ART of the matter By Raechel Donahue, written for the Brentwood News, November 1996 (excerpt) I have to be the last person in the art world who hasn’t heard of Beverly Bigwood. Her resume includes five single-spaced pages listing her exhibitions.
Collected by record company executives, movie producers, senators and royalty, she has been commissioned by famous restaurants, major corporations, Las Vegas casinos, movie studios, Coca Cola, and the Dog and Cat Hospital.
She is even quite popular among thieves. Not long ago two of her works were stolen along with a Miro, a Dali and a Lichtenstein.
Drawing upon her solid background in fine art, fashion and architecture, Bigwood seems to be able to flit from designing ad campaigns and restaurant menus to creating fine oils for international art galleries with the ease of slipping into a different pair of shoes. But the area of her work that has recently earned so much attention is one that seemed no more than a lark to her at first.
Bigwood is an artiste du papier, using her scissors as a brush and colored paper as her paint. Working from a photograph or an image from an old newspaper or even an oil painting, she cuts and rips paper of different weights and textures, pasting them together, layer upon layer to create personal portraits of surprising depth and dimension.
Bigwood’s latest project, “Famous Artists Series,” a collection of 52 portraits of celebrated painters spanning the last few centuries, reveals her chameleon-like ability to change styles. Rene Magritte’s face is attached to the back of his familiar bowler hatted man; Jackson Pollack’s face is all but obscured by squirmy splats of color; the rough brush strokes of Van Gogh’s self portrait are reproduced in perfection by hundreds of tiny snippets of paper, and the diminutive Toulouse Lautrec’s head barely clears the bottom of the frame.
“He was a very short guy,” Bigwood says, with an easy laugh that reveals the underlying humor in much of her work. To say Bigwood is a prolific artist is an understatement. There is no more wall space left in her Pacific Palisades home studio, and the floor-boards are stacked 10 deep with oils, sketches and collages.
Her drafting table is covered with new projects in different mediums, sizes and styles. Bigwood doesn’t limit her work to the rich and famous. Her 11 x 14 inch portraits start at $3500, making them memorable gifts for weddings, parents of newborns and loved ones. A few selections