Highlight Hollywood has the exclusive rights to reveal the results of the 50 categories of winning artists in the American Art Awards, decided by the 25 Best Galleries In The Nation. In a series of articles expanding through October, we reveal, in daily features, the 1st to 6th Place winning images with artists info, one category at a time.
Please check in daily for brilliant paintings, photography, digital images and sculpture in genres from portrait to floral to impressionism, realism, landscape, innovative, cubism, self-portrait, etc.
This year the online contest had submissions from 35 countries including Aruba, Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Croatia, Denmark, England, France, Germany, Greece, Iceland, India, Indonesia, Israel, Japan, Latvia, Lithuania, Macedonia, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Poland, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Spain,South Africa, South Korea, Sweden, Thailand, UK, United Arab Emirates and USA.
I interviewed president of www.AmericanArtAwards.com, Thom Bierdz (painter of the BLUE X paintings) and asked which artists this year won the PORTRAIT OF SOEMONE FAMOUS category.
Bierdz says, “Randal Huiskens won the last category, POP, and also scored highest in this category. He is a brilliant commercial artist who carved his own niche using his signature pop style which he refers to as neo-divisionism. Tamara Geddes, Tanya Filichkin and Cassandra Allsworth took the remaining awards with their celebrity paintings. 25 galleries score each piece up to 3 points, and with this low-scoring system we often get many ties.”
————————————————————————–CATEGORY 31. PORTRAIT OF SOMEONE FAMOUS
1st RANDAL HUISKENS USA www.huiskensart.com “Albert Einstein With Pipe No. 2″ 24 x 36” Acrylic on canvas.
2nd RANDAL HUISKENS USA www.huiskensart.com “ElizabethTaylor No. 5″ 24 x 30” Acrylic on canvas.
3rd RANDAL HUISKENS USA www.huiskensart.com “Marilyn Monroe 2015.03″ 24 x 30” Acrylic on canvas.
6th TANYA FILICHKIN USA tanyafilichkin.artspan.com “Joe Bonamassa” 28 x 22″ Acrylic on canvas.
6th TANYA FILICHKIN USA tanyafilichkin.artspan.com “Jimi Hendrix” 16 x 20″ Acrylic on canvas.
6th CASSANDRA ALLSWORTH AUSTRALIA firstname.lastname@example.org “Martin Luther King” 16 x 12″ Acrylic on canvas.
6th RANDAL HUISKENS USA www.huiskensart.com “Kicking Bear Of The Lakota Sioux” 22 x 28″ Acrylic on canvas.
BIO ON 1ST PLACE WINNER RANDAL HUISKENS:
Randal Huiskens is a Chicago area fine artist whose principal medium is acrylic paint on canvas. His latest works are a series of Pop Art Portraits in a style he calls neo-divisionism. This method of painting allows for the application of color into a painting that is unrelated to the actual subject. It also takes a simple subject and allows for an energetic interpretation that goes far beyond the actual subject. The paintings are created “inch by inch” — that is, he isolates squares on the canvas and paints each one as if it is its own individual painting. Once he has covered the entire canvas, the image emerges. In addition, he paints in traditional art styles, mostly influenced by Post Impressionist artists as well as modern artists of the twentieth century.
Unlike most Pop Artists, the art of Randal Huiskens is almost entirely about the act of painting, rather than conveying a specific message. Most Pop artists are concerned with the messaging in the work. In Huiskens’ work, the subject is secondary to the exploration of paint on a canvas. The art is really more of a modern expressionist type of art that happens to use Pop images as the subject.
“To create great Pop Art, you have to present something that has been seen before in a new way,” states the artist. It was this fundamental realization that has led my artwork to evolve from 19th century style Post Impressionism into 21st century individual expression. I am influenced by both Pop Artists and traditional Fine Artists. In the beginning, for me, there was Cezanne. I was captivated by his use of color, a melange of different shades and hues suggesting shadow and light on the simplest of flat surfaces. Other influences include Henri Mattise, Chuck Close, Andy Warhol and Freek Drent.”
“But Fine Art and Pop Art have long been at odds with each other. Pop Art is sometimes considered the unruly step-child of fine art, but it is the most accessible, and I believe, most important art, of the early 21st century. If you look at our culture, we are entirely Pop-obsessed. . . . The average person has little time to decipher abstract explorations of brush-strokes on a canvas if they don’t immediately mean something to him. And few people want art that has to be explained to them. The Fine Art world is currently in a state where the average person looks at a copy of Art News and thinks, ‘why is this important? I don’t get it.’ In this sense I am trying to create a type of Pop Art that merges these abstract qualities of Fine Art painting and exploration with the accessible subject matter of Pop Art. Most Pop Art is about society. My Pop Art is about Art.”
Randal began to study art seriously while in high school, and was chosen for the first Michigan Summer Institute for Gifted Students on the campus of Michigan State University in 1982. He enrolled in the MSU Art program shortly thereafter. In 1987 one of his paintings won the first place award in the Undergraduate Art Exhibition. The following year, he was awarded a Teachers Scholarship in the Field Of Painting. He obtained a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1988 with an emphasis in painting.