While artists like Warhol and Rauschenberg found themselves focusing on the consumer icon during the explosion of pop art in the 1960’s, Alex Katz found inspiration in painting portraits of friends and family. Born in 1946, in Brooklyn New York, Alex Katz started his career in early 1950’s. His work being greatly influenced by woodcuts produced by Japanese artist Kitagawa Utamaro, which he also used as a medium. Considered a precursor to pop art, Katz’ work stands alone in his relaxed depictions of the human form. As figurative painting started making a comeback in the 80’s and 90’s, Katz also began to increase in popularity. The new generation of artists began to view his portraits with a newly found appreciation. His works are known for their flatness of color, economized use of line, and a cool yet seductive emotional detachment of his characters. All of Katz’ work is uniquely simplistic.
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