Known for his imaginative take on realism, artist Jamie Wyeth's work spans six decades.
Starting this weekend, the San Antonio Museum of Art will showcase his work. The 69-year-old painter comes from a family known for creativity. His grandfather Newell Wyeth and his father Andrew Wyeth and Aunt Carolyn were commissioned artists. At 11 years of age, Jamie quit traditional school to study and train under the direction of his artist aunt, Carolyn Wyeth.
The exhibit showcases almost 100 pieces on paper and canvas, highlighting Wyeth's depth and the range of his experiences. For example, a painting of the John F. Kennedy is Wyeth’s most iconic. Following the 35th president’s assisnation, Robert and Jackie Kennedy asked the young artist, who was a Kennedy family friend, to paint the now famous portrait.
"The opiate to painting to me is when one day things start clicking,” Wyeth said. “The gull becomes alive. The John F Kennedy becomes alive to me in the painting."
Then, a Texas connection---a painting of Wyeth's dog Kleberg, which is a yellow lab born from a long line of golden retrievers bred on the King Ranch in South Texas. With a ring around his left eye, the image invokes memories of Petey from the 1930s TV show “The Little Rascals.”
"The range of materials I think people will be surprised to see everything from him as a three-year old to works in all mediums," Elliot Bostwich Davis with the Museum of Fine Arts Boston said.
The Jamie Wyeth collection is on the third of four stops around the country. The exhibit opens Saturday and runs through July 5.