By Katie Webb
Arts & Entertainment Editor
“Nobody sees what we see, they’re just hopelessly gazing,” Beyoncé sings on the track XO, off her self-titled fifth album.
A new painting of Queen B herself hangs in the FORM gallery show Dope Art Divas. Her gaze is anything but hopeless. The doe-eyed expression holds a soft power; her look is that of a hopeless romantic, in love with her personal life and the career she has taken control of in the past year.
King H aka Henry Fuller, a phenom of recreating the likeness of pop artists, tackled some of pop and R&B’s finest. He created six new pieces in nearly two weeks for his show opening Monday, March 24, 2014 at 6 p.m.
“The picture I found [of Beyoncé] there was a pink light hitting her face. I wanted to stick with all of the artists having a natural skin tone. So I edited on Photoshop so it didn’t look like there was a light completely hitting her, added a few pink shadows to her face and then made it look like her hair was pink,” said Fuller of his oil painting.
The picture was a screen still from the XO music video, filmed during a day and night spent on Coney Island in the warm glow of boardwalk and arcade lights.
Fuller found a way to paint the diva in hues of bubble gum pink portraying her softer side, without losing her aura of strength.
“The theme is Dope Art Divas, but the centerpiece of this [show] is one of my favorite shows, Breaking Bad. I wanted to show that I don’t only do artists, I [can] do anything pop culture,” said Fuller.
Fuller is constantly stepping up his work: from working with larger canvases, from 18x24 in to 24x36 in, to changing up his theme and style of painting.
The divas, Miley, Rihanna, and Nicki Minaj respectively, are impressive. Minaj kills a devil-may-care snarl while Rihanna has subtle streaks of red in her yellow-green feline eyes. But what is truly a work of pop art is the 36x48 on-the-run rendering of Pinkman and Heisenberg.
The getaway-car has never been so highly stylized. Fuller usually favors a bold progression of colors and tones. But for this piece he played with dimension and detail, highlighting dramatic wrinkles and using fine brush strokes on the car seat.
Fuller always wanted to paint the “Breaking Bad” characters, but struggled to find the right action shot, until he saw this image done by another artist in colored pencil.
“I just felt like, ‘I want to give that a try,’ while switching up my style,” said Fuller.
Fuller also added a splatter paint affect on top of his Diva paintings, another twist to his work.
“My goal is to make every new painting better than the last,” said Fuller.
Out of the seven pieces featured in the show, one has already sold. Fuller is debating the sale of his Divas, hoping to hold onto them for a bit longer to continue the collection. Fuller may be stressing the decision of whether to let these pieces go, but one thing he won’t have to worry about is success in the art world. Only a junior, and this painter is already cashing in on his #DopeArt.