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Damian Elwes was born and raised in England. His father and grandfather were well-known English portrait painters, but in an effort to avoid following in their footsteps, he studied screenwriting at Harvard University. In the mid-1980s, however, he began to paint, and soon realized that it was a calling he was powerless to avoid. He currently lives and works in Santa Monica, California.

It is, perhaps, no coincidence that Damian Elwes was discovered by Hollywood. His work is represented in the collections of many well-known actors, directors, producers and writers, as well as a host of other creative individuals associated with the film industry. Aspects of his work appeal to those whose profession it is to create convincing illusions of reality, be it a screen writer who magically conjures images and events that mirror the real world, an actor who skillfully impersonates a character's identity, or a director who oversees every phase of a film's production in order to assure that his vision is crafted to perfection.

In a similar fashion, Elwes recreates the studios of Picasso, Matisse, Warhol and Duchamp, not as mere documents frozen in time, but, rather, as images that capture the power, spirit, and imagination of an artist during some of the most frenzied moments in their creative history. Just as an actor or filmmaker might deviate from the script in order to emphasize a certain point, Elwes carefully scrutinizes photographs and other documents pertaining to a particular artist's studio, but when he actually begins the painting, his goal is to capture more than the mere space where these activities took place. Instead, he proposes to give a glimpse into the creative process itself. It may be for this reason that the artist — the ultimate subject of Elwes's paintings — is never depicted. Instead, we are presented with images that might have occupied an artistıs thoughts and dreams. Sometimes these are memories of paintings and drawings from the past. More often, they are fragments of images that inhabit the artist's mind, ideas for future works that have not yet come into existence.

Picasso's Studio  (Cannes, 1955)
Picasso's Studio  (Bateau Lavoir, 1908)
Matisse's Studio  (Vence, 1947)
Matisse's Bedroom  (Nice, 1942)
Warhol's Factory  (New York, 1964)
Duchamp's Studio  (New York, c. 1917)
Picasso's Studio  (Boulevard Raspail, 1912)
Picasso's Studio  (Rue Des Grands Augustins, 1937)
Matisse's Studio  (Vence, 1946)
Matisse's Studio  (Nice, 1952)
Warhol's Factory  (New York, 1967)
Duchamp's Studio  (New York, 1918)
Picasso's Studio  (Cannes, 1960)
Picasso's Studio  (Rue La Boetie, 1928)
Matisse's Studio  (Collioure, 1907)
Matisse's Window  (Vence, 1946)