comics

Painting

Vignette: Erik Orr

Artist, Erik Orr

Artist, Erik Orr

Flipping Reality On Its Head

Writer William Goldman once opined that the difference between art and popular entertainment might be that entertainment comforts, but art should unsettle us; prompt us to ask questions. Erik Orr’s paintings immediately prompt us to wonder what we are looking at: is this a painting or a photograph? When you take into account that his subjects are primarily iconic figures in popular entertainment, music, culture, comics, and videogames, then Goldman’s proposition comes under challenge. The familiarity of celebrity faces may seem to offer accessible pop pleasures, but the presentation of the artist won’t quite allow us such a cushy perspective.

In his most recent artist’s statement, Orr describes his intentions: “My more recent works use techniques that blend traditional painting through a filter of digital technology, the works create optical illusions that will make you question your own eyes. At a time when we experience our world through screens of all sizes, these works flip that reality on its head and present paintings that look as if they are digital images from afar.”

"Anthony Michael Hall" by Erik Orr, 2.5x3.5ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"Anthony Michael Hall" by Erik Orr, 2.5x3.5ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"River Phoenix" by Erik Orr, 3x4ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"River Phoenix" by Erik Orr, 3x4ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

Orr builds his portraits with organic vertical lines that suggest a photograph enlarged beyond what its quality should allow, yet such a question is made almost moot in the limitless digital resolution of the moment. His work straddles the divide between digital and analog both functionally and conceptually.

“In my current show, New Work, at Revelry Boutique Gallery I intend the work to showcase the culture that has influenced me to become the artist I am today.”

Orr resides in the Highlands of Louisville Kentucky with his wife and two young children. He is employed as a Graphic Designer at a marketing company and plans to continue to grow and show his work more frequently in the coming years.

New Work runs through September 6 at Revelry Boutique & Gallery.

Age: 37
Hometown: Fairfax, Virginia
Education: Associates Degree in Communication Design, Northern Virginia Community College (NOVA); BA, Art and Visual Technology with a Minor in Art History George Mason University
Website: www.erikorr.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/erik_orr/

"B-Boy" by Erik Orr, 3x3ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"B-Boy" by Erik Orr, 3x3ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"Twiggy" by Erik Orr, 3x4ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

"Twiggy" by Erik Orr, 3x4ft, acrylic on wood (2017)

Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.

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Illustration

Q&A: Jeff Dehut

Jeff Dehut is a freelance Illustrator working in Louisville, KY specializing in tabletop game design and portraits using traditional mediums such as pen and ink, and watercolor. He is the creator of Pocket Dungeon Quest, a simplified, casual rogue-like tabletop adventure for 2-4 players.

When did you first think you would be an artist?

It was when I was just a small boy. I would sit at home after school and draw comics all afternoon. I knew I wanted to get into art somehow. At that time my thoughts were either as a comic book artist, or concept work for movies and games.

Who or what inspires you now?

I absolutely love Wesley Burt’s style; I could look at his sketches all day. I also love looking at concept art books of any kind.

If you could do anything else but make art, what would it be?

I would probably have to say making coffee. I just love everything about the coffee-making process.

"Homes" by Jeff Dehut, 8x8in, micron pen (2016)

"Homes" by Jeff Dehut, 8x8in, micron pen (2016)

What frightens you the most?

Getting stuck at a job that drains me creatively.

"Enjoy the Little Things" by Jeff Dehut, 8x8in, digital (2017)

"Enjoy the Little Things" by Jeff Dehut, 8x8in, digital (2017)

What is your favorite music to listen to when making art?

Typically I listen to documentaries about various things, or audiobooks of all kinds. When I listen to actual music, it’s usually soundtracks or instrumental so I can focus on other things at the same time.

Vinyl or CD?

Neither. Digital.

Favorite movie?

Star Wars, IV, V & VI.

What are you reading right now?

Ha. I just finished the Magnolia Story, it was a super cute book.

What advice would you give a young artist just out of college?

Don’t wait for jobs to come to you. Go get a job - of any kind. Go make your own creative projects while you wait for something creative to turn up. Be proactive. Make the kind of work on your own while you’re not getting paid for it so that when a company is willing to pay someone for it you can be first in line with experience. Go! Do!

"Illustration Samples" by Jeff Dehut, 3.5x2.5in, ink & marker (2017)

"Illustration Samples" by Jeff Dehut, 3.5x2.5in, ink & marker (2017)

Tell us about an important moment of transition for you as an artist?

The moment I lost my first salary job. It forced me into freelance for a while which forced me to learn many valuable skills I would not have otherwise acquired.

"Watercolor Thumb People" by Jeff Dehut, 3.5x2.5in, watercolor & micron pen (2017)

"Watercolor Thumb People" by Jeff Dehut, 3.5x2.5in, watercolor & micron pen (2017)

If you were given a $100,000 what would do with it?

Get a studio of some kind so I could finally unpack all of my art supplies and make bigger work.

What does art mean to you?

This is a huge question... Art is something you create - for me it is usually, to some extent, emotionally charged, and I hope my art makes other people feel that way. Usually I want people to feel happy to see my work.

What do you feel is your greatest flaw?

I typically bite off more than I can chew. I’m getting better at it…kinda.

If you could have a talent that you currently don't already have what would it be and why?

I want to learn about more art mediums or techniques because I always want to learn more about my craft.

If you could meet any celebrity who would it be and what would you ask them?

I would like to get a photo with Enrico Colantoni because I loved him in Galaxy Quest and I think we look very similar. It would be funny!

Does art have a purpose? If so, what is it?

Oh boy. I think it does. The purpose of my art is to make others feel encouraged to be better people.

Hometown: Louisville, Kentucky
Age: 36
Education: Associates in Graphic Design with a specialty in Photography
Social Media: https://www.instagram.com/explosivelimes/

"Watercolor Faces" by Jeff Dehut, 8.5x11in, watercolor & micron pen (2016)

"Watercolor Faces" by Jeff Dehut, 8.5x11in, watercolor & micron pen (2016)

Entire contents copyright © 2016 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved. 

Are you interested in being on Artebella?    Click here    to learn more.

Are you interested in being on Artebella? Click here to learn more.