent, the Impressionists, and the California Impressionists like Edgar Payne. He is still inspired by the islands of Croatia and living on the edge of the sea, wherever he is. It’s his love for the ocean and hillsides, and his desire to capture the effects and colors of the sunlight that propel him, – dominant themes in his work. For Marko, everything in life involves water and boats.

His studio is what he calls “organized chaos” and only he knows where everything is. Projects that may occur within in the next six months are strategically placed around the room so they’re available at all times. He surrounds himself with studies, notes, and supplies. In the morning, the first thing he thinks of is painting. He’s only deterred by running or taking care of his dog.

When chores in the home and garden don’t intervene, Marko likes to paint for 10 hours straight. He listens to music throughout the day, changing genre as the daylight fades. While he begins with country music in the morning, he transgresses to heavy rock by mid afternoon, followed by R&B, and then smooth jazz.

The artist also truly enjoys meeting his collectors. He recalls stories of special moments with his collectors, becoming engrained in their lives as much as they are in his. Witnessing incredible, personal experiences with his collectors, especially during a special VIP event in Alaska, made a profound impact on Marko that he will never forget.

Among his favorite places of inspiration are Catalina Island, Laguna Beach, the North Coast of California and old Spanish Missions. Recently the artist has traveled to Argentina, Mexico, Alaska, and the Caribbean. He also spends time in parts of Europe and Croatia where he has enjoyed considerable success. When he’s not painting or spending time with his collectors, Marko devotes a portion of his time to charity, volunteering his time and artwork for causes like Ovarian Cancer, the Women’s Heart Association, and various dog rescue organizations.

MAYA GREEN 1957

Maya Green was born in 1957 in Donetsk, Ukraine. There she received her degree in art studies. In 1996, she immigrated to Israel and settled in the city of Tiberias in northern Israel on the banks of the Sea of Galilee. The Galilee region is often a subject of her works.

Maya aptly uses a palette knife to achieve an impasto technique. By applying oil paints in bold colors, she transforms her sketches of northern Israel views. In her paintings she emphasizes the importance of composition, especially the contrast between light and shadow and the differences between the seasons.

The artist describes her work in her own words:

“I seek to complement the moments I encounter. I attempt breaking down life to its visual essentials: light, dark, balance, movement, tone. In doing so, perhaps I can reveal a new perspective. I enjoy capturing the essence of a moment.”

“I consider a painting complete when the idea I am trying to express matches the thoughts in my mind. Often, this process leaves me naked and feeling exceptionally vulnerable. If somebody, while looking at my artwork, gets that special feeling of something personal, I’m satisfied.”

Many works by Maya Green are in private collections in Russia, Israel, Scotland, America and Japan.

MICHAEL CHEVAL 1966

Michael Cheval, born in 1966 in Kotelnikovo, Russia, is a contemporary artist who has specialized in “Absurdist” paintings, drawings and portraits that capture the imagination and turns reality on its head.

Growing up in a small town in southern Russia, Cheval was raised in a family of creative talents. His grandfather was a professional artist and sculptor, while his grandmother wrote poems for children; his father was a soldier and artist, and his aunt a musician. Cheval’s love for drawing developed early, leading him to never question that he wanted to be an artist.

In 1980, Cheval moved with his family to Germany. His new setting left a great impression on the young artist. Museums and castles, ancient streets and wonderful landscapes of southern Germany permanently defined Cheval’s tastes. He enjoyed music, played in a rock’n’roll band and wrote poerty. Upon graduating high school, he served in the Soviet Army for two years, and in 1986 moved to Turkmenistan.

He took formal training at the Ashgabad School of Fine Arts, absorbing Eastern philosophy and the character of Central Asia. Cheval’s first personal exhibition took place at the Turkmenistan’s State Museum of Fine Art in 1990, two years before he graduated from the Ashgabad fine arts school. In 1994 he moved to Moscow and worked as an independent artist and illustrator, including for the publishing house “Planeta.”

His decision to immigrate in 1997 to the United States began a productive era for Cheval. He returned to the Western culture that greatly inspired him in his youth, but now he brought his own experience, his philosophy and vision. In 1998, he became a member of New York’s National Arts Club, where in 2000 he was distinguished with the Exhibition Committee Award.

Cheval’s absurd style stems from literary greats such as Lewis Carroll, but also has influences from Surrealists Salvador Dalí and Renee Margritte. Cheval says his works are an inverted reality and a reverse of logic that does not emerge from dreams like surrealism, but from imagination.

“Not even one detail is accidental. All details are like words in a poem. If you take out a word, the whole poem is crushed.”

He considers absurdity to be a game of imagination, where all ties are chosen to construct a literary plot. His work includes metaphorical references, and the viewer is challenged to find the hidden allusions, often using the artwork’s title as a jumping point. Cheval has his own stories behind each work, but invites viewers to become “co-authors” and invent their own meanings and stories.

“Absurdity, like any other genre, has its own rules. But it implies everything that is outlying of common rules and boundaries. ‘Absurdism’ is an attempt to understand our life the way it truly is.”

Music is an integral part of Cheval’s life. He grew up enjoying American music, and despite not knowing English, the music inspired fantastical scenes in his mind. Today, Cheval continues to be inspired by music, listening to hard rock, jazz, and classical music when painting.

Cheval has published two albums of his artwork and two 24-page catalogs of his most popular paintings.

“My paintings are like a window to another reality, and my goal is to make it so real that people won’t think that it’s false.”

Accomplishments

  • 2009: Cheval was chosen as the Best Of Worldwide Oil Artists by the “Best Of Worldwide Artists” Volume I Book Series (Kennedy Publishing, USA).
  • 2009: Palm Art Award Jury and Art Domain Gallery (Leipzig) certify Cheval as the winner of the First Prize of “Palm Art Award.”
  • 2010: Cheval’s artworks are published in the “Dreamscape 2010” book among of 50 world-renowned famous surrealist artists.
  • 2010: Cheval’s artworks is published in “Imaginaire” in Denmark and participated in the “April’s Fool” exhibition organized by “Fantasmus Art.”
  • 2011: Famous actress and artist Gina Lollobrigida commissioned her official portrait to Cheval. In July 2011 the painting was completed.
  • 2013: Cheval has been nominated for Palm Art Award (Germany).
MICHAEL GODARD 1963

Michael Godard’s world of art invites us into his lighthearted perspective of life, surrounding us with animated olives, grapes and dancing strawberries. His unique imagery is an exciting combination of imagination and subtle humor which evoke the creative side in “olive” us. He has taken art as we know it and given it a new definition and, of course, a punch line.

The Las Vegas-based artist made friends as a child by showing his fellow students that he could draw. He went on to become an engineer, but realized his calling was to create art. He grew out his hair, embraced the rockstar style and never looked back.

His paintings are thought provoking and full of creative, fun, enigmatic illusions. They show pain, love, conflict and success; they make people smile, laugh, and reminisce. Godard uses the theme of alcohol as a way of connecting with the viewer, and for those who look closely, hidden details like names, dates or initials can be found in his art.

“The paintings are like a humorous, emotional bath,” he says. “Every painting might not be for every person, but everyone, I think, loves to have a laugh.”

Godard’s work is collected by the young and old from all walks of life including movie stars, rock stars and private collectors. Rock icon Ozzy Osbourne has said of Godard, “We both love to see people respond to our art and it’s probably why we’ve been given a gift to create and entertain. Get ready to go crazy over the artwork of Michael Godard.”

Godard’s imaginative world of art is seen by millions of people each month, worldwide through cruise lines, galleries, hotels, television, and magazines. His paintings even adorn the walls of the Officer’s Lounge in the Pentagon.

Godard has appeared on A&E’s “Criss Angel’s Mind Freak” and during the Biography Channel’s Criss Angel segment, along with numerous other media appearances. A documentary on Godard’s life won several awards and was aired at multiple independent film festivals. In March of 2011, a slot game called “Aristocrat’s Godard’s Rockin’ Olives™ Video Slot,” made its debut at the San Manuel Indian Bingo & Casino on March 22, 2011. Each frame and image in the Rockin’ Olives machine was hand-painted by Godard. In 2013, Goddard created his own brands of gin and vodka with his artwork adorning the bottles.

Godard has dedicated himself to philanthropic causes through his art. “The funds I help raise save lives and at the end of the day, it’s the most important thing I do,” declares the artist. In 2006, his 16-year-old daughter passed away after her battle with brain cancer. “All the money in the world cannot bring her back, but the funds I help raise for a cure will help save another child.”

Godard works closely with “The Sharon Osbourne Colon Cancer Program,” St. Jude’s “Make-A-Wish Foundation” and the “Nevada Cancer Institute.” Sharon Osbourne has said about developing the market and awareness of Godard’s work, “You’re not only buying something that is a work of art, but that money is going to save somebody’s life.”

Godard’s continuing efforts have driven him far beyond the canvas and brought him closer to his goal of raising monies to fight the war against cancer. Godard says, “The world is small, you can truly make an impact on everyone you meet.”

MICHAEL MILKIN 1964

Michael Milkin was born in Kharkov, Ukraine in 1964. As a student of Architecture at the town’s university, he participated in several art exhibitions. After graduating, he worked professionally as an architect but continued teaching, painting and participating in public exhibitions. Choosing to go to graduate school, Milkin attended the Pedagogical Institute in Kharkov, studying the graphic arts. In the late ‘90s, Milkin began teaching fine arts and, shortly after, his works were exhibited in art shows all over Ukraine, France, and Germany. He appreciates the opportunity to display his works on cruise ships, as well, reaching a diverse and interesting audience he would not otherwise have the opportunity to meet.

In his work, Milkin concentrates on still lifes and landscapes, painting with acrylics and oils in thick, dramatic brushwork and brilliant colors. He is inspired by Cézanne, Manet, and Vasiliev. Israel brought new ideas to his art, moving him deeply. Beginning with an outline of his subject, Milkin fills the outline on the canvas with modeling paste, using a palette knife. On top of the paste, Milkin layers bright acrylic paint, creating a heavy, textured image. He lets this dry then uses varnish to accent certain colors.

