Paul Giovanopolous famous Mona Lisa series - Acrylic on stretched canvas
I was very happy and pleased when I was invited by the studio of Paul Giovanopoulos to make a visit and to meet the artist himself. Paul and his beautiful wife, Jami, have a gorgeous (and humongous) bright, sunny loft and artist studio in SoHo. They lived and worked there for the past 35 years. It’s so very interesting to see SoHo currently, and to see how it has changed since the Giovanopouloses moved there. They were pioneers and precursors, visionaries of what would become one of the hottest commercial, cultural and artistic neighborhoods of NYC. I can’t really see an artist with the sensibility, imagination and creativity of Giovanopoulos living anywhere else.
A work in progress at Paul's studio - Note how notables from the art world from different times and eras converge in one piece. Very cool.
This is a detail from the piece above, Paul painted himself here too
Another detail from the same piece
Paul is Greek, but has spent his entire career as an artist in New York City. He loves what he does so much, and he’s both prolific and talented, that his enthusiasm for his paintings (and his process) is contagious. Paul paints a lot with acrylic on stretched canvas and his works are colorful and heavily-influenced by the pop movement, adding interesting details of photo-realism and sometimes abstractionism.
A new series of the American Flag
One of the best series that Paul has created are assemblages of modules, all of the same size and each of them depicting the same image. He has done it with the Mona Lisa and the result is not only breathtaking but also fun and cool at the same time. Each image of the Mona Lisa has been recreated by Paul in many different styles and colors, for example, channeling the styles of Fernand Leger, Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon, Dali, Picasso, Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miro and Boticelli just to name a few. The result is impressive, particularly because of his technique. Each of the modules or components of the canvas, is really a very detailed painting and not a digitally produced image (as it could potentially be perceived). He has done similar works with Marilyn, and non-descriptive images such as cows and pigs. Everything that he has done is stunning.
Some of the porcelain pieces made by Ritzenhoff with Paul's art
Paul also paints high-profile men and women from different eras, inserting them all into one painting, like Einstein, Ghandi and Picasso, all hanging out in the same space at the same time. When I asked Paul why he chose to bring all these people together on the same canvas, he said: why not? I would love to have dinner with all these guys at the same time, wouldn’t it be fun? Indeed.
Same concept of assemblage of the image, this time with cows
Paul is incredibly successful and has had shows in many museums in the US and around the world. He has also licensed some of his work to Rosenthal and Ritzenhoff (both did some limited-edition plates, cups, mugs and other artifacts with Paul’s art). His work is in some of the best private collections of the world. Steve Wynn, James Cameron and Mayor Bloomberg are some of the bold-faced names who collect him, along with the permanent collection at the New York Public Library and Harvard’s JFK School of Government. Please enjoy the images, which by the way don’t really do ANY justice to Paul’s work which begs to be experienced in person.