“My art is similar to small talk. One has to take a closer look, even dig deeper, to understand the depth of humanity in a person.” – Byron Buchanan
In the local art community, Byron Buchanan is the new kid in town. This leading pop artist is not fresh to the art scene, however. His work shows in the collections of Brad Pitt, Vin Diesel, Drew Barrymore, Dr. Dre, Lindsay Lohan, Donna Summers, Larry Hagman, Yves Saint Laurent in Paris, and Macy’s New York.
Well recognized by high profile players in the entertainment industry for his mixed media and hand-painted acrylic collages, Byron selects Hollywood and political icons, such as Mick Jagger, Johnny Cash, Jackie O., and Marilyn Monroe, to star in his canvases. Unlike many pop artists, Byron is more intrigued with the unseen life of the celebrity than the glamour. “I want to know more about these people. Who are they? What are their stories?” Curiosity leads to months of research as the artist devours biographies and other written material, striving to learn about his subject.
At first glance, one easily recognizes the familiar faces on Byron’s canvases. However, there is more to the story than what first meets the eye. As the canvases draw the viewer in, multiple layers of photographs and torn pages from books – any thread of relevant connection – expose themselves, subtly uncovering the true person behind the veil of fame. According to Byron, the collaged background is the greater part of each piece and takes more time and energy to create than the foreground, which is often hand drawn and/or air brushed. “With the foreground, I don’t sketch; instead, I see the finished piece in my head and go straight for the finish line. I don’t erase. Any mistakes are left as part of the composition.”
A self-taught artist, Byron was born in Detroit, Michigan, but grew up primarily in Texas and Indiana. Inspired by Gerhard Richter, Picasso and Robert Rauschenberg, his work explores the relationship between artistic expression, spirituality, pop culture, escapism, and the human condition, often challenging modern value systems. He enjoys exploring various mediums and has developed his own unique techniques that utilize non-traditional materials. After numerous solo and group shows, this hip, thirty-something artist quickly became a sought after and sometimes controversial artist. He currently resides in the Coeur d’Alene area.