In late 2001, Milkin and his family decided to immigrate to Israel when he decided to fully dedicate himself to art. His work is exhibited and collected throughout the United States, Israel, Ukraine, and France and he has had several one-man and group exhibitions in Israel and abroad.

Group and solo exhibitions:

1995 Group exhibition, National Artists Union, Kiev, Ukraine
1998 Claude Hammon Gallery, Paris, France
1999 Dais Gallery, Kharkov, Ukraine
2001 Metropolitan Gallery, Kharkov, Ukraine
2002 Safrai Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel
2004 A&E Fine Art, Ridgewood, New Jersey
2005 Estampa, Madrid, Spain
2007 B.L.D. Gallery, New York, U.S.A.
2008 Art Expo, New York, U.S.A.
2009 Aviram Art Gallery, Kfar Ruth, Israel

NANO LOPEZ 1955

Nano Lopez was born October 31, 1955, in Bogota, Colombia. He was recognized early in his life for his artistic talent when he was awarded first place in a municipal school drawing contest at the age of five. By high school, he was making serious copies of the Masters including Michelangelo’s sculptures and paintings.

Nano continued his upper division studies and studio work at the School of David Manzur, The Rembrandt Academy, and the National University in Bogota. In 1978, he traveled to Spain and began working for the sculptor Francisco Baron. While with Francisco, Nano carved marble and granite and fabricated in steel. He worked all three materials on a monumental scale. It was in Madrid that he began casting his own works in bronze and held his first single artist show. After several years of learning in Madrid, Nano traveled to France, where he furthered his studies, showing his work more often. He attended the Superior National School of Beaux Art in Paris, and focused his studies in new materials, discovering the versatility of various casting media.

In 1981, he returned to Bogota to build a studio and put to use the methods he had learned in Europe. In 1983, Nano moved again this time to the Pacific Northwest area of the United States. He began to work with Manuel Izquierdo, head of the sculpture department at the Pacific Northwest College of Art. During the following four years, he was employed by various bronze foundries in the Northwest, and further developed his techniques in welding, and tooling of bronzes. Additionally, he continued to learn and develop skillful and original uses of patinas.

Nano began his own business in 1987 in Walla Walla, Washington, model-making, reducing and enlarging maquettes to monumental sizes. There was a great demand for Nano’s talent by both artists and foundries. In 2001 and 2002, Nano designed, built, and moved into his custom building. It contains very high ceilings with skylights and 8,000 square feet of floor space. Nano’s attractive building is enhanced by artistic landscaping and a beautiful scenic pond. It now serves as his personal studio space.

Nano has become successful in the production and marketing of his fine art bronzes and no longer takes on the business of enlargements. This frees up his time for the creation of his own work. His “Nanimals” engage viewers of all ages and reflect a sense of playfulness, intense creativity, and wonder. The combination of Nano’s classical training, experimentation with materials, and extensive experience, has led to the production of avant-garde art, which combines aesthetic considerations and rich textural surfaces. Nano’s work invites us to experience a range of emotions from joyful sense of wonder and creativity to deeply felt emotions relating to the human struggle.

PABLO PICASSO (1881-1973)

Pablo Picasso is unquestionably the most famous artist of the 20th Century. In his artistic life, lasting more than 75 years, he created tens of thousands of works, including paintings, drawings, sculpture, original lithographs, etchings, linoleum cuts, and ceramics. No single artist has had a greater influence on Modern Art and has changed art more profoundly in the 20th Century. Picasso has been described as having lived several lifetimes artistically. He created Cubism (with George Braque) and continued thereafter to develop his art with a velocity that is comparable to the pace and dramatic change of the 20th century.

Born in Malaga on October 25, 1881, Pablo was given an incredibly lengthy legal name: Pablo Diego José Francisco de Paula Juan Nepomuceno María de los Remedios Cipriano de la Santísima Trinidad Ruiz y Picasso. He received his first drawing lessons from his father, a drawing teacher, at La Coruna in 1891. In 1895, the family moved to Barcelona, where young Pablo brilliantly passed the entry examination to the famous La Llonga art school after completing the one-month qualifying exam in a single day. His father was so overwhelmed by his son’s abilities that he gave him own brushes and proclaimed that he would never paint again.

In 1897, he exhibited drawings in a cafe called Els Quatre Gats, part of the artistic center of Barcelona. In 1899, he met Jaime Sabartes and did his first etching, “El Zurdo.” The following year saw Picasso in Paris for the first time where he created and exhibited his drawings. In 1901, he made drawings in Madrid and Paris and he started to sign his works “Picasso” – his mother’s maiden name. In 1904, he settled definitively in Paris where he rented a studio in the “Bateau Lavoir.” This is the period when he created his famous “Blue Period” works, named for their monochromatic tonality and somber content.

In 1907, Picasso created the painting that would, in essence, change Modern Art, “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” Artists from all over the world made pilgrimages to see the work themselves. It led to Picasso’s collaboration with Braque (lasting into the 1920s) which created Cubism.

The 1920s were important years in the development of Picasso’s art and fame. He designed theater sets and painted in cubist, neo-classical, and surrealist styles. In 1937, the fascists horrified the world with the bombing of the civilian town of Guernica, Spain. Picasso was deeply affected by the carnage and responded by creating his other most notorious masterpiece, “Guernica.”

Picasso also became one of the most important original printmakers of all time. He was never content to use any media in its purely traditional way and he revolutionized many of the graphic media he employed. In 1905, he engraved “Les Saltimbanques.” In 1906, Picasso did drypoints on celluloid and his first woodcuts. From 1909 to 1915 he produced Cubist prints and from 1916 to 1920, he did neoclassic etchings. 1919 was the year of his first lithographs. In 1927, he did etchings for Balzac’s “Le Chef-d’oeuvre inconnu” and etchings for Ovid’s “Metamorphoses” in 1930. In 1933, he began working on a set of one hundred copperplates for Vollard (the Vollard Series). In 1934, he did “Lysistrata” and in 1935, “The Minotauromachy.” In 1937, Picasso engraved “Franco’s Dream and Lie” (also in response to the bombing of Guernica), the sugar aquatints for Buffon’s “Histoire Naturelle,” and the portraits of Vollard that concluded the famous hundred plate series.

Picasso moved to lithography in November 1945, producing his first color works in that medium at the famous Mourlot atelier. In 1948, he did “Gongora” and Reverdy’s Le Chant des Morts. In 1949, Picasso created the lithograph entitled “The Dove of Peace,” in 1950, the illustrations for Cesaire’s “Corps Perdui,” and in 1952, the aquatints each titled “Woman at the Window.” From 1953 to 1957, he focused on aquatints, line engravings, and lithographs (the Jacqueline series) and in 1958 his first color linocuts. In 1959, he did the Tauromachy series and linocuts. From 1960 to 1967, he did aquatints, etchings, drypoints, and line engravings. In 1968, from March 16 to October 5, three weeks before his 87th birthday, he did 347 etchings, line engravings, drypoints, mezzotints, and aquatints, known as the “347 Series.”

Picasso died on April 8, 1973 in Mougins, France at the age of 91.

PAT MCMANUS 1958

Pat McManus has been painting wildlife and landscapes since the mid-1980s and has received many awards for his work. His paintings are also featured in many distinguished collections.

Pat is very meticulous about the preparation and execution of any piece he undertakes. He is an avid photographer who spends innumerable hours in the field carefully studying and recording reference material for future subjects. His paintings are the result of careful observation and diligent efforts and feature meticulous detail and exceptional technical mastery.

Pat’s artwork is best known for its ability to convey the mood, beauty, and energy of the animals and landscapes he delights in portraying. The artist strives to bring to his paintings the same sense of wonder he felt when he first encountered the animal or location used in the painting. He portrays the animals he depicts in their natural environments, the same way a portrait painter references the portrait’s subject to reflect the character or personality of the sitter. His most recent expedition was to paint the wildlife in Alaska.

Pat and his wife, Mary, reside in Michigan, with their three children. Pat’s most recent awards include the Grand Prize in the 2009 Paint the Parks Competition hosted by Paint America and being selected as one of the “Mini 50” winners in the Paint America competition.

PATRICK GUYTON 1964

Born in Pennsylvania in 1964, Patrick Guyton had the groundwork set for his artistic career by the age of 6 under the guidance of his parents, both artists and designers. In 1984 he attended The Art Institute of Pittsburgh where he studied fine arts, sculpture, and design theory. He graduated with an Associate’s Degree in Visual Communications. Since moving to Southern California in 1987, he has worked as a fine and commercial artist creating airbrush illustration, murals and signage.

In 1997, Guyton joined Linda Jones Enterprises/Warner Bros as a background painter for legendary cartoonist and animator Chuck Jones. During this time he was privileged to study under Maurice Noble, who played a role in shaping the animation industry since the 1950s. Guyton designed and painted many background scenes for Jones, the most notable being the background scene for the “What’s Opera, Doc?” a limited edition animation celluloid (cel). This animation cel was included in the film’s preservation in the National Film Registry and was the first cartoon deemed by the United States Library of Congress as being among the most culturally, historically and aesthetically significant films of our time. Guyton was also commissioned by Looney Tunes/McKimson Productions where he became the background painter for classic animator, Robert McKimson, working on McKimson’s Limited Edition Sports Animation Cels.

“There is no other word than surreal for such a thing,” he says. “That was a great experience, I got to work with a lot of iconic animators and background painters.”

Guyton has studied the work of a variety of masters such as Michelangelo, Tiepolo, and Monet as well as Rockwell, Earle, Noble, Bisley and Roth of the 20th century. During these studies, he combined the 14th century Kamakura Period in Japanese leafing and the 17th century Flemish Masters technique of glazing to create his Moments in Time series.

Guyton’s career has encompassed many different fields. In addition to various book illustrations, the artist designed thousands of Milk Caps during the POG craze for industry leader Trov Inc., he was the lead character development artist and animation assistant for Honeytree Productions, hand painted commercial billboards, interior design murals and has taught fourth grade art at Vineyard Middle School in Anaheim, California.

