Michael Godard artwork doesn't just sit there on the wall waiting to be noticed...it jumps out at the viewer with bold color, dramatic black backgrounds, and outrageous humor! Born in Southern California, Godard was a precocious kid with a multitude of talents and a dark home life filled with hidden abuse. He excelled in math, music and art—quite an achievement, considering that his family moved around so much that he attended a total of sixteen different schools...
Michael Godard artwork doesn't just sit there on the wall waiting to be noticed...it jumps out at the viewer with bold color, dramatic black backgrounds, and outrageous humor! Born in Southern California, Godard was a precocious kid with a multitude of talents and a dark home life filled with hidden abuse. He excelled in math, music and art—quite an achievement, considering that his family moved around so much that he attended a total of sixteen different schools. Humor was always his defense and his weapon. As a young man he attended the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena and studied fine art at the University of Nevada in Las Vegas.
The decision to become a full-time painter came later in his life, after stints as a mechanical engineer, commercial illustrator, caricature artist and successful entrepreneur. Nothing came easy—he fought his way into an art career, inventing his own path and his own one-of-a-kind style. Godard says, “First I learned the rules of the art world, then forgot them all and painted the way I wanted to.”
Olives entered the picture when Godard was struggling through his daughter Paige’s illness, spending long hours in the hospital when she was in a coma. Desperate for some cheerful element to keep him afloat emotionally, he started a new series of paintings--bringing olives to life in humorous scenarios, rendering them in bright colors against a dramatic black background.
“Three Amigos”, “Olive Party” and “Seven Deadly Zins” were all breakthrough pieces for the young artist, launching him to national recognition. His wild marketing stunts brought more notoriety. “I don’t mind criticism from the art world or the public,” says the artist. “Without it, I’d know I’m playing it way too safe.”
Now the country’s biggest selling artist, the “Rock Star of the Art World” creates his famous martini-themed artwork for a huge collector base of celebrities, musicians and regular folks who love his irreverent subjects and vibrant style. There’s a long waiting list for Godard original paintings (priced upward of $75,000) and his sold-out giclees bring big bucks on the resale market.
You might spot Godard on television on HBO’s “Cat House”, A&E’s “Mind Freak”, “American Casino” and “Inked”, among other places. A documentary on his life won awards when it was shown on the independent film festival circuit and his recent book “Don’t Drink and Draw” won the Art Book of the Year award.
He looks like a tattooed outlaw and runs with the bad boys, but Godard has a soft streak a mile wide. He’s a great dad, contributes to many charitable causes, (including the Paige Godard Foundation, established to help fund research to cure the illness that ultimately took his daughter’s life in 2006) and has learned in the school of experience to value the things that really matter in life. “Put good in, get good out,” is one of the artist’s favorite sayings.
Like Norman Rockwell, Seuss personally created every rough sketch, preliminary drawing, final line drawing and finished work for each page of every project he illustrated. Despite the technical and budgetary limitations of color printing during the early and mid-twentieth century, Dr. Seuss the artist was meticulous about color selection. He created specially numbered color charts and elaborate color call-outs to precisely accomplish his vision for each book. Saturated reds and blues, for example, were carefully chosen for The Cat in the Hat to attract and maintain the visual attention of a six-year-old audience. By the time Seuss’s book career took off, sharp draftsman skills were evident in drawings. His ability to move a storyline ahead via illustrations filled with tension, movement and color became a hallmark component of his work, and the surreal images that unfolded over six decades became the catalyst for a humorous and inspired learning experience.
Artist Leo Rijn, the inaugural sculptor for the Dr. Seuss Tribute Collection I, was selected to launch this project due to his prized work with some of today’s top talent in the world of film, entertainment and the visual arts (including Tim Burton, Ang Lee and Steven Spielberg). Rijn has been identified as one of today’s brightest sculpting talents because of his ability to breathe life into the written word and successfully transform two-dimensional ideas into three-dimensional works of art. Universal Studios commissioned Leo to develop and oversee the creation of numerous maquette scale models for the Monumental Dr. Seuss Sculptures at Seuss Landing in Orlando, Florida. Leo was instrumental in the art direction for many of the sculpted characters and buildings now on display at this permanent Seuss attraction. His strikingly accurate Seuss works embody a masterful and intuitive Seussian sensibility, establishing him as a leading talent in interpretive sculpting.
Seuss embarked on an ingenious project in the early 1930s as he evolved from two-dimensional artworks to three-dimensional sculptures. What was most unusual for these mixed-media sculptures was the use of real animal parts including beaks, antlers and horns from deceased Forest Park Zoo animals where Seuss’s father was superintendent. Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy was born in a cramped New York apartment and included a menagerie of inventive creatures with names like the “Two Horned Drouberhannis,” “Andulovian Grackler,” and “Semi-Normal Green-Lidded Fawn.” Shortly after Seuss created this unique collection of artworks, Look Magazine dubbed Seuss “The World’s Most Eminent Authority on Unheard-Of Animals.” To this day, Seuss’s Unorthodox Collection of Taxidermy remains as some of the finest examples of his inventive and multi-dimensional creativity.
Illustrator by day, surrealist by night, Seuss created a body of irrepressible work that redefines this American icon as an iconographic American artist. Yet, the Secret Art often shows a side of the artist that most readers, familiar with him through his classic children’s books, have never seen. This collection, created over a period of more than 60 years, encompasses the entirety of Seuss’s multi-dimensional talent. The artistic golden thread highlighted throughout this collection is apparent in each wildly imaginative and surreal Secret Art image. The Secret Art of Dr. Seuss is an inimitable collection of artworks created at night for his own personal enjoyment. These works were rarely, if ever, exhibited during his lifetime and provide a deeper glimpse into the art and life of this celebrated American Icon.