About the artist:
Tennessee Loveless is a Los Angeles based contemporary pop artist whose bold use of color and pattern evokes an immediate visual impact to the viewer, but also creates a poetic irony, considering the fact that Loveless is almost completely colorblind. Despite many obstacles throughout his life and career, he has persevered in pursuing his career as an artist. He is driven by his passion for painting people and iconic fictional characters in a way that strikes an emotional and nostalgic connection through the power of color and iconography. His original and limited edition art are highly collectible! His collection for Disney Fine Art explores his interest in high color and pattern saturated concepts. His primary focus at the moment is classic characters from the era of 1928 - 1945, Disney Villains, and Alice in Wonderland. Outside of his collaboration with Disney, Tennessee paints portraits of West Coast drag, cabaret, and celebrity personalities. As a child growing up in Marietta, Georgia, Tennessee watched his peers identify and collect information based on this “invisible force” that people called color. He began to work within two worlds, one that operated within his own vision and perception and the other which he created in his attempts to relate to the rest of the world. This disconnect later ruptured a fascination with the unknown and he began to feverishly occupy his mind with the fundamental understanding of a chromatic world.
Here's what he has to say on this piece:
PutanescaDown in the Lower Haight district in San Francisco, I stood there wobbling in a pair of 7 inch stilettos on a kitchen floor. The floor was slick from the cleaned linoleum, and I was terrified of moving forward as I thought I would break my next.Down the hallway in a smoke filled room sat Putanesca, a larger than life latino queen who was smoking a cigarette while sitting in a chair facing me.“Walk to me honey”, she said.Slowly I sweatily hobbled into a catwalk runway towards her, and when I arrived she said “now turn and walk the other way and come back”. I did this for a while, consistently turning and walking while wearing boy clothes and high heels. When I was done she said “yep, now you are my daughter”.Putanesca was a tour de force of the drag community in San Francisco. Her numbers were often campy, hilarious, and self deprecating. I was proud to be her daughter and often mirrored numbers in lip synching Kate Bush, one of her favorite singers, at the infamous drag cabaret “Trannyshack”.Later on, Putanesca, AKA Jose Guzman-Colon, became the most famous drag queen photographer of this century, and has become the number one photographer for Ru Paul’s Drag Race. His book, “Glam Gender”, a collaboration between him and French Canadian photographer Marianne LaRochelle, debuted in the US, and is critically acclaimed as one of the most influential book on San Francisco drag. He is also featured in the film “Blood, Sweat, and Glitter”, and “The Trannyshack Movie”.Not only was Putanesca my entrance into the drag world, but she was the reason why I became a painter. Back in 2002, Putanesca convinced me to do a portrait of her. Even after I protested, telling her that she’d come out in all the wrong colors, she told me that she didn’t care and that she wanted me to do it anyways. She single-handedly was the person who started my career and I am so thankful for her and everything she did for me.