Today, Guyton works as a fine artist in his studio in Southern California where he specializes in gold and silver leaf artwork, creating contemporary variations of traditional Japanese and Venetian style works. Utilizing Flemish techniques and formulas, Guyton keeps true to the Vienna Secession ideals.

“What has been the most interesting thing is to experiment with metal, doing patina and oxygenation, and having to take the contrast of light and dark in paint but also reflective and non-reflective light,” he says.

He has expanded to other precious metals in his artwork, such as copper, platinum and palladium. Since metal will normally expand and contract in different temperatures, Guyton had to develop a way to keep his paintings intact. He experimented for a year on creating the perfect formulation for his boards, eventually creating boards that are metal with a special plastic core. These special boards are now manufactured exclusively for him to use in his art.

Guyton’s ability to design with sophisticated detail brings drama and poetic expression into his work. With his unique vision, he merges mood and atmosphere, evoking powerful emotions that create harmony. Guyton’s work can be viewed and collected from Hawaii to Key West, Florida. He currently lives in Orange County, California with his wife and daughter

PETER MAX

Peter Max’s story begins in Germany where he was born in 1937. He and his family fled the Nazis in 1938 and moved to Shanghai, China, where they lived for the next ten years. Max was incredibly artistic from the moment he was born, enamored by color and constantly searching for ways to draw on everything (to the detriment of his mother). For Peter, color was paired with sound – an intense synesthesia. The ripple of crayons on a steamer trunk was the first memorable experience for the artist where he truly realized his love for sound and color. Today, there are few works by Max created in silence.

Early in his life, Max fell in love with three things: comic books, movies, and jazz – all uniquely American. In China, Max’s lessons were taught in English, so when he saw his first American movie after school at the cinema and picked up his first comic book, he was able to understand them. Max’s early love for comic books hugely affected his style. The foreshortening of lines, bold colors, and the heavy black outline of the characters stayed with him.

He and his family traveled through Tibet, southern Africa, India, Italy, and Israel, exposing the young Peter to more cultures and languages than many see in a lifetime. While in Tibet, Max was struck by the monks in meditation. They were carrying their walking sticks and chanting by the waterfall at sunset—an image that Max wouldn’t forget and one that often appears in his art.. Before he left China, the pillars of Max’s style had been constructed. His love for color, spirituality, graphic lines, and music formed the foundation on which he would create his future artwork.

In 1948, they moved again, this time to Haifa, Israel. Peter learned fluent Hebrew and began delving more seriously into his art. Becoming a distraction from his classes, his parents tried to structure his creativity by enrolling him in art lessons with a Viennese Expressionist after school. Professor Hünik enlightened Peter, changing the way he thought about color. He became the professor’s protégé for the next two years and began defining himself as a colorist. When he needed more assistance with his drafting, he turned to comic books, following their foreshortened lines and vivid style.

There was another book that heavily influenced his style, though, and it was less than conventional. One summer, Max began reading the encyclopedia, beginning with the letter “A”. He got no further than astronomy. He was enamored by the subject, so much that he begged his parents to study academically. They found a way for him to audit classes at Technion, a scientific university in Haifa, where he began his thirst for space. Later in life, this deep interest in the cosmos would turn into a spiritual quest as much as it was scientific.

Before moving to America, the Max family traveled to Paris for nine months in 1953 where Peter spent time studying at the Louvre. While Max had demonstrated his interest in sweeping color and lines, almost nearing abstraction, his interest at the Louvre was actually in works by the 19th century artist, Adolphe-William Bouguereau. His nearly photo-realistic paintings were inspirational to Max, who wanted to focus more on his draftsmanship. Bouguereau was his ideal mentor to allow him to further develop his technique, but Max soon learned that while he was capable of painting in such a naturalistic style, it took much more time and patience.

His family eventually settled in Brooklyn, where Max graduated high school then studied under the realist Frank J. Reilly at the Art Students League. He spent nearly all his time at the Art Students League, taking every class possible for the next five years. He learned drafting and anatomy from Reilly, finely honing the technique he once admired of Bouguereau. Max discovered, however, that by painting so photo-realistically, he was closing off his imagination, limiting his options. Pushing toward abstraction, color fielding, and many of the styles in vogue, Max eventually found a place as a “Neo-Fauvist” and a “Neo-Expressionist,” allowing his creative spirit to blossom.

In 1961, fresh out of school, Max started a graphic design studio with friends, finding almost overnight success in the design industry. Throughout the sixties, Max developed his signature “psychedelic” style (his ongoing fusion of eastern yogi philosophy, astronomy, comic books, studies in color, and music) expressed through posters, advertising, and his graphic works. The look he achieved was sought-after by companies across the country and agencies, magazines, and national publications placed Max at the center of the youth movement. The story behind his poster for the Central Park “Be In” on Easter of 1967 was even adapted for the Academy Award-winning director Milos Forman’s film, “Hair.” Max was at the center of a cultural revolution, magnified by his unique graphic style. He was featured on The Tonight Show and on the cover of LIFE Magazine. His posters were on the walls of every college dorm-room, and he had become an iconic artist and designer.

In 1968, while working on a film in Paris, Max met Swami Satchidananda. That moment was life-changing for the artist. Introducing him to yoga and a deeper understanding of Eastern spirituality, Max invited the swami to stay with him in the United States, helping him establish the Integral Yoga Institute, spreading the teachings of yoga throughout America’s youth. With more than 70 branches in each state today, plus 21 other nations, Max helped introduce yoga to a greater portion of the world, enlightening young and creative minds.

For most of the 1970s, Max shut down his graphic workshop. Intensely focused on his getting back to the paint, he took himself off the radar for almost 18 years, only spending time painting. Park West Gallery has enjoyed a relationship with Peter Max since the 1970s and is the artist’s largest and longest-running dealer in the world. Throughout the ‘70s, even while retreating somewhat from the spotlight, Max stayed busy, the subject of an exhibition at the De Young Museum in San Francisco called “The World of Peter Max.” He was also commissioned by the U.S. Post Office to make the first ever environmental 10 cent stamp, commemorating the 1974 World’s Fair in Spokane, Washington. In 1976, he worked with Lee Iacocca of Chrysler to save the Statue of Liberty, creating a series that generated enough funding to restore the desperately worn landmark.

His style changed during this 18 year retreat, adapting his technique to the paint rather than a graphic medium. His palette became softer and more diverse and his strokes became broader and more textured. Thematically, he began to develop new imagery, like The Dega Man, Zero Megalopolis, and The Umbrella Man. American icons, especially the Statue of Liberty, appeared over and over in his works and, by the time he returned to the public scene in the ‘80s, Max’s style has transformed into something dramatic and almost politically charged. He re-opened his studio, creating a 40,000 square foot space for administration, painting, production, and gallery tours, just across the street from Lincoln Center in Manhattan. From that point on, Peter Max has stayed in the public eye, using his art to express his creativity while raising awareness on environmental and humanitarian issues.

In his global causes, Max is a passionate environmentalist and defender of human and animal rights. He has done paintings and projects for Presidents Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, and Clinton. In 1994, Max created a “Peace Accord” painting for the White House to commemorate the historic signing.

Max has completed his fourth Grammy Award poster, redesigned NBC’s symbolic peacock, was appointed as the official artist for five Super Bowls, the World Cup USA, Woodstock, the U.S. Tennis Open, and the NHL all-star game. Recently, he created six poster images in response to the September 11th attacks. Proceeds from the sale of these works were donated to the September 11th, Twin Towers, and Survivors Relief Funds. In October 2002, Max created 356 portrait paintings of the firefighters who perished in the September 11th terrorist attacks. Each painting was presented to the surviving families of the firefighters at a ceremony at Madison Square Garden. Also in 2002, Harry N. Abrams, Inc. published a new hardcover book, “The Art of Peter Max,” written by Charles Riley III, Ph. D.

Today, Max has evolved from a visionary pop artist of the 1960s to a master of neo-expressionism. His vibrant and colorful works have become a lasting part of contemporary American culture..

PINO (1939-2010)

Born Giuseppe Dangelico in Bari, Italy on November 8, 1939, Pino Daeni began his studies at the city’s Art Institute. In 1960, he entered Milan’s Academy of Brera where he perfected his talent and skill for painting nudes. In Milan he came under the influence of the Pre-Raphaelites and Macchiaioli, experimented with Expressionism of the late ‘60s, and found fascination with major artists of the 20th century, particularly Sorolla, Sargent and Boldini. From 1960 to 1979, his work appeared in several prizes and awards. These paintings were early renderings of his present style. At the same time, he was commissioned by Italy’s two largest publishers, Mondadori and Rizzoli, for book illustrations.

Pino’s works focus on the female figure, inspired by growing up surrounded by sisters, aunts, and female cousins. His subjects display a range of emotions, often in private or intimate settings. The atmosphere within his paintings is romantic and soft, filled with flowing fabrics and heavy texture with a deep emotional weight.

In 1978, Pino immigrated to the United States under the sponsorship of Borghi Gallery where he held several shows in New York and Massachusetts. From 1980 to 1994, he gained great popularity among book publishers: Zebra, Bantam, Simon and Schuster, Harlequin, Penguin USA, and Dell, where his fresh artistic interpretations made him an artist in demand. His style influenced and dominated the market.

Since 1992, Pino’s fine art pieces have appeared in galleries throughout the United States. They go back to his early days in Milan and underline his ongoing explorations in technique, tone, and harmony. Frequently, his works carry themes that bring out the complexities of human relationships, states of connection and separation. His enriched technique skillfully transcribes these human emotions on the faces of his subjects and supports them in the tones of the characters’ deftly rendered garments. His artistic sensibility lives in the harmony of content and form that he achieves in his work, a style which he has perfected over the years and which marks his originality. Pino has been invited to several significant art shows in the United States. Also, he has appeared on major TV networks and has been interviewed in national and international journals.

Pino resided in New Jersey until his death on May 25, 2010.

REMBRANDT VAN RIJN (1606-1669)

The ninth of 10 children born to Harmen Gerritzsoon van Rijn, a prosperous miller, and Neeltgen Willemsdochter van Zuytbrouck, the daughter of a baker, Rembrandt was born in Leiden, Holland – then considered to be one of the principal artistic and intellectual centers in Holland.

