Brad Bird, Painter of Light...and Bea Arthur

Columbus Alive | January 18, 2005
There’s apparently some dispute in the art world over who holds the title of “painter of light.” For those who prefer pretty landscapes that sit quietly in the background of any tasteful home décor, Thomas Kinkade reigns. But for art lovers interested in the power Mr. T and Edward Norton have to inspire, there’s Brad Bird, the unique creative force behind

On his website, the California painter, currently visiting Cornell University as an artist-in-residence, claims to create art “to spread the light of truth and freedom across a nation of bitter and oppressed souls.” This goal manifests itself in items such as a large portrait of a tattooed John Tesh, a version of the Last Supper in which nearly every seat is occupied by James Woods, a cave painting featuring the Dukes of Hazzard and a fantasy image of Bea Arthur wrestling prehistoric beasts (insert your own joke here).

In addition to his own work, Bird presents pieces created by other artists at his instigation. The most recent selection features holiday letters written by Cornell students to Christopher Walken instead of Santa (a crayoned sample illustrated with Walken’s death scene in The Deer Hunter reads, “For Christmas I want a Tesla coil. Maybe we can go eat burgers sometime”). Earlier works from a group show inspired by Law and Order’s many incarnations are newly relevant with the death of Jerry “Lenny Briscoe” Orbach. In response, Bird won’t be reprinting his popular Law and Order Coloring Book, but he has added a T-shirt with his tasteful rendering of the star to the site’s shopping page.

Columbus Alive

Founded in 1983, Alive is the Capital City's oldest and only independent alternative and is known for providing a forum for the area's free thinkers. The paper's spirited and original perspective on music, arts and culture distinguish it from the...
More »
Contact for Reprint Rights
  • Market Served: Metropolitan Area
  • Address: 62 E. Broad St., Columbus, OH 43215
  • Phone: (614) 221-2449