We are proud to present Christopher Lees’ latest exhibition and cordially invite you and your guest to join us as we celebrate his show. Continue reading
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BORN 1961, Lansing, Michigan USA
Lansing Community College Lansing, Michigan
Pictorial Billboard Painter Jackson, Michigan
Studied Lithography with Stephen Britko Santa Fe, New Mexico
You know, I wasn’t always an artist. In fact, I was a journeyman bookkeeper when I almost kicked the bucket back from Crohn’s Disease about twelve years ago. Thankfully I didn’t, and when I woke up in the hospital I told everyone I knew that the bookkeeper was dead after all – but in his place was a man who was going to become a successful artist. They thought I was nuts. I wasn’t. Two years later in June 1986, I started the Coyote Series. I was living in Jackson, Michigan, a town perennially voted the worst place to live in America. My inspiration was a Joni Mitchell song “Coyote.” A friend of mine put it on a tape and I listened. At the time I was 26, a dirt poor billboard painter living in a tiny one room apartment. I was so poor, in fact, that I couldn’t even afford a shower curtain to serve as a wedding present for two good friends who were getting married in the Southwest. I figured they might like one of my Coyote drawings so I did a romantic one and took it there – the people at the wedding went nuts! Well, you know how these things go – somebody knew somebody who knew somebody in the art business, and within a year my art was being sold in over a hundred art galleries across the country.
That was 18 years ago. Since then I have had 32 one-man exhibitions all across the country. I have completed 327 originals, of which 319 have sold. I have created 33 different sculpture editions and 24 print editions. The price of my first original was $100. One recently sold for $30,000. Crazy.
The Coyotes have been collected by dozens of famous celebrities, Captains of Industry and Heads of State. From Oliver Stone to Ozzie Osborne, from NBC President Warren Littlefield to Kevin Costner, from the CEO of Exxon to John Cleese, from billionaire Sam Zell to Sylvester Stallone, from Tommie Lee to the American Ambassador to Argentina – the coyotes do get around. They have been featured on numerous movies and television shows, and have been the subject of several newspaper and magazine articles. They hang on the walls of mansions and great villas around the world.
In the upcoming year I will be working with the American Cancer Society and The Organization for Tobacco Free Kids on an anti-camel – anti-smoking campaign in which “Miles the Coyote” will take on RJ Reynolds “Joe Camel” in the fight against the promotion of adolescent smoking. My grandfather, a lifelong smoker, died of emphysema. My father started smoking at twelve but stopped about ten years ago after being told it was a matter of life and death. It was the hardest thing he ever did. Needless to say, kicking that camel’s keester would be a dream come true.
Many years ago someone asked me my favorite thing about the coyotes and I said, “They celebrate life. Sometimes life kicks them around, but they embrace it just the same. Heartaches, bad breaks, job problems, job triumphs, true love, rotten luck, vast fortune. Good or bad, they celebrate.” I like that.
As for my great fortune and success as a painter, no one is more amazed than me. A simple twist of fate transformed my life, and I can only thank God for the good luck and tremendous blessings I have received.
June, 1986 marks the start of the Coyote Series – a hard, fun, nutty eighteen years of dogs in suits. For any budding artists out there seeking my advice I would simply say this – never give up, out-work everyone else, and don’t be afraid to take risks. My art has improved each year because I test my abilities every day. I hang on to the elements I believe in and toss the rest, continually developing and growing. In this way I feel I follow the paths of the greats, even if I am painting Coyotes in suits. Your vehicle may be the Oscar Meyer Wienermobile – but it doesn’t mean your destination can’t be a great one.
1988 Leslie Levy Gallery Scottsdale, Arizona
1989 Steve Stein Gallery Sherman Oaks, California
1989 Leslie Levy Gallery Scottsdale, Arizona
1989 Degenbala Gallery San Antonio, Texas
1990 Art Gallery Studio 53 New York, New York
1990 Steve Stein Gallery Sherman Oaks, California
1990 Gallery Moya Chicago, Illinois
1991 Art Gallery Studio 53 New York, New York
1991 Centaur Gallery, Las Vegas, Nevada
1991 Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1991 PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1992 Art Gallery Studio 53 New York, New York
1992 Leslie Levy Gallery Scottsdale, Arizona
1992 Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1992 PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1993 Art Gallery Studio 53 New York, New York
1993 Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1993 PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1993 Joan Cawley Gallery Santa Fe, New Mexico
1994 Art Gallery Studio 53 New York, New York
1994 PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1994 Newbury Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts
1995 Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1995 Emery Fine Art Kalamazoo, Michigan
1996 Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1996 PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1996 Joan Cawley Gallery Santa Fe, New Mexico
1997 Emery Fine Art Kalamazoo, Michigan
1997 Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1997 Newbury Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts
1998 PNC Galleries Washington, D.C
1998 Hanson Gallery New Orleans, Louisiana
1998 Centaur Gallery Las Vegas, Nevada
1998 Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
1999 Merrill Chase Galleries Chicago, Illinois
2000 Off The Wall Gallery Houston, Texas
2000 PNC Galleries Washington, D.C.
2001 Newbury Fine Arts Boston, Massachusetts
2002 Contessa Gallery Cleveland, Ohio
2002 Editions Limited Gallery, Indianapolis, Indiana
2002 Off The Wall Gallery Houston, Texas
2002 R. Roberts Gallery Jacksonville, Florida
2003 Atlas Galleries Chicago, Illinois
2003 Blue Gallery Kansas City, Missouri
2003 Contessa Gallery Cleveland, Ohio
2004 Atlas Galleries Chicago, Illinois
2004 C. Anthony Gallery Beaver Creek, Colorado
2004 Contessa Gallery Cleveland, Ohio
2004 Editions Limited Gallery Indianapolis, Indiana
2004 Galerie Züger Santa Fe, New Mexico
2004 Gallery One of Cherry Creek Denver, Colorado
2004 Kenneth Behm Galleries Seattle, Washington
2004 Masters Gallery Vail, Colorado
2004 Off The Wall Gallery Houston, Texas
2004 Peabody Gallery Los Gatos, California
2004 Pop! International New York, New York
2005 Fishers Fine Art Auckland, New Zealand
2005 Trevor Victor Harvey Gallery Sydney, Australia
Artexpo – New York 1988-1989-1990-1991-2000-2001-2002-2005-2006
Artexpo – Los Angeles 1987-1988- 1989- 1990-1991
Fine Art Forum – New York 2003- 2004
Sofa – Chicargo 2005
Chicargo Contemporary & Classic 2005
Art Miami 2006
George Brett – Baseball Player
Eric Clapton – Musician
John Cleese – Actor/Comedian
Kevin Costner – Actor
Emilio Joel – Musician
Warren Littlefield – President of NBC
Jason Priestley – Actor
Ozzy Osborne – Musician
John Stamos – Actor
Oliver Stone – Movie Producer/Director
The Pointer Sisters – Singers
Fred “The Hammer” Williams – Football Player/Actor
Bill Withers – Musician
Sam Zell – Real Estate Mogul
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Harvey Galleries was founded by the Harvey family in 1994 with an eye to establish a dynamic and inclusive contemporary art space on the North Shore of Sydney. For almost three decades we have expanded our reach to over three gallery locations and an ever expanding stable of the best artists Australia has to offer.
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