At the age of 13 he enrolled in Leiden University but soon left to pursue art, first as an apprentice to a history painter in Leiden and later under the tutelage of Pieter Lastman, a famous artist in Amsterdam. Returning to Leiden, Rembrandt opened a studio – while still in his teens – with his friend, Jan Lievens, who had also studied under Lastman.

By the end of 1631, Rembrandt returned to Amsterdam, having accepted a commission from a well-known physician in the city. He lived with Hendrik van Uylenburg, a successful art dealer, whose cousin he married in 1634. Rembrandt’s marriage to Saskia van Uylenburg was a benefit to his career, providing him access to wealthy patrons who eagerly commissioned his portraits.

As his career flourished, Rembrandt’s private life was beset by tragedies. Of the couple’s four children, three died before reaching the age of three months. The artist suffered more heartbreak when Saskia died shortly after the birth of their son, Titus, who lived to adulthood – but would pre-decease his father.

After Saskia’s death, Rembrandt hired Geertje Direx to care for his young son. When the relationship soured – leading to a legal battle – he turned to Hendrickje Stoffels, who eventually became his common-law wife. While the couple’s first child died as an infant, their daughter, Cornelia, survived.

Rembrandt had a penchant for an ostentatious lifestyle and was plagued with an obsessive desire to accumulate art and other possessions. After years of living beyond his means, he was forced to declare bankruptcy in 1656. Over the next two years, his home and many of his possessions were auctioned to pay his creditors.

Having lost his wealth, Rembrandt moved with Hendrickje and his children to a small cottage on the outskirts of Amsterdam. He outlived both Hendrickje, who died in 1663 at the age of 37, and Titus, who died in 1668. Within a year of his son’s death, Rembrandt died – on October 4, 1669 in Amsterdam – and was laid to rest in an unmarked grave in the Westerkerk.

In many ways, Rembrandt’s etchings are more important than his paintings. He revolutionized a medium that was, in his day, simply a copyist’s tool. Rembrandt painted portraits to sustain himself financially but he made etchings for his personal pleasure, to extend the potential of the etching medium, and to feed his desire for continual creativity. He carried with him a copper plate as most artists carry a sketchbook. In etching Rembrandt allowed himself to create freely without the academic restraints of his day.

Rembrandt was the great master of the Baroque Age, a time known for a style with dramatic application of light and shadow – a technique called “chiaroscuro.” He remains one of history’s most innovative and influential original printmakers. He created more than 300 etchings in his lifetime, many of which he labored over obsessively, often resulting in multiple states or variations in the evolution of an etched image.

Scholars have divided his etching output into different categories according to subject. Each reveals a different facet of Rembrandt’s personality. His portraits, including his self portraits, reveal the complexity of his psychology and reveal his general moods over the years. His many religious etchings demonstrate a vast knowledge of both testaments, while his beggar and genre scenes are still being analyzed for their meaning and intent. Rembrandt’s contributions to the medium of etching have inspired countless artists, including many of the most important etchers of all time like Goya, Whistler, Chagall and Picasso. More than 350 years later, his etchings continue to astonish us in their virtuosity, insight and dramatic presence.

Timeline of Rembrandt’s Life and Work

1606 Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn is born on July 15th
1620 Enrolls at Leiden University, but leaves shortly thereafter
1621 Begins apprenticeship with Leiden painter Jacob van Swanenburgh
1624 Sets up studio in Leiden, collaborating with friend Jan Lievens
1624-25 Spends six months studying with renowned painter, Pieter Lastman, in Amsterdam
1626 Returns to Leiden and begins to produce etchings
1628 Accepts his first pupils
1631 Moves to Amsterdam and becomes a successful professional portraitist
1634 Marries Saskia van Uylenburgh, the daughter of a successful art dealer
1635 Saskia gives birth to son Rumbartus, who dies after two months
1638 Daughter Cornelia is born but dies after three weeks
1639 Rembrandt and Saskia move to the house on the Breestraat—now known as the Rembrandt House in Amsterdam
1640 A daughter, also named Cornelia, is born but dies one month later
1641 Titus—Rembrandt’s only child with Saskia to live to adulthood—is born in September
1642 Saskia dies, probably from tuberculosis
1654 Rembrandt’s common-law wife, Hendrickje Stoffels, gives birth to Cornelia, the only child to survive the artist
1656 Rembrandt is declared bankrupt by the High Court of Holland
1656-1658 House and possessions are sold at auction
1660 Moves to a modest house on the Rozengracht
1663 Hendrickje dies when the plague sweeps Amsterdam
1665 Rembrandt produces his last etching, a portrait of physician Jan Antonides van der Linden
1668 Titus marries on February 28, but dies a few months later and is buried in the Westerkerk
1669 Titus’ wife gives birth to a daughter, Titia. Rembrandt dies on October 4th and is buried in an unmarked grave in the Westerkerk

ROMERO BRITTO 1963

The New York Times says that Britto’s style “exudes warmth, optimism and love,” and we couldn’t agree more. His unique fusion of Pop Art and Cubism calls on the knowledge of art history, popular aesthetics, and a sense of humor – melding into a new and playfully insightful style of contemporary art.

Born in 1963 in Recife, Brazil, Britto often painted images on scraps of cardboard and newspaper. His drive and passion to excel led him to travel from Europe, visiting Paris, where he caught his first glimpses of Matisse and Picasso. It was in 1988 that he moved to Miami, exposing himself as an international artist. This exposure was life-altering for the artist, and the following year, he was commissioned by Absolut Vodka for a high-profile ad campaign, selected along with Andy Warhol and Keith Haring. This incredible opportunity catapulted Britto into the limelight.

Other commissions followed, including: Grand Marnier, Apple Computers, Pepsi-Cola, IBM, Disney, a United Nations postage stamp series, Britto Mini Cooper for BMW, the Mariner of the Seas for the Royal Caribbean Cruise Line, and most recently, BankAtlantic. Collectors of Britto’s work include Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Andre Agassi as well as the Guggenheim family, the Rothschilds, the Kennedys, the Mitterands and former Whitney Museum President, William Woodside. In 2012, Britto’s work was honored at Brazil’s Carnival.

Although he calls himself a Pop artist, the cubist elements in Britto’s work should hardly surprise critics – few artists in modern times have escaped the long shadows cast by Picasso and Braque. Britto’s individual style has emerged from these influences, adding vibrant colors, pop imagery, playful themes, plus an inventive use of his signature within his paintings. Vital to the essence of Britto’s art is its unrestrained and optimistic outlook on life.

Throughout the years, Britto has lent his talent, energy, and time to many philanthropic causes, such as the Andre Agassi Foundation for Education, the World Economic and Development Fund, St. Judes Hospital, and many others – including his own – the Britto Foundation. The goal behind the Britto Foundation is to provide support to those who work to create, promote and encourage education and humanitarian-based initiatives that benefit children around the world. It is a tremendous personal reward for Britto, knowing that his art is capable of making a difference and inspiring others to give.

To date, Britto’s art is shown in more than 140 galleries nationwide. His work is displayed in the permanent collections of multiple museums and his sculptural installations are located all over the world. He has been profiled in numerous national publications including People Magazine, Art News, Variety, and Leaders Magazine. His gallery located on Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, Florida is open to the public and has become a meeting place for school children, celebrities, collectors, and art enthusiasts.

MUSEUM EXHIBITIONS

Carrousel du Louvre, Salon Nationale des Beaux-Arts
Sonderausstellung der Kinder-Akademie Fulda, Germany
Louvre Museum, Salle Le Norte Paris, France
Today Art Museum Beijing, China
Sichuan Arts Museum Chengdu, China
Museum of Lu Xun Art Academy Shenyang, China
Museum of Guanghou Art Academy Guangzhou, China
Museum of Contemporary Art/MOCA Shanghai, China
Maison de Imerique Latine de Monaco- Monaco
Boca Raton Museum of Art Boca Raton, FL
Coral Springs Museum of Art Coral Springs, FL
Fine Arts Museum of Long Island Hempstead, NY
Florida Museum of Hispanic and Latin American Art Miami, FL
Museo de Bellas Artes- San Juan, Puerto Rico
Goodwill Games Museum, Lake Placid, NY
Museu Nacional de Belas Artes Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Museo da Imagem e do Som Sao Paulo, Brazil
Officina de Arte Belo Horizonte, Brazil
Museo de Cinco Pontas Recife, Brazil
Benemerita Universidad Automoma de Puebla, Mexico

SALVADOR DALÍ (1904-1989)

Born in Figueres, Spain, Salvador Dalí was an artistically precocious child and eventually attended the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in Madrid – getting expelled twice. He believed he was more qualified than those who administered his examinations. He devoured the philosophical writings of Freud and he was deeply interested in cubism, futurism, and metaphysical art in magazines as a young artist.

He had his first one-person shows in Barcelona in 1925 and in Madrid in 1926. His work eventually fused the pictorial concepts of the Surrealists, Juan Gris, Giorgio de Chirico, and Carlo Carra with the refined methods of the Old Masters. Sometime during 1926, Dali made a brief excursion to Paris where he met Picasso. Initially, Dalí was shunned by the Surrealists for possessing too much skill and painterly technique, as the Surrealist ideal was based on a rejection of rationality. Later, Andre Breton, surrealism’s central proponent, appointed him an official Surrealist. Within a short time Dalí was to become the movement’s most spectacular advocate. In his art, he succeeded in achieving the synthesis of what Andre Breton called, “a retrograde craft with the most extreme inventions of modern culture.” His graphic oeuvre includes etchings, lithographs, and combinations of both which evolved parallel to his paintings.

Throughout his career, Dalí’s fame and reputation grew dramatically as he developed a Surrealist persona to accompany his art. Stories of Dali’s bizarre and audacious behavior have become the stuff of legends of modern art history. As his fame grew, so did the demand for his work among collectors and museum curators who sought to acquire and exhibit his paintings, objects, and graphic works. In 1982, the Salvador Dalí Museum was opened in St. Petersburg, Florida, which was developed from the personal collection of Dalí‘s patrons, A. Reynolds and Eleanor R. Morse. In 1974, the Dalí Theatre-Museum (Teatro-Museo Dalí) was officially opened in Figueres, Spain after Dalí himself worked on its development since 1970.

