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"Pep Art" Pioneer David Willardson and Marshall Swerman at Rebecca Molayem
David Willardson and Marshall Swerman, Elvis #2.

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA.- The Rebecca Molayem Gallery in West Hollywood will be opening a solo exhibit on February 13, 2010 from 6-10 PM of the newest work from “Pep Art” pioneer David Willardson in collaboration with digital impressionist and photographer, Marshall Swerman. Willardson and Swerman’s “IKONXART Series” renders American and International superstars like Marilyn Monroe, James Dean, Elvis Presley, And Warhol, Audrey Hepburn, Amelia Earhart, the Beatles, Muhammad Ali and others. All are represented in larger-than-life scale that reflects their influence on global pop culture and history. Willardson’s use of rich texture, bold colors, and accentuated movement working with Swerman’s creative digital manipulations offer a unique perspective on the scope and meaning of fame and power.

The impetus for the “IKONXART Series” came after a serendipitous meeting between David Willardson and Marshall Swerman, whose original photographs of Andy Warhol and his New York “Factory” piqued Willardson’s imagination. The two began collaborating on bold and dramatically colored portraits of Andy Warhol and other “Factory” members like Edie Sedgwick.

Willardson and Swerman have since cast their artistic gaze onto American and international icons that have personally influenced and inspired them. The Boys, a 10’ x 4’ vibrant tribute to The Beatles, was inspired by Cirque du Soleil’s performance, Love in Las Vegas. “I was marveling at the beauty and magic of the performance,” Willardson recalls, “when suddenly the image of this painting appeared to me. By the time Love ended, I had painted the entire piece in my mind…each brushstroke, each splash of color and began working with Marshall as soon as I returned to Los Angeles.”

David Willardson is recognized as the premier air-brush artist in the United States. Over a span of seventeen years, he created the seminal poster art for Disney’s timeless animated films of Bambi, Cinderella, Snow White, The Little Mermaid, Aladdin and the Lion King. After ending a successful career as commercial artist to focus on fine art, Willardson became the creator and creative force of the “Pep Art” movement, an innovative new genre where cultural icons are rendered with an unprecedented infusion of color, personality and energy. Willardson’s work has been featured in numerous galleries, books, interviews, record & cd covers and magazines and his work is in personal collections throughout the world.
"I’m certainly a product of the pop art movement," Willardson professes, "but I also have a great love for action painting.  My work is about energy, action, and boldness, I combine pop culture imagery with my love for music, and movement."   

Marshall Swerman, fine art photographer, has been published worldwide having had solo exhibits in New York City, Philadelphia, Los Angeles and Martha’s Vineyard. Swerman is currently working on completing three projects: “Factory and Friends Series” featuring his unpublished photographs of Andy Warhol and his Superstars. When spending time at Andy’s “Factory” in the 60’s, Swerman was fortunate to be possibly the only photographer to take formal portraits of Andy. Swerman also was featured in one of Warhol’s renowned films his 24 hour feature, “Four Star.” Swerman’s other projects include: “Dead Cars and Other Body Parts,” a photographic journey of stripped and abandoned cars and “Flower Power to Armed Love – the 60’s in NYC,” covering the hippies, yippies, drugs, sex, drugs and rock & roll on the Lower East Side and West Village of NYC.

In addition to introducing the iconic and inspirational “IKONXART” portraits, the exhibit opening on February 13 will feature a live performance painting by Willardson and a live music performance by world-renowned singer/ songwriter Michelle Shocked, known for her soulful lyrics and passionate voice.

The “IKONXART Series” will be on view from February 13 to February 27 at the Rebecca Molayem Gallery located at 306 N. Robertson Blvd., West Hollywood, CA 90048. To confirm exhibit opening attendance on Feb. 13th please call 310-652-2620.

The Rebecca Molayem Gallery | David Willardson | Marshall Swerman | "Pep Art" |

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