Photography had always been my professional focus. I decided on my career path after signing up for a photography class at The Winston School in Dallas at age 14. Old black and white film starlet images seemed to attract me deep into the medium. I began consuming knowledge of these Hollywood icons and watching the films. I had been studying how the directors of photography had chosen to light the actresses and actors - some using a “MonaLisa” type affect - lighting only one side of the face - creating a mysterious, seductive look. Or the bold lighting used to enhance the male actors stark and strong features like Humphrey Bogart.
Halfway into the year of the class, my mom handed me three Hollywood Starlet books, publications designed as keepsakes for the throngs of British and American fans of the 1930’s film era. The books had been given to her in passing by her mom - grandmother planned to toss them - mom saved them. These books were just what I needed to produce the type of imagery I was looking for. Through the next decade, I photographed the usual, weddings, nieces and nephews, developing a style of my own.
Working for Hard Rock Cafe in Denver, Colorado in my early 20‘s also gave me an opportunity to photograph musicians. A whole new creative side began developing.
I’d moved back from Hollywood, after struggling for a year there hoping to just land some type of background job in the film industry using my skills as a still photographer. I was hanging out with my mom and I picked up a paint brush from her drafting table - grabbed a few acrylics - at her encouragement. While she suggested it was just a distraction to get over LA - I think she was plotting as usual. I worked through several ideas and discovered painting as a whole new creative expression.
Finally, what emerged after a decade of painting was the imagery you see on my website today. A combination of Hollywood Icons, both then and now painted mostly in black and white utilizing the photography career I’d put into gear and the contemporary music icons of the last 75 years.
Kasey Orr is a Pop Artist who specializes in painting portraits of iconic figures in film, music, comics and pinups. All original works are painted using acrylics using a sponge and brush technique.
My art works are inspired by pop culture icons, wether it be classic to present Hollywood, music icons, comics and pinups .
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