In the mid 1950s, Dalí met his most important friends and patrons, Drs. Guiseppe and Mara Albaretto. Their friendship, which lasted until Dalí’s death in 1989, produced the largest private collection of Dalí original works in the world. The Albarettos also became important publishers of etchings and lithographs by Dalí including the “Sacra Biblia (Sacred Bible)” portfolio, the “1001 Arabian Nights” series, the “Odyssey” of Homer, and numerous individual images. These works, due to their impeccable provenance, remain some of the most desirable graphic works ever created by Dalí. The Albarettos also acquired an earlier publisher of Dalí works “Les Heures Claires,” publisher of the “Divine Comedy,” comprising 101 wood engravings illustrating the epic poem of Dante.

The poem recounts the tale of the poet’s journey through Hell, Purgatory, and Heaven, guided by Virgil. After repenting, he is joined by Beatrice for the rest of his journey through Paradise to receive a glimpse of God. Dalí often equated Gala, his wife and inspiration, with Dante’s Beatrice. Like Dalí, Dante’s symbolism is complex but highly intentional and rational. Both men had a keen knowledge of scientific studies in geology, optics, and mathematics. Dalí’s Divine Comedy is considered one of the artist’s most important creations of his prime years.

Several tragic occurrences plagued Dalí in his last years. In 1980, he was forced to retire due to his palsy, causing uncontrollable tremors. In 1982, his wife Gala died, plunging him into a deep depression. To make things worse, in 1984, he was severely burned from a fire in his bedroom. He finally died in January of 1989 where he was living as a recluse in a tower of his own museum.

SHAN-MERRY 1938

Shan-Merry began her artistic studies in 1957 at the Ecole Nationale Superior des Arts et Metiers, in Angers, France. By 1972 she was working as a professional fine artist and began exhibiting regularly in Paris and in the South of France in Provence, and in Cannes, Antibes, Grasse and other Mediterranean locations. By the 1990’s her works were included in prestigious international collections and exhibitions in Belgium, Germany, Japan and the United States. She has designed scarves for HERMES, published numerous books and catalogs, appeared in French television features, created illustrations for various periodicals and continues to create watercolors and limited edition graphic works.

Among her important distinctions are: New York Watercolor Prize (1974); Italian Academy “Gold Medal” Signature Prize (1979); Versailles Watercolor Award (1997); Winner of the “Pont Royal Award” (1999); “Prix d’Aquarelle (Watercolor Prize),” and exhibit at the Painters of the Army for the Bi-Centennial of Saint-Cyr at the Hotel National des Invalides (2001).
She has been awarded a Chevalier (Knight) of Arts-Sciences and Letters; a Chevalier (Knight) of Cultural and Artistic Merit; is a member of the Italian Academy and appears in the prestigious encyclopedia of artists, Benizet: Dictionnaire des peintres, sculpteurs, dessinateurs et graveurs (1999).

Principal Expositions

IN PARIS AND THE ISLE ISLE OF FRANCE
1975, ’79 Raymond Duncan, rue de Seine
1977 Langlois Regis St Honore
1980, ’82 Médicis
1983, ’85 Alma George V
1987, ’94 Ror Volmar Street Miromesnil

IN PROVENCE
1975 Cercle • Saint Louis
1977 Banque de l’UBP. Bd Malesherbes
1978 Agen
1979 – ’00 Le Raincy (B. Weidder)
1984 – ’05 Thionville (La Vieille Porte)
1986 Grenoble (The Pleiades)
1986 Vichy (Ror Volmar)
1988 Mulhouse (Meichler)
1988 Reims
1989, ’97 Sens (Bret Fouroillon)
1990 Marly le Roi
1990, ’92 Cannes (Majestic)
1991 Espace Beaujon, Fbg St Honoré
1994 Société Générale, Fbg St Honoré
1996 Bièvres, Mill Vauboyen
1996, ’97 Cannes (Martinez)
1997 Nancy
1999 La Baule
2005 Grasse

IN EUROPE
1997 Belgium
1998 Munich, Galerie de France
and major cities in Germany

IN JAPAN
1995 Osaka

IN THE UNITED STATES
1995 Chicago
2006 Detroit
2008 Detroit
2008 Royal Caribbean Splendor of the Seas with Park West
PUBLICATIONS and AWARDS:
1991 Contest Winner “Pont Royal”
1997 Versailles watercolor prize with medal
1997 Le Mayer
L’Adec
Benezit
2001 “Prix d’Aquarelle” (“Price of Watercolor”)
Exhibition of Painters of the Army for the Bi-Centenary of Saint-Cyr at the Hotel National des Invalides
2005 Foundation “Du Negresco”

OTHER DISTINCTIONS
• Published book, “d’Artiste et d’Essai,” illustrated by the author
• Painting performances
• Works televised by Micheline Sandrel
• Park West Conference in Miami (USA) 2001
• Salons du Grand Palais exhibitions:
– “The French Artists”
– “The Independents”
– “The Autumn Salon”
– “The National of Fine Arts”
– “Exhibition of Painters of the Navy”

SIMON BULL 1958

The second of four children, Simon’s flair for art was noticed when he won his first art competition at the age of 6. Other childhood art prizes were to follow, including several in his teenage years and a national art students painting prize while he was at college.

At the age of 7, he was sent to boarding school in the North of England with his elder brother. The next four years provided a heady cocktail of experiences for an impressionable young mind. The tough school regime contrasted with times of adventure with his family in South America. His home in South America was a rambling white colonial house on brick pillars with floors of polished wood. A colony of fruit bats lived in the loft and emerged at six every evening and humming birds fed from flowering trees in the garden which was also home to the family’s parrots and a menagerie of different pets including a kinkajou and coatimundi.

The fringes of the rainforest provided the young artist with a wonderland of sight and sound. It was a world of color and mystery – the cathedral-like pillars of the forest trees and the swollen rivers adding a note of darkness and danger to the enchanted wilderness.

During his teens the family moved to Hong Kong for several years, and he first encountered the art of the East. The beauty of Chinese brushwork with its economy of line and energy of composition had a lasting influence on him. It was here that he held his first one-man exhibition at the age of 18. The success of that and other subsequent shows was to lead Simon into a lifetime career in art.

While living in the East he continued his education in England at a boarding school in South London. Being in London afforded him the opportunity of becoming familiar with the great art collections and enabled him to benefit from the wide range of exhibitions as they came to town.

Many influences were coming together and shaping an inner vision of the world that was to inform Simon’s passion to create, not just an image, but an experience.

In the early years at boarding school, the sense of desolation he sometimes felt whilst away from his family opened him up to an intense search for spiritual nourishment. Coming from a Christian family had meant that a sense of God was always present with him. But as he grew older, a desire for a more tangible spiritual reality led him to the Bible and eventually to rediscover his faith in Jesus – one who brought him the peace he so badly needed, as well as a new purpose and sense of destiny.

While still at art school he married Joanna, his childhood sweetheart. As time passed, Simon and his growing family faced many economic hardships but fortunately, there was always a buyer somewhere that would save the day with a last-minute commission. During the late ‘70s and early ‘80s, the skills in printmaking that he acquired at art school that had especially fascinated him began to pay dividends. He sold his first three editions to Pallas Gallery in London and then entered a relationship with London Contemporary Art who sold out many of his meticulous multi-plate etching editions.

Throughout this period Simon painted the world around him. Traveling extensively to the East, he trekked with his paints through the foothills of the Himalayas, toured the Mediterranean, and spent many weeks painting the mountains of the English Lake District where he and Joanna later made their family home for many years.

However, as each year passed a deeper creative current seemed to pull at the artist. Once again it seemed that what had happened during his teens in the spiritual realm was now touching him in the creative realm. He needed something more – something waiting to be touched and expressed beyond the world of visible realities. He was moving away from painting the outward things. His canvases began to be expressions of the inner world, the world of the heart and of the spirit where the mankind is truly alive.

Like a butterfly emerging from its chrysalis, the rich and vibrant style for which he has since become world-famous began to find its voice. It was not until his major one-man show at Harrods in London where 76 of his paintings were exhibited together that the effect of this new work came home to him.

“I remember walking around the show listening to what people were saying,” said Simon. “I began for the first time to understand what my paintings had become. The people were telling me! People were being transported. The colors and imagery were becoming a means of conveying the viewer into another world. The miracle was happening. People were being hit right in their emotional center.”

In 2000 he won the Fine Art Trade Guild award for the top selling original print artist in Great Britain and was short-listed twice for the best selling published artist award.

His painting entitled “The Journey Never Ends” has also been awarded the National Association of Limited Edition Dealers (NALED) print of the year in the United States for “the graphic print whose artwork was the most outstanding in artistic quality and public appeal during 2003.” He was the first British artist to receive this award.

He moved with his family to Carmel, California in 2003 where he now lives. In 2004, Bull was one of two artists selected by Park West Gallery to work with Muhammad Ali in creating a limited series of paintings based on the legendary boxer’s career.

His art has come a long way since he held aloft his prize at the local cinema’s Saturday Matinee Coloring Competition in 1964. But that same passion to play with color and to create with radiant hues remains with him still.

“If I can touch a life… if through my painting I can show something previously unseen, if I can reveal something old in a new way, if I can enrich a soul on its journey into the eternal then my painting – my living – has not been in vain.”

SLAVA BRODINSKY 1955

Slava Brodinsky was born in Birobidzhan in the Soviet Union (now eastern Russia) in 1955. Demonstrating a surge of artistic talent at a very young age, he was sent to a fine-arts-focused high school. Once he had served in the Soviet Army, Brodinsky came home to continue his studies at the Fine Art Academy of Birobidzhan, graduating in 1979 with distinction. Throughout the ‘80s, his work was primarily large-scale, participating in one-man and group shows across the U.S.S.R.

