Gerberas are colourful flowers belonging to the daisy family. They are named after German botanist and doctor Traugott Gerbera. Native to tropical areas of South America, Africa and Asia, they are also commonly known as the Afican Daisy (above right is a painting of my African Daisy from about ten years ago). Gerberas are the fifth most popular cut flower in the world after the rose, carnation, chrysanthemum and tulip.
I felt like painting a Gerbera because of the bright colours. I also thought it would be an interesting perspective as a macro close focus style. I love the warm colours of red, orange and yellow which are the dominant colours with a bit of purple here and there to highlight sections.
Daisies and Gerberas are such popular flowers, even my favourite artist Andy Warhol has focused on them. He did a series of Daisy art screen prints in 1982, so were some of his later artworks. I love their simple bold colours and design elements (below left). He also did a series experimenting with colours schemes and contrasts with his "Flower for Tacoma Dome" (1982) series (below right)
All my daisy paintings are available as prints by clicking on the image. The Gerbera original watercolour painting is now for sale.
There is so much "Andy Warhol inspired" fruit art for sale on various Print on Demand Shops across the internet, that it's actually hard to decipher where the original inspiration actually came from. It's fairly easy to use a photo of any fruit and create a pop art poster print using Photoshop's "pop art" facility. Some are better than others. I like the one on the right by an online design shop called Hot Hibiscus available at Red Bubble. The above left two artworks are Andy originals from a series of screen prints called "Space Fruit" from 1979. They're pretty colourful and kind of pointless, thus summing up the pop art movement pretty well. In any case, I love the idea of using fruit as a bright and decorative design subject and have been having a lot of fun doing watercolour versions of pop art fruit slices.
The inspiration for my fruit slice series came from some fruit photography I had seen on Pinterest that grabbed my attention. I liked the idea of being able to create some colourful decor posters and wall art that can be customised to suit interiors. Above are examples of my fruit slices and a collage of the prints I have for sale. I'm pretty happy with the way these illustrations have turned out ! They're bright and colourful and they seemed to have turned out better than I envisioned, which isn't always the case.
The middle image above is a photography citrus fruit collage by OvertheRainbow on Pinterest that was inspirational for my own paintings. There are hundreds of examples of similar fruit slice photography prints out there. The image on the right is royalty free stock images of retro fruit. So cool. The print market is really overly saturated with these fruity styles, but nevertheless I thought I'd add my flavour to the mix....
My original fruit art is available on a variety of different products including art prints and canvases here:
So I took myself along to the Art Gallery of NSW for the "most extensive exhibition of Pop Art ever showcased in Australia". Being a big fan of popular culture and the Pop Art movement, it was exciting and very informative to have this retrospective exhibition on in town. At the entrance was large sign with Richard Hamilton's famous definition of Pop Art, being that Pop Art is: popular, transient, expendable, low-cost, mass produced, young, witty, sexy, gimmicky, glamorous and Big Business. This idea has very much influenced my Juicy Hues design store - a gift shop full of brightly coloured, fairly expendable designs that aim to capture the essence of what is popular for the mass market.
The exhibition was divided up into sections according to various groups and time frames, such as the American artists, focusing more on mass media / fame and consumerism ideas, the Euro pop and British pop artists, focusing more on post war notions and more political or social ideas and the Australian artists, some of whom were trying to make social statements, a lot of collage work some more commercial artists. It was interesting that a lot of the pop artists had backgrounds in commercial or graphic art.
It was satisfying to see a good representation of fairly famous works from the most famous pop artists. Andy Warhol was well represented from early work such as Elvis and Marilyn prints, his Campbell's soup cans were on display, through to his Mao prints and ending with his collaborations with Basquiat and one of his last self portraits. Other famous artists on display include Lichtenstein, Rosenquist, Martin Sharp...many others...
There was even a cool "pop café" where you could buy caramel popcorn and various other drinks and fun treats and a game of pop twister that you could join in with. I tried to restrain myself in the "pop shop" and only bought a small book of Andy Warhol quotes, though I was seriously considering the blow up pink flamingo !!
If you live in Sydney, the Pop to Popism exhibition is on until March 2015.
Sacha Grossel is a practising Visual Artist from Australia.