Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Art Walk Artist Bio 1

Over the next couple of weeks, we will be posting bios of the artists that are featured along Fifth Avenue's Art and Photo Walk.

Jonathan Blum considers himself to be first and foremost a portrait painter, and his work ranges from the fanciful to the classically realistic. He can trace his painting career back to a cartoon he created for Stuff magazine in Boston in 1986. The cartoon depicted a forehead—a caricature of his own face from the eyes up. From there he started painting “forehead portraits” which captured his subjects only from the eyes up. He’s left the cartoon element behind, but his focus on the top half of the face remains. Jonathan’s forehead portraits since then have included real people, imaginary people, historical figures (Chairman Mao and Duke Ellington, for example), dogs and cats, and, until 1998, Sesame Street's Bert. (How could he pass up such a long and pointy forehead?) Jonathan has had a number of gallery shows over the years, but has made his living largely by selling artwork directly to the public at outdoor markets, art fairs, and on city streets all over the world.


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