Moving to Israel in 1991 with his wife and son, Brodinsky had a hard time acclimating to the new country, unfamiliar with Israel’s light and colors. Once he began painting again, his new surroundings dramatically affected his style, creating brighter, earthier tones with a broader sense of light and shadow. Fresh landscapes quickly seeped into his painting, inspired by his travels through the Galilee region of northern Israel and Europe. Exposing the rolling hills of Tuscany, Umbria, and the south of France, Brodinsky developed his unique style, brushing a mixture of sand, paint, and plaster on canvas. The colorful seasons of the year provided a wide spectrum for his color palette, playfully maintaining his landscape-based style.

To date, Brodinsky has exhibited as a solo artist and in groups throughout America, Russia, Canada, France, England, the Netherlands, and Japan. His work is collected across the world.

Main group and one-man exhibitions:

1987 Union of Artists House, Birobijan, U.S.S.R.
1994 Aviram Art Gallery, Tel Aviv, Israel
1997 Claude Hammon Gallery, Paris, France
1998 B.L.D. Gallery, New York, U.S.A.
1998 A.B.C. Atlanta Fair, Atlanta, Georgia
1999 Image 98, Amsterdam
1999 Forluck Gallery, Toyonaka, Osaka, Japan
2000 Artexpo, San Francisco, Calif.
2000 Art 21, Las Vegas, Nevada
2002 Park West Gallery, Southfield, Michigan
2004 A&E Fine Art, Ridgewood, New Jersey
2005 Artexpo, New York, U.S.A.
2007 Safrai Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel

SLAVA ILYAYEV 1970

Slava Ilyayev was born on May 11, 1970 in Baku, Azerbaijan (formerly part of the U.S.S.R.). Ilyayev began studying art in his hometown in 1991. After immigrating to Israel in 1995, he continued his studies at a renowned Israeli art school in Tel Aviv: the Avni Institute of Art & Design.

In 1999, Ilyayev participated in his first major exhibitions, first at the Art and Sculpture Union in Tel Aviv and then at the Safari Gallery in Jerusalem. Exhibits soon followed throughout Israel and abroad, as well as shows in the United States.

Ilyayev’s work is characterized by the elevated texture he creates by applying oil paints with a palette knife. Drawing heavily on autumnal colors and the changing of the leaves, Ilyayev often portrays a theme of rainbow-colored, tree-lined streets, reminiscent of Central Park in November. His foregrounds, especially streams and ponds, frequently mimic the strokes of the leaves below as the spectrum of colors leap off the canvas.

In addition to painting, Ilyayev teaches art in academies in Israel, an endeavor which he first began in 1998.

Main group and one-man exhibitions:

1999 – Group exhibition, Art & Sculpture union, Tel Aviv, Israel
1999 – Safrai Gallery, Jerusalem, Israel
2002 – Decor Atlanta, USA
2002 – Art Istanbul, Turkey
2003 – Gallery Doxa, Tel Aviv, Israel
2005 – Estampa, Madrid, Spain
2006 – B.L.D. Gallery, New Jersey, USA
2006 – Art Expo, New York, USA
2007 – Aviram Art Gallery, Kfar Ruth, Israel
2007 – Art Expo, New York, USA
2009 – Talking Walls Gallery, Rishon Lezion, Israel

THOMAS KINKADE (1958-2012)

Thomas Kinkade, born on January, 19, 1958, was America’s most collected living artist for decades until his untimely passing at the age of 54. He was once quoted to have said that he had something in common with Walt Disney and Norman Rockwell: He wanted to make people happy. His paintings and prints adorn more than 10 million homes across the world and many of his devoted fans will remember him for the warmth and joy his paintings brought into their lives.

While growing up in the small town of Placerville, California, the young Thomas Kinkade embraced a series of simple ideals that would later shape his future and his art. As a devout Christian, Thomas used his artistic gift as a way to communicate and spread the life-affirming values he embraced during his formative years. He wanted his work to be accessible to anyone and everyone, regardless of their artistic background. His works, in their myriad of genres and settings, send a message of happiness and reaffirmation of faith. With beauty, intrigue, and adventure, Kinkade’s idyllic fairy tale-like worlds bring joy to millions.

Beginning in 1976, he attended the University of California, Berkeley, and then the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena. As he matured into adulthood, Kinkade began to explore the world around him with enthusiasm and fervor. In 1980 he spent the summer on a sketching tour with a college friend, James Gurney, producing a best-selling instructional book called “The Artist’s Guide to Sketching.” The popularity of the book landed the two fledgling artists a job at Ralph Bakshi Studios, creating background art for the animated feature film, “Fire and Ice” (1983). Soon Thomas started exploring the nature of light in pictorial space and the creation of imaginative worlds. It was during this period that he acquired his moniker, “The Painter of Light.”

After completing his work on the Bakshi film, Kinkade began his career as a painter, selling his originals in galleries throughout California. In 1982, he married his childhood sweetheart, Nanette, and two years later they began to publish his paintings in the form of graphic works together.

Thomas creatively filled his paintings with “love notes” by hiding the letter “N” as tribute to his wife Nanette. His four daughters (Merritt, Chandler, Winsor, and Everett) also find their own messages of love from their father as their names and images often appear in many of his paintings.

Thomas called himself a “warrior for light,” using light to represent a divine presence within each of his works – a traditional painting technique stretching back to the Middle Ages. Through light, Thomas aimed to drive away the darkness that many people feel, bringing warmth and happiness into their homes. Before he passed away, Thomas had painted magical scenes that included cabin and nature scenes, beautiful gardens, classic cottages, sports, inspirational content, lighthouses and powerful seascapes, impressionistic Main Streets, and classic Americana.

In Thomas’s works, the settings, while diverse, seem to reference back to his home of Placerville, California. Through bucolic scenes, saturated and whimsical pastels, and an ethereal sense of light, each work projects an image of steadfast American and Christian values. While Kinkade was heavily scrutinized during his lifetime for lacking a substantive message in his art, more than 10 million people have found a way to connect with his works, relating to this sense of the universal home and a pleasantly charming sense of nostalgia.

Thomas painted for milestone events like Disneyland’s 50th Anniversary, Walt Disney World Resort’s 35th Anniversary, the 50th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s purchase of Graceland and the 25th anniversary of its opening to the public, the 50th anniversary of Daytona 500, and Yankee Stadium’s farewell 85th season.

He has been the author or subject of more than 140 books and is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author. In 2002, Thomas was also inducted into the California Tourism Hall of Fame for his efforts to highlight the beauty of California.

He raised millions for charity, assisting non-profit organizations focusing on children, humanitarian issues, and the arts. His work with the Salvation Army, the Make-a-Wish Foundation, and the Church of Nazarene propelled him to win numerous awards for his service and painting. He received awards for “Artist of the Year” and “Graphic Artist of the Year” from the National Association of Limited Edition Dealers (NALED). He was also awarded “Lithograph of the Year” for nine consecutive years.

TIM YANKE 1962

Tim Yanke was born in Detroit, MI, the youngest of six siblings. His parents noted and encouraged his artistic talent at a very young age, allowing him to find his way toward art school. Tim attended the University of North Texas in Denton where he completed his studies in studio art, receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts in 1986. After graduating, he opened his studio. In addition to painting, he initially accepted assignments from a local marketing company and Ameritech/AT&T, working as a graphic designer. He had his first exhibition when he was 23 years old, selling 23 of the 26 exhibited paintings.

Since he was 12, he’s had a deep interest in Southwest America. Its arts and culture, colors, and traditions are all present in Tim’s work, creating his “Neo-West” style. Growing up, Tim remembers sitting in the backseat with a sketchbook as his family drove down Highway 40 to visit his sister at Northern Arizona University. His most vivid memory is looking out at the panhandle of Texas while they drove at night, seeing the velvet black of the sky, twinkling with millions of diamond stars. He remembers seeing his first tumbleweed outside of Albuquerque and his first cactus outside of Sedona.

In 1976, when his sister passed away unexpectedly, his love for the southwest only grew, reminding him of driving to see her at school. This made an incredible, lasting impression on him, and he began painting from his heart, using the process as both catharsis and a form of nostalgia.

Tim’s art has become personal, powerful, and purely abstract, using boldly saturated hues that burst forth from his often large-scale paintings. He also likes to take annual trips back to the Southwest to collect traditional Native American art and artifacts to use in his paintings. For one series, he even collected 200 buffalo skulls. He’s remarked that each time he visits a favorite place, it feels new again. Especially in New Mexico, the colors are more alive than anywhere else. The clouds are whiter. The ground has more red. His surroundings seem to almost vibrate with energy and warmth, feeding his creativity.

There are recurring themes found in Tim’s work, as well. The dragonfly and American flag are two of his most popular themes, each derived from personal stories. Growing up in a German-Italian family of antique-lovers, Tim spent a lot of time traveling the Midwest with his parents from auctions to estate sales. In one lucky find, his mother purchased a rare leaded antique lamp with a dragonfly on it. It spent its time in the plastic-covered living room of his home for the remainder of Tim’s childhood, and looking back, he associates the lamp with his mother.

Making its way into his paintings, the dragonfly has become a very personal and nostalgic connection to his mother, paired with a spray-painted motif of doilies, another memory of his childhood living room. Tim’s collectors often share their own personal connections to the dragonfly, recalling family members and special moments in their lives that are pulled out of his work.

American flag, lightheartedly dubbed “Yanke Doodle,” has become an amalgamation of patriotism and diversity. After 9/11, Tim and his son, Angelo, purchased a flagpole for their home, feeling the sudden urge, like many, to increase their patriotism. Since he believes that America is a melting pot of all sorts, Tim wanted to include the colors of many different flags within his “Yanke Doodle.” As the series continued, his flags became more and more colorful, responding to all parts of America and the world.

Great abstract painters of the 20th century, like Willem de Kooning, Kandinsky, Klee, Motherwell, Pollock, and Rauschenberg, were highly influential for Tim as he developed the structure of his work. Much of his inspiration comes from Georgia O’Keeffe quotes, which are posted across his studio, which has turned into a place of his family’s memories. Tickets to a Phish concert, vacation photos, wooden Indians, stained glass windows, and even a neon sign that says, “Marry me, Nicky,” are objects peppering the environment of Tim’s studio. Old, retro décor is also at the heart of Tim’s inspiration, and he’s constantly acquiring what he calls “new curiosities.”

