PITTSBURGH, PA.- The Andy Warhol Museum
presents its latest special exhibition, Heroes & Villains: The Comic Book Art of Alex Ross.
Heroes & Villains is the first museum exhibition celebrating the artwork of Alex Ross, todays foremost comic book artist. Ross, acclaimed for the photorealism of his work is often referred to as the Norman Rockwell of the comics world. Heroes & Villains features over 130 works represented as paintings, drawings, photographs, and sculptures from Rosss personal collection. The pieces range from a crayon drawing of Spider-Man that he created at the age of four through to todays paintings. This exhibition outlines Rosss career of redefining comic books and graphic novels for a new generation of followers of Superman, Batman, Spider-Man and other classic comic book superheroes. The exhibition also includes original artwork by Frank Bez, J.C. Leyendecker, Andrew Loomis, Norman Rockwell, and Lynette Ross (Rosss mother and a successful commercial illustrator), as well as artworks and archival material from The Andy Warhol Museum collection.
Born in Portland, Oregon in 1970 and raised in Lubbock, Texas, Alex Ross grew up in a world of colorful, painted images. Rosss mother, Lynette, was a successful illustrator in the 1940s and 1950s, the same time that Warhol was creating his commercial illustrations in New York City. By the time Ross was 13 years old he was drawing and scripting comic books. At the age of 17, Ross went on to study painting at the American Academy of Art in Chicago, where he was influenced by Salvador Dalis hyperrealism, as well as by such classic American illustrators as Rockwell and Leyendecker.
Ross began his professional career as a storybook artist for an advertising agency. At the age of 19 Ross received his first comic assignment from Marvel Comics a comic titled Terminator: The Burning Earth. Five years later, Ross created the illustrations and cover art for Marvels, a full feature comic book, co-written by Kurt Busiek. Rosss photorealistic gouache technique showcases superheroes and villains such as Spider-Man, the Human Torch, Captain America and Galactus. His sophomore project, Kingdom Come, is a comic in which an alternate DC Universe is filled with aging superhero forces including Superman, Wonder Woman and the Green Lantern, who come out of retirement to fight modern superhumans. Thanks to his talents, Ross would go on to win the Comic Buyers Guide Award for Favorite Painter seven times in a row, resulting in the retirement of the category.