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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. Education 2008 – 12 MA, Academy of Art, San Francisco, CA 1991 – 97 BA, San Francisco State University, San Francisco, CA Publications 2021 How Artists See Themselves, December 2021, Fine Art Connoisseur An Interview with Calvin Lai, September 2021, The Flying Fruit Bowl
TFFB #18 CALVIN LAI
Local Stories, September 2021, Shoutout LA, https://shoutoutla.com/meet-calvin-lai-fine-art-oil-painter/ Feature, May 2021, The Curator’s Salon Magazine Raves & Resistance: Counterculture Stories, The London Reader 2020 Issue 37, September 2020, The Guide Artists Magazine 2018 The Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition, The Artist’s Magazine 2016 The Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition, Southwest Art Vogue’s Gallery, British Vogue March Edition 2013 Back cover, Harmonica Happenings The Artist’s Magazine Annual Art Competition, Southwest Art Awards 2021 1st place, Bold Brush Painting Competition January 2021. FASO Fine Art Studio Online 2020 Top 25 Finalists. 2020 Artist & Selfie Painting Competition. Fine Art Connoisseur 2018 Honorabel Mention. The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition. The Artist’s Magazine Honorable Mention – Painting Category. Cityscapes Art Exhibition. Light, Space and Time Online Art Gallery 2017 First Place/ The Bold Brush Award. Bold Brush Painting Competition December 2017. FASO Fine Art Studio Online Finalist. Bold Brush Painting Competition October 2017, FASO Fine Art Studio Online Fellowship. Clark Hulings Fund Busniess Accelerator Program, https://clarkhulingsfund.org 2016 Finalist. 12th International ARC Salon, Art Renewal Center, Port Reading, NJ Merit Award. Best of America, National Oil & Acrylic Painter’s Society, Bella Vista, AR Finalist. The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition, The Artist’s Magazine, Ash, OH 2015 Finalist. The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition, The Artist’s Magazine, Ash, OH 3rd place Painting Category. Figurative 2015 Art Exhibition, Light, Space and Time Online Art Gallery 6th place Overall Category. Figurative 2015 Art Exhibition, Light, Space and Time Online Art Gallery Finalist. Bold Brush Painting Competition, FASO Fine Art Studio Online 2012 Finalist. The Artist’s Magazine’s Annual Art Competition, The Artist’s Magazine, Ash, OH Professional Experience 2016 Bold Brush Painting Competition. Guest judge for April 2016. Sponsored by FASO Portrait artist for Wavy Gravy 2011 – Present Commissioned portrait artist
Solo Exhibitions 2021 Intimate Limbo, Abend Gallery, Denver CO 2015 Divergent Tendencies, 625 Sutter Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2014 Art Murmur, Awaken Cafe, Oakland, CA 2012 The Pour House, San Francisco, CA Group Exhibitions 2021 Animalia III, Abend Gallery, Denver, CO The Portrait Show IX, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA Delicious, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA 8x8s at the LA Art Show, Abend Gallery, Los Angeles, CA International Biennial Portrait Competition 2021, Wausau Museum of Contemporary Art, Wausau, WI Contemporary Figuration, Abend Gallery, Denver, CO 2020 El Regreso de Disconlandia, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA 30th Annual Mini Show, Abend Gallery, Denver, CO Tiny Show, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA The Art of the Nude, 33 Contemporary, Online exhibit Body Study, Artsolation, Online exhibit Urban/Rural, Studio Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2019 Progression, Palette Gallery, San Francisco, CA Resolution, Palette Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2018 Small Works Holiday Show, Christian Daniels Gallery, San Francisco, CA Cityscapes 2018, Christian Daniels Gallery, San Francisco, CA People and Places, Christian Daniels Gallery, San Francisco, CA Streets of San Francisco, Christian Daniels Gallery, San Francisco, CA Spring Showcase 2018, Christian Daniels Gallery, San Francisco, CA Urban Landscapes 2018, Christian Daniels Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2017 Cats Vs. Dogs, The Vendue, Charleston SC Art Auction, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento CA Urbana Contra Naturaleza, Wonderland SF, San Francisco, CA In Dreams, Spoke NYC, New York, NY Lover’s Eye, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2016 The Best of America, National Oil & Painters’ Acrylic Society, Addison Art Gallery, Orleans, MA Fall Gallery Night, Art Room, exhibited at Brik, Fort Worth, TX Anniversary Show, Wonderland SF, San Francisco, CA Portraits of Friends, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA Art Auction, Crocker Art Museum, Sacramento, CA 2015 Wes Anderson Art Show, Spoke Art, exhibited at Joseph Gross Gallery, New York, NY Never, Never, Ever Land, Wonderland SF, San Francisco, CA Portraits of Strangers, Someones, and Nobodies, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA 2013 Wanderlust, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA Chillin’ Productions Annual Holiday Show, 111 Minna Gallery, San Francisco, CA The Seven Deadly Sins, Wonderland SF, San Francisco, CA SmithKlein Gallery, Boulder, CO ODC Theater, San Francisco, CA 2012 Notorious, Modern Eden Gallery, San Francisco, CA Art Matters Encore! San Marino League, San Marino, CA 2011 Character, Million Fishes Gallery, San Francisco, CA Academy of Art Spring Show, Academy of Art University, San Francisco, CA 2010 Faces and Figures, Pacific Art League, Palo Alto, CA