Tim has no preconceptions when he starts to work on a painting. Incited by the energy inherent in loud music, he creates his imagery spontaneously. “My paintings never settle,” he says. “They constantly change in interpretation with each new discovery. They morph into different depths and elements.” Listening to anything from the Rolling Stones and Widespread Panic to the Grateful Dead and nature soundtracks, Tim can’t paint without music. He focuses on a bright color palette to attract the viewer and attempts to cathartically rein all his passion and creative energies into each work. He can’t define his technique, either. When asked, he responds that he’ll paint with anything that leaves a mark: chalk, house paint, spatulas, tar… he’ll use almost any materials to create his works.

In 2011 Tim completed his largest painting, the 7 ½ by 12 foot acrylic on canvas, “Tribute to the American Flat Lands.” This painting was commissioned by The Henry Autograph Collection in Dearborn, Michigan.

Tim resides in the Detroit area with his wife and two sons, where he also maintains his studio.

TOMASZ RUT 1961

Polish artist Tomasz Rut once said, “I look for inspiration in the humanistic tradition of classical art. My canvases express the entire spectrum of human emotions from exhilaration and cheerfulness to contentment, melancholy, pain, and agony.” He purposely ignores the darker sides of human emotion, focusing on the good or beautiful acts surrounding mankind. Since Rut was just a child, growing up in Poland, he has been preparing himself for his prolific career.

Encouraged by his mother, a painter trained at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Rut was introduced to the Pompeian Frescos and the magnificent history of the Renaissance and the Baroque periods as a child. The classical paintings and sculpture inspired his stunning oils, murals, and graphic works. These masterful illusionary images, both in scale and splendor, evoke the harmony and form of the master painters. The flamboyance of Rubens, the finesse of Caravaggio, and the emotion of Michelangelo are Rut’s inspiration.

Training for two semesters at the Pratt Institute in New York, and then in Art Conservation at the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Rut continued his education, earning a B.A. in Chemistry and Art History and an M.A. in conservation. He eventually took a job in art conservation for the Biltmore House in Asheville, North Carolina, a home owned by the Vanderbilt family with furnishings dating back to the 15th century. He traveled the east coast restoring large scale murals in museums and mansions for such clients as the Smithsonian Institution, the U.S. Treasury Department in Washington, D.C., the New Jersey State House in Trenton, the Gusman Center for the Arts, and Vizcaya Museum in Miami.

It was during these travels he began to notice a void in contemporary art: it was nearly impossible to find and purchase contemporary paintings in a figurative, classical style. It hit him while in Pompeii, like a revelation. The damaged frescos amidst the ruins were more beautiful as faded, ancient relics than they would have been in the 3rd century. Hence, Rut created his aged style of cracked canvasses that so eloquently mimic Italian frescoes and figurative oils. Rut explains that “the one element evident in all of my paintings is the superficial patina or aging,” which Rut creates with a variety of transparent and semi-transparent glazes. This process enhances the naturalistic and expressive qualities of each mythical figure. He claims that without his background in restoration, he never would have visited Pompeii and found this style of painting.

Rut’s studio is integrated into his home. He’ll only paint during daylight hours, although he doesn’t use any natural light. His monochromatic palette seems to reflect artificial light the best, so he keeps the windows closed. Rut paints every day, and it all starts with a vision – something that struck him in an unexpected place. He’ll quickly draw stick figures, choosing not to spend much time on sketching. Once he has his plan in place, Rut brings his models to the studio – even the horses – and draws an outline on canvas. He uses a very restricted palette of only primary colors with old brushes and what he calls “standard” tubes of paint. Stapling a roll of unprimed, un-stretched canvas to the wall, Rut begins painting. When he’s finished, he’ll cut the canvas and begin his aging process, adding a patina to the layers. He can’t say how long the whole process takes because he works on so many paintings at once, but if a piece is on the wall for more than six months, he’ll scrap it.

His imaginary figures – centaurs, fauns, muses, and winged creatures – colorfully burst from the canvas with the grandiosity of Olympian Gods in active and dramatic poses. Since Rut’s father was an Olympic athlete who won a bronze medal in hammer throwing, he was exposed to many athletes – further inspiration for his figures. Through “contrapposto,” earthen monotones, and naturalistic detail, Rut produces images that pay homage to the masters of the high Renaissance while simultaneously creating a place for himself in contemporary art. He echoes their style with his own subjects, using the knowledge built on historical traditions.

His subjects and models are often friends and acquaintances, as well. He keeps his backgrounds plain, using no identifiable marks, and when he plans his compositions, he attempts to choose objects that bring beauty into the world. He does not shy away from controversy but maintains that if his art projects something negative, it must be balanced with something positive.

Rut appreciates the opportunity to extend his message to such a large audience of collectors through Park West and wants to communicate with as many people as he can. He loves taking the opportunity to educate people with little background in art. “My paintings give people the ability to learn, respond, and feel comfortable with the classics,” Rut says. “This gives me enough satisfaction to keep working for a lifetime.”

Rut’s work can be found in the following collections:

Alexander Brest Museum – Jacksonville, Florida
Mississippi Museum of Art – Jackson, Mississippi
Coral Springs Museum of Art – Coral Springs – Florida
The Schacknow Museum of Fine Arts, Inc – Plantation, Florida
Wake Forest University Permanent Art Collection – Winston-Salem, North Carolina
Mobile Museum of Art – Mobile, Alabama
Zigler Museum of Art – Jenninga, Louisiana
Frye Museum of Art – Seattle, Washington

VICTOR SPAHN 1949

Victor Spahn was born on March 20, 1949 in Paris as a second generation Russian. After his secondary studies, he worked for a fabricator of mosaics and, for pleasure, composed his first mosaic wall. His painting and printmaking are a direct result of his extensive work in mosaic techniques. His style suggests movement and dynamism as he captures the essence of a particular moment. Spahn paints with a combination of palette knife and brush and enjoys great success in lithography, serigraphy, and in the creation of hand-embellished graphic works.

Often referred to as the “Painter of Movement”, Victor is inspired by sports, dancers, and energetic activities. He paints championship sail boat races, rugby matches, prima ballerinas, and tennis stars – each with the same individual grace and swift motion.

Spahn has participated in many exhibitions, including the Salon of Independent Artists, France, in 1970. He also won first prize in New York for a mosaic table. Personal exhibitions followed in Paris in 1976 for the Societe Toyota; Galerie Wally Findlay, Chicago; and Palm Beach, Florida, in 1984. In 1981, he designed the set for the televised play “Rembrandt of Glass” and created a poster for the world championship of handball in 1988.

Spahn has enjoyed the publication of a hardcover book on his work. He created the cover for the 100th anniversary Michelin Guide for L’Astrance and his serigraph “Autumn Polo” was acquired by Jacques Chirac, President of France. Spahn was the guest of honor at the 42nd International Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture “Art Movement” in Sainte-Maure de Touraine in 2011. In 2012, he was a guest of honor at Amiens, at Ribemont-sur-Ancre and an Ambassador of the Lexus GS 450, partnering with Lexus.

In 2012, Spahn was a guest of honor at Amiens, at Ribemont-sur-Ancre. He was honored by the French government when they named a newly built housing community after him; his name now appears alongside buildings named after Henri Matisse, Camille Claudel, Beethoven, Bach, Mozart, Louis Pasteur and Thomas Edison.

In 2013, Spahn moved his studio to the Montparnasse district of Paris, into a work space that had once belonged to Tsuguharu Foujita, a great impressionist painter. His work was featured in the prestigious Polo Paris, a private sports club and only polo club based in Paris.  For the second year in row, Spahn has participated in an exhibition organized by the French Ministry of Defense and Veterans Affairs benefiting the injured and families of fallen soldiers, a cause that is close to his heart. His artwork for this event was also selected to be the poster for 2013.

In 2015, Spahn had the honor of being mentioned alongside artists such as Marc Chagall, Victor Vasarley and Jack Pollock in the publication “Gordes: Le temps des artistes.” This last book in a trilogy chronicles the talented artists related to Gordes, a commune located in the Provencde-Alpes-Cote in southeastern France.

VIKTOR SHVAIKO 1965

Viktor Shvaiko was born in Altai, Russia in 1965, the son of an economist and an engineer.  He grew up in one of Russia’s most remote villages surrounded by the beauty of the wilderness.

At the age of 12, he didn’t hesitate to choose studying at junior art school. His natural inclination for the fine arts and his strong urge to share his vision of nature drove him to the Novoaltaisk Artistic School, where he studied for four years. Shvaiko credits his teacher, Ilbek Khairoullinov, for a true arts education.

After graduating, Shvaiko was drafted into the army for two years as an artist, handling lettering and illustrations for posters and signs. He even copied famous paintings to be given as presents to generals. In 1987 after demobilizing, Shvaiko took an adventure by traveling to Irkutsk (Siberia) with few possessions and money, and found his faith during the arduous journey. This journey led him to Barnaul, where he took a job as a graphic designer for a construction company. In 1988 his father arranged for him to work in Kiev, where Shvaiko eventually met Valentina. They married in 1989, and in the fall of that year their first child, Elvira, was born.

When Shvaiko showed a landscape painting he created to Valentina, she was so excited that she encouraged him to follow his passion full-time. Shvaiko took it to heart, leaving his job to join the Artist’s Union. This led to him exhibiting in galleries, where his paintings were successfully sold. This further spurred the artist to hold a one-person exhibition, and he used the earnings to fuel a trip to Yugoslavia and continued into Italy. He loaded up 15 canvases and his equipment and left the USSR, staying in Rieka, close to the border of Italy.

He survived by selling his paintings on the streets, and eventually made the trek to Italy on foot with his 85-pound rucksack. Dodging past guards and customs, he finally made it to the country that he views as a symbol of art. He arrived in Rome with $5 in his pocket, meeting up with some friends and using what money he could gather to restart his art career.

