Perhaps the reason Gerry Chapleski’s paintings are skillfully hazy is because he is constantly blurring the lines between old and new. Fascinated by ancient Greek mythology, Gerry makes ties within his paintings between art’s long history and the present-day gods he feels America now worships, such as fame, beauty, and sports.
His portraits of American pop culture (which blend, blur and mix color in the most alluring of ways) pay homage to the great craftsmen and thinkers who came before him and found beauty in the human physique.
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“My technique consists of creating custom painting tools out of things like plastic, mylar, acetate, rubber or old credit cards to squish, scrape, smudge and smear paint in varying degrees,” Gerry said.
Gerry is also great at using uncharacteristic, surprising colors to symbolize and highlight important aspects within his artwork. Take Elvis’ bright blue eyes, for example. His peepers are just one of the many characteristics that made him stand out to be the heartthrob he is—even to this day!
In Adronis, above, Gerry took that idea to the extreme, painting Elvis’ eyes a periwinkle purple that matches the shadowed sheen in his jet-black hair.
The title of the next painting—Pink Bikini—is a hint to the all-encompassing fun surrounding it. Happy, beachy colors surround a girl clad in a hot pink bikini that sizzles just as much as the sand beneath her under the glaring rays of the sun.
Her confidence is apparent in the way she carries her shoulders back and strikes a pose. Although it’s summer, she’s effortlessly cool. . . and you could almost take Gerry’s blurred style of painting to mean that the heat waves are crackling across the canvas, melting and taking neon bits of pink paint with them.
Of course, in Warrior, the boxer’s rapid movements could be cause for the blurriness. Under blindingly bright lights, he attacks his target with a vengeance, arms up to both block and attack at all times.
I personally love this painting because it reminds me of the abstract painting of Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed we see occasionally throughout the Rocky film series. The perspective of this piece is up close and personal; it gets you right into the ring so you can see the excitement firsthand—instantly bringing to mind the exhilaration and intensity of the moment.
I’ve highlighted just a few of Gerry’s paintings today, but there’s plenty more where these came from. Don’t miss this opportunity to check out the rest of Gerry’s great portraits on his website!