Error: 3002 Source: GeoIP.asp line 56: File could not be opened. Hot Los Angeles painter of the moment Alex Schaefer's bank on fire work heats up art world
The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 Tuesday, September 2, 2014


Hot Los Angeles painter of the moment Alex Schaefer's bank on fire work heats up art world
Artist Alex Schaefer stands in front of a Chase bank branch that was the inspiration for his oil painting depicting the structure on fire along Van Nuys Blvd. AP Photo/Los Angeles Times, Genaro Molina.

By: John Rogers, Associated Press

LOS ANGELES, CA. (AP).- Alex Schaefer is the hot Los Angeles artist of the moment, thanks to a couple of oil-on-canvas works showing banks burning down. Although his work has been displayed at several galleries over the years, Schaefer was mostly an obscure figure in the art world whose pieces rarely fetched more than $1,000.

That was until he painted a picture of a nondescript bank on a run-of-the-mill San Fernando Valley street.

With flames leaping through the bank's roof, the work began to take on a look similar to Ed Ruscha's acclaimed 1966 "Burning Gas Station." Schaefer says several passers-by stopped to give him a thumb's up.

Some, however, called police after their suspicions were aroused.

Offers for the painting began pouring in after the Los Angeles Times reported last month that authorities wanted to know if Schaefer planned to burn the bank down. He got so many offers that he decided to put the 22-by-28-inch oil on canvas up for auction on eBay.

A German art collector who wishes to remain anonymous bought it last week for $25,200.

Schaefer says he told the police officers who visited him outside the Chase branch, and those who came to his home later, that the paintings were meant to be a metaphor for the financial havoc the banking industry has created.

Several police detectives said Tuesday they didn't know if the case was still under investigation, but hadn't heard that it was.

Schaefer, who teaches painting and drawing at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, said Tuesday he is still in shock about his newfound success.

"I was confronted like a little mini-celebrity," the ebullient artist said, describing his arrival at Art Center on Monday to begin a new semester. "My class filled up within an hour. The teachers were going 'Atta boy!' What a scene!"

After selling his painting of the Chase bank branch, Schaefer decided to list a second, much smaller work that he painted while visiting his neighborhood Starbucks.

That one, just 6-by-8 inches, shows a burning Bank of America, a corporation with a bottom line that appears to be going up in smoke these days with its announcement that it's laying off 30,000 employees after taking a huge hit in the mortgage meltdown.

That painting sold for more than $3,500.

"I really do feel very passionately about it," Schaefer said of the economic woes he blames on big banks.

The prolific artist's subjects aren't limited to banks, however. They run the gamut from portraits to landscapes to a series he did on cupcakes.

The 41-year-old artist says his greatest influences are the Old Masters, although he is flattered by the comparison to Ruscha.

After earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Art Center, Schaefer worked for several years in the video game industry before deciding to concentrate on his painting and drawing.

On Tuesday he was pursuing the banking theme again, working on another painting of a Chase branch on fire, this one in Pasadena. No police approached this time.

Schaefer, who plans to exhibit some of his bank paintings at a show next year, said his two buyers have both invited him to stay with them if he should visit Europe. He added that he may take them up on the offer and expand his work to include the European economic crisis.

"I might spend a week in London painting a bank on fire and then go out in the country and do three or four beautiful things," he said.


Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.

Alex Schaefer | Art Center College of Design |  |


Today's News

September 15, 2011

First exhibition in Germany dedicated to Prince Albert opens at Veste Coburg

Sotheby's to hold Fine Chinese paintings sale and exhibition of Zhang Daqian paintings

From Start to Finish: De Wain Valentine's Gray Column at the J. Paul Getty Museum

Sotheby's Switzerland appoints Marc Michel-Amadry as new Managing Director

First Lady Michelle Obama honors winners of National Design Awards at White House

Sotheby's New York Classical Chinese Paintings auction more than doubles pre-sale expectations

Small United States cities struggle to pay for 9/11 memorials that have blossomed across the country

El Museo's Bienal extends to The Northern Manhattan Arts Alliance and Lehman College Art Gallery

Detroit Institute of Arts presents gift of a lifetime: The James Pearson Duffy Collection

Chinese porcelain stars at Kaminski Auctions' August Fine Asian Art and Antiques sale

Witte de With in Rotterdam announces Istanbul native Defne Ayas as new Director

Hot Los Angeles painter of the moment Alex Schaefer's bank on fire work heats up art world

Stephanie Wiles named new Director of Cornell's Herbert F. Johnson Museum

Good Humor at the Met: Caricature and satire explored in Infinite Jest

United Kingdom campaign seeks to save Roald Dahl writing hut

Gary Lawrence is awarded the Jerwood Drawing Prize 2011

Nashville museum on African American music planned

Magnificent private collection of Judith Leiber handbags and accessories on the auction block in December

Metropolitan Museum's McQueen, Caro, Serra, and "Rooms with a View" Exhibitions Stimulate $908 million

Judge throws out lawsuit over Custer museum raids

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Neanderthals and humans were both living in Europe for between 2,600 and 5,400 years

2.- First major exhibition to explore the historical legacy of African cultural astronomy opens at LACMA

3.- Carlo Mollino's idealized vision of the female form in new book published by Damiani/Crump

4.- Tate Britain displays works by Frank Auerbach from the collection of Lucian Freud

5.- In grave robber territory, locals abuzz over Alexander-era tomb; Largest of its kind ever discovered in Greece

6.- Lambert Collection opens an ambitious project housed at the Sainte-Anne Prison

7.- Centre for Contemporary Art Singapore announces the first 18 artists in the CCA Residencies progamme

8.- Historic Kings Theatre is transformed into major New York Performing Arts venue

9.- Thirteen's American Masters Series co-produces new documentary about photographer Dorothea Lange

10.- Sotheby's New York to offer 548 Edward Weston photographs as a single lot this September



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site