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This remarkable compilation brings together the best of painter Jota Leal's surreal celebrity portraits. This volume has something for anybody who is captivated by the famous and iconic figures around us. Whimsical and incisive portraits of rock stars, move stars, sports icons, and historical and cultural figures are all featured inside.
Jota's amazing paintings of Salvador Dalí, The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Jimi Hendrix, Keith Richards, Michael Jordan, Freddie Mercury, Ali, and others are at the pinnacle of contemporary portraiture. The icing on the cake is the remarkable twist that Jota imparts to each and every subject. His ability to transform the subject's face into something more elemental and evocative is a gift few have possessed.
This is a book to be enjoyed over and over, and shared with friends. A pop culture delight.
Jota Leal was born in a humble little town in eastern Venezuela, 38 years ago. He began drawing and painting at a very young age and never studied fine art. He attempted to sit in class as a child of six, but he ran away after being forced to paint plastic fruit and empty bottles. In 2001 Jota traveled to Spain and lived there, immersing himself in the history and technique of art. He then returned to his hometown in Venezuela, where he received the Caricaturist of the Year Award for 2003. His art follows the grand tradition of the great portrait painters of the past, as well as the more recent caricature masters. Jota's oeuvre is ranked alongside the likes of Honoré Daumier and Otto Dix. His sense of humor shows the delicate whimsy of a Max Beerbohn or Al Hirschfeld, but with a more fully rendered painting style. His amazing portraits of The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, John Malkovitch, Al Pacino as Scarface, Babe Ruth, and others are classics of their kind. Jota has exhibited in Las Vegas, New Orleans, Denver, Los Angeles, Miami, and Taipei. He lives in Houston.
James Cowan is an art dealer, publisher, and writer. He has worked closely with such major artists as H.R. Giger, Zdzislaw Beksinski, and Sebastian Kruger. He lives in Las Vegas, NV.