Chris Osborne in front of her painting James Dean and 1947 Mercury
Artist Chris Osborne has had many associations with the celebrities she paints, such as Bo Diddley, Steve McQueen, Paul Newman, and Jimi Hendrix.
Bo Diddley and his ’57 Chevy, by Chris Osborne
Chris Osborne developed her idea to paint portraits of celebrities with their cars after a 1988 photo shoot with Bo Diddley at a rehearsal studio in New York City. Because of her friendship with Deb Hastings, Bo Diddley’s bass player, Osborne had many opportunities to hang out with the band. Eventually Osborne asked Bo Diddley if she could take some photos of him for a painted portrait. “He sat on a couch, holding his guitar in various ways. The photos were terrific,” she said. “As I browsed through them later I happened to read an article in a magazine that mentioned he had owned a 1957 Chevy back in the late 50’s early 60’s. He hauled the band equipment around in it as he toured in the early days. I was aware that the ’57 Chevy was a very significant car in automotive design history and thought it would be fun to paint him with one. Bo was living in Florida at the time and I created the scene in reference to that.”
Steve McQueen & 1968 Mustang GT, by Chris Osborne
In 1972 , Chris Osborne shared a Malibu beach house with her college friend Herb Ritts who would later become a top fashion and celebrity photographer. Ritts had grown up next door to the McQueen’s in Brentwood. One Sunday afternoon in Malibu, Ritts asked Osborne to take a long walk along the beach to visit friends up the coast. “It was one of those sunny Southern California days at the Pacific Ocean, a great day to walk barefoot in the sand, just gorgeous to behold for this New England girl. I’ll never forget approaching the house, knocking on the door, and Steve McQueen invited us in. Herb had kept it a surprise. Steve offered us a cocktail, and the men, along with young Chad (Steve’s son) went swimming, while Ali McGraw and I sat on the sand talking about art,” recalled Osborne.
Years later, as Chris Osborne developed an interest in portraits and the design elements of cars for her paintings, Steve McQueen and his Bullit Mustang became one of her subjects. “Some people have asked me if during that visit I went to see the cars in his garage and I regret to say it wasn’t something I thought of on that day,” Osborne related.
Chris Osborne was delighted when Matt Stone, editor of Motor Trend magazine, asked to use her painting of Steve McQueen as the frontispiece to his book McQueen’s Machines: The Cars and Bikes of a Hollywood Icon.
“Matt Stone told me that when he and Chad do car events in California they sign copies of the book on “my” painting page,” said Osborne.
The original 30 x 46 inch acrylic painting of Jimi Hendrix and his 1969 Corvette Stingray was created by nationally award winning artist Chris Osborne and featured in a two page spread in Guitar Player magazine.
“The more facts I can gather when creating a painting, the more exciting it is for me,” said Chris Osborne. For her painting Jimi Hendrix and his 1969 Corvette Stingray, Osborne added elements from her research, including the his Fender Stratocaster, also known as the Jimi Hendrix Woodstock Guitar complete with Woodstock guitar strap.
“I placed Jimi and the car at the lovely Ashokan Reservoir at the foot of the Catskills near his house,” Osborne explained. “To add to the narrative quality of the painting, I read all of his song lyrics and I was drawn to some visual items that could be woven in, such as a line from Voodoo Chile: “set me on an eagle’s wing” and a line in Little Wing: “butterflies and zebras”. This gave me an opportunity to make references in paint to the poetic nature of the musician. And, by the way, I saw a bald eagle over Route 28 on my way to photograph the reservoir!”
First published on Technorati news: Stars and Cars: Jimi Hendrix with his Corvette Stringray, Paul Newman with His Racing Datsun, Steve McQueen and the Bullit Mustang, and Bo Diddley and a 1957 Chevy, by Marie Kazalia http://technorati.com/entertainment/celebrity/article/stars-and-cars-jimi-hendrix-with/