For months he would again sell his artwork on the streets, finding inspiration and beauty from the doors and windows of Rome’s architecture. Three months later, as an artist in residence at the Rastropovich Institute, he was sent to Russia on a business trip as the institute’s representative, finally allowing him to reunite with his wife and daughter. He discovered the liberated Russia he returned to offered the chance to travel to the United States, and after a brief return to Rome, he arrived in New York in 1992.

In 1993, Shvaiko survived by selling his work at galleries with the aid of an English-speaking friend. Demand for his paintings grew, and after a year of this success, he was able to bring his wife and daughter to live in America with him. They had a second child, Andrew, in 1997, and in 2014, Shvaiko became an American citizen.

In the U.S., Shvaiko developed his penchant for painting little cafes and other intimate places that are seen in his contemporary work. He paints from dark to light, using a variety of brushes and palette knives as well as glazes and varnishes. He often has the complete image in his mind before he begins.

His settings are inspired by real places he has visited, often using photographs or sketches he took on site as a basis. However, he exercises his artistic license to create ideal scenes that express his impressions or feelings of a locale.

Shvaiko’s work shows a personal take on settings in Europe. Upon closer inspection, what appear to be simple compositions soon take on depth and complexity thanks to his subtle palette. Intimate settings, whether they are winding passageways or a view from a café window, draw in the viewer to immerse themselves.

Shvaiko invokes the fourth dimension of time. Hints here and there, such as the angle of shadows or radiant sunlight, clue the viewer in to the time of day. Peeling walls or faded paint speak to the locale’s history. Hints of life also appear – flowers, signs, decorations, poured glasses of wine – all of which combine to give a sense of story.

Shvaiko’s works have been exhibited in New York, Japan, Italy, Canada, Ukraine and many cities throughout the United States.

WENDY AND KEVIN SCHAEFER-MILES 1950

Married artists Wendy and Kevin spend their lives together documenting America. They share a mutual love of nature and traveling, evident in the lush greenery of their landscapes. Traveling from the rainforests of the Pacific Northwest to the small cottage towns of Rhode Island, the couple inspirationally paints the landscapes of America. Together they’ve been sharing amazing experiences and the path that appears in many of their paintings is a metaphor for the journey we all take in life. Faith is important to the couple as well, signified by the light and warmth present in all their paintings. They try to convey a bit of mystery and anticipation in their work, igniting others to enjoy life as much as they do.

Meeting in Florida, they were married in 1987 and started painting together only one year later. As the daughter of a Wisconsin dairy farmer, Wendy longed to return home after her father died. The couple moved back to Wisconsin, just north of Whitehall in the hills of Trempealeau County, and set up their dream studio in a series of converted farm houses. Since they’re in one of the least populated areas of the state, the solitude provides them with the isolation and creative freedom they desire – plus time to spend with their two daughters.

Wendy and Kevin are truly a unique husband and wife team, as well as internationally published collaborative painters. Their radiant oil paintings have captivated art lovers throughout the world. Appreciative collectors rave about the quality of the light and the depth in the talented couples’ vivid landscapes. Most recently, the team went on an expedition to the Rocky Mountains, selling their landscapes even before they were dry. Through their travels, the couple has found immediate success. Besides painting on canvas, Wendy and Kevin are active in creating original serigraphs that are lavishly embellished.

Their unique working arrangement has attracted a lot of attention. They have been featured extensively on talk shows and in the print media. Not many people could share a creative bond that is so personal, but to Wendy and Kevin, it’s second nature.

Quite literally, the couple finishes each other’s sentences, completing each thought like they work on their paintings. Kevin considers Wendy more “painterly.” “She just wants to get it all on the canvas,” he says. She’s concerned about the whimsy, the colors, and the scenery – and then Kevin comes in. More analytical and interested in definition, Kevin wields his palette knife and paint to carve some clarity into each work, building-up and neutralizing areas between the foreground and background. The relationship is nearly perfect as Wendy gets bored quickly, constantly interested in the next blank canvas. Kevin, on the other hand, has little interest in the initial stages, intensely focused on the details within each work.

It all seemed to begin when the couple began painting a large mural together. Wendy lavishly applied her paints to the canvas, and Kevin noticed details he wanted to improve. Little by little they started adjusting each other’s work, slowly realizing the potential of their arrangement. It wasn’t a conscious decision, but something that happened naturally; it just made sense for them. Although they spend so much time painting together, the artists don’t seem to influence the each other’s style very much. Wendy claims that she’s “un-teachable,” diagnosed while in art school. Kevin, while slightly more open to Wendy’s influence, has only taken cues to relax more while he paints. When it comes to his style, it’s literally carved in impasto.

Their Wisconsin studio is what they call “Bohemian,” with photos and books and bits of nature everywhere, like collections of rocks and birch bark. The studio itself was recently remodeled, and includes a cathedral ceiling with ropes and pulleys to lift their larger paintings. Once a chicken coop, the structure was completely converted to maintain wood floors, skylights, and plenty of space to work. While they paint, they like to watch movies – Wendy enjoying female-empowering action movies, while Kevin appreciates all kinds of artistic films, especially those by Woody Allen.

The environment with which they surround themselves – from their studio to their home and small town – is quintessentially Midwestern, and they’d have it no other way. The small town atmosphere makes them feel safe and is the ideal home for their children. They’ve gone to the same church for more than 25 years and feel both grounded and creatively inspired in such a warm atmosphere.

When discussing their inspiration, both Wendy and Kevin mention Rembrandt. They have art constantly rotating on the walls of their own home as well, by artists like Rufino Tamayo (the artist they dub the “Mexican Picasso”) and works they have traded with artistic friends.

Selling more than 3,000 paintings thus far, Schaefer/Miles truly enjoy meeting their collectors. They want to share their work with everyone and appreciate the opportunities they’ve had with Park West, allowing them to interact with so many of their collectors. They recall meeting one teary-eyed woman at a VIP event as an incredible highlight for them. She waited patiently all afternoon to speak with the artists, and upon her introduction, she told them that she just wanted to see if it was possible that a couple could truly paint together and remain in such deep love. The artists were touched and continue to remember this moment.

The camaraderie between the other Park West artists is also something they look forward to. They find a healthy sense of constant improvement, trying not to “get lost on the wall,” and appreciating the diversity each talented artist brings.

Schaefer/Miles works have been widely published and are viewed and appreciated by over 7 million people a year. With distribution in over 40 countries around the world, the artists’ popularity continues to grow. Despite this amazing level of exposure, however, Wendy and Kevin have shunned media attention.

The couple has exhibited their work at the ArtExpo in New York and Chicago and the ArtExpo in Las Vegas. They have received dozens of awards. They have also participated in prestigious shows like the Scottsdale Celebration of Fine Art, the Arts for the Parks National Landscape Competition, as well as shows in Carmel, Beaver Creek, Beverly Hills, and La Jolla. The Wisconsin Foundation for the Arts selected Schaefer/Miles as their commissioned artists in 2003, hanging one of their oil paintings in the governor’s mansion. It has since been placed in the permanent collection of Madison’s Elvehjem Museum.

YAACOV AGAM

A world-renowned kinetic artist, Yaacov Agam pioneered a new form of art that stresses change and movement. He studied under the Bauhaus’ color-theoretician, Johannes Itten, and then rejected traditional static concepts of painting and sculpture. He has enjoyed great public success since his first one-person show in Paris in 1953, and has become one of the most influential artists of modern times.

Agam was born in 1928 as Yaacov Gipstein in Rishon LeZion, Israel, then Mandate Palestine. Agam’s initial training in art was at the Bezalel School in Jerusalem. In 1949 he moved to Zurich, remaining there for two years before moving to Paris where he resides to this day.

His nonrepresentational style is an integration of formalist art with that of the Kabbalah (the study of Hebrew mysticism). He’s created a body of work that’s optic in nature, changing with movement. The viewer may participate by manually transforming the work or by physically passing by, viewing the image change at various angles. His works are collected worldwide and he has enjoyed major museum shows.

Agam works in a variety of media, including painting in two and three-dimensions, drawing, sculpture, ceramics, stained glass, serigraphy, lithography, etching, and combinations of media. His creation of the “Agamograph” (a multiple series of images viewed through a lenticular lens that changes at every angle viewed), has allowed his unique concept to be appreciated by collectors across the world.

In 1972, he held a retrospective exhibition in Paris at the Musée National d’Art Moderne. In 1980, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York held the retrospective exhibition “Beyond the Visible” and his “Selected Suites” were at the Jewish Museum, New York (1975). He has paintings in museums all over the world, including “Double Metamorphosis 11” in the Museum of Modern Art in New York and “Transparent Rhythms 11 “in the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.

His commissions include “Homage a Mondrian” Le Mondrian Hotel, Los Angeles (1985); “Reflection and Depth”, Port Authority of New York; and Synagogue Design and Civic Center, Ben-Gurion University (1979). He spends much of his time on cruise ships, as well, and in 1987, he created a “floating museum,” including all the artworks for public areas and cabins, for the Carnival Cruise Line’s luxury cruise ship “Celebration.”

Agam is also renowned for his public sculpture. In 2009, he created a monumental sculpture for the World Games in Kaohsiung, Taiwan called “Peaceful Communication with the World” – nine optical pillars that contain more than 180 shades. His giant Hanukkah Menorah at the intersection of Fifth Avenue and 59th Street in New York City is also incredibly popular. Sponsored by Lubavitch Youth Organization, it is 32 feet high and more than 4,000 pounds – recognized by the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s largest menorah. It burns with real oil every Hanukkah. His public art appears on the busy streets across the world, most popular in New York, Chicago, Paris, and Strasbourg.

For his work he has received numerous awards: Prize for Artistic Research, Sao Paulo, Biennal, Brazil (1963); guest lecturer, Harvard University (1968), Chevalier de l’Ordre des Arts et Lettres (1974); Honorary Doctorate of Philosophy, Tel Aviv University (1975); and the Medal of the Council of Europe (1977). In 1996, he was awarded the Jan Amos Comenius Medal by UNESCO and in 1999 he created the winner’s trophy for the Eurovision Song Contest in Jerusalem.

Agam also writes extensively about his work and has had several books published on his imagery, concepts, and exhibitions including, “Agam,” written by Frank Popper and published by Harry Abrams.