Three Artists that are new to me


Lari Pittman

Work by Lari Pittman at the MOCAC

detail of the above photo

Pittman does not appear to have his own personal website, but below is a link to an Art 21 video interview with him regarding teaching and his artwork, and another link that provides a full biography and synopsis of his artwork:

Pittman is an American artist, born in Los Angeles in 1952. He currently works out of L.A and is a professor of fine arts at the University of California Los Angeles. According to Wayne Kestenbaum, author of “The Brute Force of high Tea” in regards to Pittman’s work ” I, as a viewer, am hooked; conversely, interpretation tries (and fails) to pinion the artist, who has in a preemptive strike, harpooned the medium of narrative painting itself […]” and I am in complete agreement with him. When I saw the work pictured hanging on the wall of the MOCAC it “had me at hello.” I have always really loved the art of collage and his painting really mirrors that style of art. I also really enjoy intricate detail work, so when I saw Pittman’s work I felt it was totally mys style. the bright colors against the dull help to tell his narratives and and the tiny details make his works constantly interesting to look at. I really appreciate artwork that appears fresh and new, even when it is drawing on the stories of the past, as Pittman’s typically do. The intricacy and organized chaos inspired me to begin incorporating this kind of detail into my own works. I singled out Pittman because his work truly inspired me,and made me want to become a better artist.

Below is another link regarding Pittman, specifically his works at the Regens project:

Cleveland Dean

Artist’s webpage:

Other links :

Cleveland Dean is a self taught artist, who, born and raised in Chicago has made a name for himself there. He works in many different mediums, but the majority of his work are paintings and installation pieces. I saw his work at one of the pop up art galleries in Chicago and what really struck me was the raw emotion behind each of his thirty exhibited pieces. Dean has said that “every work I create is a new high… I zone out, letting out my emotions, one minute I’ll be laughing, the next crying… It is a release and in this way I see it as therapy.” This is clearly evident in his work and I think the majority of the reason his work spoke to me so much is because I use art as my form of therapy. If I am happy when I sketch, it shows, if I am nit, it shows. His work really connected with me due to this similarity. His use of color and abstract impressionist style also drew me to his work. The bright colors mix and flow together, they appear dream like but also highly volatile, a combination I found to be interesting as well as moving. In researching the artist I found that my favorite works by dean were his black and white stencils of forms and faces. They are beautifully simple but also extremely intricate, and the contrast between the black and white adds so much emphasis and style to his pieces. It seems as if his own character is showing through in the work. I have always wanted to experiment with negative space drawing and the work of Cleveland Dean, only peaked my interest more.

Richard Shipps

Artist’s web page:

Other Links:

Artist Interview:

Shipps is an artist originally from Michigan who is now Chicago based. His intricate cut paper designs explore the basic principles of design, particularly positive and negative space, shadow, and contrast. Throughout his career he has been involved in many different types of art, predominantly film direction as well as illustration, however in 2000 he quit the film business in order to focus on his personal art works. The intricacy of Shipps work in the pop up gallery is what originally drew me to his work. In my color and design class we had been doing cut paper designs, and looking at how little and perfect each of the cuts in his work were, made me think, “Wow, this artist really puts a lot of time and effort into his work.” After looking around the gallery for a few minutes, something amazing happened! An older man casually walked in and sat down at a work bench in the back of the gallery, my friend Ryan and I went to investigate. It was Richard Shipps! He was working on a piece that was almost finished, but he said it was taking longer than what he had originally expected. He explained to us that when he first drew out the design he anticipated it would take him 6 to 8 hours to complete the final product, but so far it had take around 12. He then showed us other works of his that were not yet finished and talked with us excitedly about that his large installation piece at Grand Rapid’s Art Prize. He also told us that he has to order the paper for his larger works directly from the supplier. What I enjoyed most about meeting Mr.Shipps was being able to see his process in action. We watched as he made tiny, meticulous cuts with an X-acto blade and then bent the paper between his fingers. I loved being able to see the amount of work that goes into one of Shipps’ pieces first hand, and it caused me to appreciate them even more than I had originally. Talking with Shipps was also useful because he answered any questions we had about his work open and willingly, and it is not very often that one gets to have this kind of clarification about a work from the artist himself.


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