Omaha - If you're in the neighborhood...

I love artists almost as much as I love writers, so when I saw this image on dizzykid's (incredible artist, btw!) profile at MySpace, I had to find out more.

From The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts:

Kent Bellows

Event Time: March 3 - May 28, 2006

"Exceptional and perceptive. Flawless and masterful. Such words are commonly used, but fail to describe the works of Kent Bellows, whose painting and printing techniques captured character and persona as few artists before him. The Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts is extremely pleased to present Kent Bellows from March 3 – May 27, 2006, an exhibition featuring works from Bellows’ close friends and long-time collectors, all of whom came to appreciate the artist’s relentless pursuit of his next great work as well as his generous, caring spirit. The Bemis Center will also present Kent Bellows: A Celebration on Saturday, March 25, from 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. This special event is a public opportunity for family and friends of Kent Bellows to celebrate his life and work. This event is free and open to the public.

"Born in Blair, NE in 1949, Bellows grew up in a home where art, literature, music and theater were prized. Although he attended the University of Nebraska, he considered his parents to be the most important influence on his art. Renowned for his figurative portraits, Bellows demonstrated a keen ability to capture detail and an even greater compassion for the human character. Whether male or female, he captured all the strength, dynamism, fragility and vulnerability inherent in the human condition.

"When New Realism developed during the 1970s and ’80s, Bellow became a master of its sub genre Sharp Focus, sometimes also referred to as Meticulous Realism. In the essay “Get Real” published in 2000, Virginia Anne Bonito commented: “Bellows’ technique is noteworthy; he is among the most skilled masters in the medium of graphite on paper, and he has recently translated his meticulous approach into the oil medium. His images in graphite on paper challenge the viewer’s belief that they are not 'art' photography.” Forum Gallery, which has offices in both New York City in Los Angeles and is one of the leaders in the field of contemporary figurative art, represented Bellows and labels him “America’s greatest master of figurative drawing.”

"Bellows exhibited his first paintings in the Old Market in 1970 and 1971, and although he developed a reputation as an artist of international rank, he remained in Nebraska and painted from his studio in Omaha. In an interview with The Reader in September 2005, Mark Masuoka, Executive Director of the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, reflected: “People know how significant of an artist he is. When anyone makes that kind of an impact, they become a cultural icon. People who aren’t from Omaha, when they hear the name, think, ‘Jun Kaneko lives there. Kent Bellows lives there.’ That an artist of that level lived here — that’s huge.”

"IN MEMORIAMA former Bemis Center Artist-in-Residence in 1988, Bellows’ work is included in the permanent collections of the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) in New York, the Art Institute of Chicago and the Toledo Museum of Art, to name a few. Sadly, Bellows passed away in his home in September 2005 at the age of 56. Generous to family, friends and artists alike, the Bellows Family has requested that those interested in making a contribution to the Kent Bellows Memorial Fund contact the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts at 402.341.7130 for more information."

For more images of Kent Bellows' art, take a look HERE, but only if you find the nude human body beautiful as a subject of art.

Wickedly Yours,
Fran Friel