I have worked my entire life to improve my craft and to learn the sciences of design, light and color. Sometimes years of education and practice have led me to an unexpected destination in my work. For example, my tendencies towards minimalism in some of my paintings.
As I breathe life into these inanimate materials, I’m careful to heed when my work “comes to life”. I may start with an idea or plan, but at some point a painting takes on a life of its own and dictates its own direction. It can end up miles from what I originally intended. But when a client tells me that they can “feel the painting”, or my art seems “alive”, I know I nailed it.
I use my life in my work. I’ve always loved the extremes of sci-fi and space opera, but can come back down to Earth for a portrait of American life or a landscape. And then there’s the guns…
Owen York is from Round Lake Beach, a Chicagoland, IL suburb.
As a child, he would paint, draw and write stories. He won Young Author Awards and was in gifted programs. He played the piano and three types of saxophone. In elementary school he was introduced to the French Impressionists, which would heavily influence his work.
At age 11, he came up with the character called “Greek” (the green alien profile portrayed in his art studio logo). Around Greek was created many stories, characters, a planet and an entire universe. Naturally, Greek became the logo for his art studio, and the sci-fi themed subject matter continues in his work to present day.
In his teens, he continued his art and writing endeavors, particularly focusing on painting, poetry, essays and literature. Here his art took the direction of pop culture in music, science-fiction, film, video games and comic books.
He received his degree from the American Academy of Art in Chicago. This school was chosen for its access to professional working techniques, media and many well-known alumni. Though he received a degree in Illustration, this was not pursued. However, his academic experience contributed immensely to his direction and style.
In his twenties, being interested in film, he started acting as a launchpad. He earned a respectable résumé of film, TV, radio and commercial work. He continued as an artist in these years, refining his style and body of work. His acting career was not continued, but is another path of The Arts that definitely contributed to his modern work.
In his current art can be seen references to past and present American pop culture, as well as the further influences of memes and satire, politics, government, firearms, and even post-apocalyptic themes.
Though he is not a traditional Impressionist, nor does he write professionally at this time, he considers himself a Modern Impressionist and writer, speaking through his paintings instead of the written word. He works primarily in mixed-media, and regularly uses drawings, oils, acrylics and watercolors. When asked what his art is like, he’d say, “No one does what I do. But if I had to compare myself, I’d say I was on the line of a Lichtenstein/Frazetta mix.”
He resides in Nashville, Tennessee with his lovely wife and three beautiful chillens.