If one were to guess the vocation of this striking figure from Oklahoma… rancher, horseman, tradesman would be at first logical, especially upon hearing one of Poteet’s colorful tales of life in Idabel. However, hang around long enough and you are certain to be drawn into an engaging conversation about any number of topics from stories of Harold Stevenson, Warhol or Rauschenberg to an insightful comment about neuroscience, quantum physics or individual awareness.
What you would probably not hear from this unaffected artist are how his works have made it in to the personal collections of such interesting folks as Anthony Hopkins, Larry Hagman, the late Los Angeles Times publisher Otis Chandler, Madonna, Led Zeppelin’s lead vocalist Robert Plant and Vidal Sassoon. You might notice Patricia Cornwell’s books on the shelf, she is a fan as well. She incorporated Poteet and one of her favorite paintings into her 2008 novel, Scarpetta.
Not everyone appreciates Poteet’s candid and direct personality, but it is difficult not to admire the resolute and constant energy he has devoted to authenticity in both his personal life and his work. His fresh and unconventional manner were a sort of fascination to the more ‘sophisticated’ principals of the New York art scene when Poteet studied at the Art Students League in the early 1980’s. Harold Stevenson, Poteet’s mentor (who painted the controversial The New Adam now in the Guggenheim’s permanent collection), made the introductions to Andy Warhol, Rauschenberg and others and often invited Poteet to join groups of notables where Poteet would pleasantly shock and delight with his fresh insight.
This facet of Poteet’s personality has fueled thirty years of painting. Often, artists are susceptible to influence by the world of commercialism, ‘artspeak’ (as Poteet puts it), or critics...or admirers—Poteet has remained authentic.
He has a wide range of styles but several elements remain constant… Poteet’s powerful command of composition, color, shape and his proprietary finish time after time create breathtaking pieces that evoke powerful responses.
Poteet has contemplated the idea of producing abstract portraits for some time.
His first attempt at his Abbreviated Portrait Series is of Marilyn Monroe (see image above left, original painting is 48 x 48). The iconic image of her standing over the subway grate in the white dress and red lipstick was his primary memory. He began to be more and more astounded as he asked others what first came to mind as they thought of one iconic figure or another and consistently, the answer was exactly the same…red and white polka dots for Lucille Ball (see image above right), tan or brown for John Wayne, piercing blue for Paul Newman, etc. He discovered that his thought process reflected findings of studies in the field of neuroscience with regard to how the brain distills people down to the most minimal forms and associated color.
When Harold Stevenson, who Life magazine dubbed ‘the new Michelangelo’ stood in Poteet’s studio studying Marilyn, he exclaimed that the painting “completely destroys Modern Art”. He is the first of many who recognize the original concept and quite possibly the most important paintings in terms of the history of art that have been created in the past half century.
Victory is Poteet’s Cherokee family name. Because of The Trail of Tears, this name would have disappeared had Poteet not adoped it. One-third Cherokee, you can often see the Native American influence in his paintings.
Originally from Oklahoma, Poteet and his wife, Terry, moved in to the gallery in February 2009. He paints upstairs in his studio nearly every day.
Poteet is one of the most in-demand and collectible contemporary artists in America. Ask the staff for more of the many colorful stories about his life and career!
Article about Poteet Victory
Abbreviated Portrait Series Video
View Abbreviated Portrait Series
View Poteet Victory's Work