About

I am an Artist and Writer.

(For my extremely professional Résumé, scroll down past all the rambling.)

When I was young, I would paint and draw and write cool stories and liked to be funny. I won Young Author Awards and was in a gifted program. We got to leave class early and do gifted stuff. I played piano and saxophone.

In high school, I wrote, drew, made flipbooks and defaced textbooks. I got sent to the Dean a lot. I was funny.

I went to Art School and got “educated” with an ART DEGREE. Don’t worry, it’s only an Associates.

The guy who did my entrance interview was a failure, excuse me, “teacher” who needed a steady paycheck and so made less of students to make himself feel better. I showed him comics and he said that was no good and not a realistic goal (one of their poster children was a famous comic book artist). He said, “But we’ll take your money.” This was my welcome into the professional arts!

After art school, I took some crappy gigs as a freelance Illustrator and art slave. After deciding that being a rented pair of arms sucked, I set my art degree nicely on a shelf to collect dust and got into acting in movies, TV, radio and commercials.

I lied on a TV commercial for $75. I played a momma’s boy for the Home Shopping Network (more false advertising). I sold an 8-Ball of heroin and shot-up on National TV as an Irish Mobster for The History Channel (Mom was proud). I played a gangster in an Oscar-submitted director’s 1st American movie. I grew a beard, learned to ride a horse, skipped work for 2 weeks and ruined my dress shoes for a percentage of the profits (none).

Then, I switched to the Fine Art thing. I presented myself professionally like:

“Owen specializes in water-based media–i.e., acrylics and watercolors. His background includes Impressionism, Illustration, White/Mexican suburbia and language–i.e., bad public skool grammar and English mixed with obscenities. He is degreed from the American Academy of Art in Chicago–i.e., which he finished paying for after 14 years. He is an innovator like none who have lived before–i.e.,  buy a painting because I am basically saying I’m famous so my art is worth money, i.e., I don’t know what i.e. means so just write it to look intelligent.”

Once, a guy looked at one of my paintings (the same one featured on the Channel 5 News, mind you) and said my painting was, “…not as clean as he would like to see.” I looked at his paintings. They were paintings of blobs. BLOBS.

I was told once that I needed to be dead in order for my art to be valuable.

I read about a guy who would give himself a paint-enema and then take a paint-dump on his canvases. That was art. He took a dump and sold it as art. He took dumps for a living.

I saw a painting for sale that was thousands of dollars that looked it was done in crayon by a 4 year old. They had a Masters Degree in Fine Art. I wondered if I was trying way too hard.

With a thorough education in the Arts equivalent to ten Masters of Fine Arts Degrees, I decided that crayon-enema-shit-smears were not the direction I wanted to go as an artist. I reread the educational text, “Art School Confidential” by Daniel Clowes and returned to my roots.

Now I paint and draw and write cool stories and like to be funny.

I’m not disgruntled, I swear. I just wanted to give you some of my journey and write funny stuff. For the record, painting portraits is very rewarding. People love them. I had a lot of great gigs in TV, film and radio. I’ve sold lots of paintings and have gotten quite well-known as a Fine Artist.

My acting headshot when I was 25 or so. Photo by DZ.
This is me now. I aged well, I think.

Welcome to Owen York Studios, peeps.

Fine Art Résumé

Exhibitions

  • 2012 • TV • One of my paintings was featured on the news • On TV, Television
  • 2012 • Artlightenment Art & Film Festival • Featured Artist • Nashville TN
  • 2010 • Humans • Studio Fyra Arstider • Stockholm Sweden
  • 1998 • The Resting Man • Northern Indiana Arts Association • Hammond IN
  • 1996 • Decided to put the fine in Fine Art
  • 1993 • A guy almost bought a sculpture from me • He said $20 was too expensive • Round Lake Beach IL
  • 1990 • My teacher hung up a drawing in the school hallway • Skool
  • 1980 something • I won those Young Author Awards I mentioned • Chicago Suburbs Public School System
  • 1980 • Used some crayons. My mom showed someone • At my hizouse
  • 1978 • Was warm • In Utero

Awards, Associations and Memberships

  • Honorable Mention from a “qualified and important” guest judge who said my technique was interesting and then gave 1st prize to a paper mache dog.
  • I don’t have snazzy or official sounding clubs, but if I join one, I’ll let you know.
  • I thought about joining The Portrait Society once. Sounds important. Maybe I will one day.

Galleries

  • I’ve had my art in galleries. I sold paintings. It was cool.