Informed Collector Recommends:
Oil 16 x 16
Outside the Box by Calvin Lai was awarded 1st Place in the January 2021 BoldBrush Art Contest & Exhibit.
Calvin Lai would be the first to admit that the evolution of his art has taken many machinations. His painting process has matured into a mixture of seeing, distorting, and reinterpreting with the threads of realism weaving the backdrop of where his artistic style is today. As a child, drawing was something Calvin loved, and to make a picture appear lifelike became his goal. Through constantly working, Calvin’s art began to breath, and his fascination with value and perspective blossomed. Eventually, he moved from where he grew up in Los Angeles to San Francisco. There he studied drawing and printmaking at San Francisco State University. In 2008, he enrolled in the Academy of Art for illustration, but began painting instead. He found that he preferred the fine arts over commercial illustration, and now works as a full time oil painter.
Since then he has continued to develop and refine his oil painting skills. Lai’s work has been shown nationally in galleries, group exhibitions, and juried shows. He has executed a large number of commissioned portraits over the past several years, and his paintings have appeared in national and international publications. His recent work has returned to a serious study of the figure, which has always been the anchor for his creative drive. His goal has gone beyond mere technical interpretations to a deeper sense of what the energy of the figure feels like. This goal has also carried over into his recent still lifes. In his ongoing series, “In the Land of Giants,” Calvin seeks to make a viewer feel as if they are immersed within the still life witnessing a world that is both fantastical and humorous. But the borders for what he chooses to paint has expanded to a variety of subjects, including cityscapes, and ultimately he is driven to capture everything around him through his paints, brushes, and determination.