See How Jim Warren Won a Grammy and Kicked Off a 50-Year Career in Fine Art

 In Art & Gallery News, Artists & Special Collections, Jim Warren, Video

For over 50 years, Jim Warren has weaved together ethereal paintings that transport viewers to dreamlike worlds. He’s created album covers, book covers, and has even designed movie posters. In 1981, Warren won a GRAMMY Award for his cover art for Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind” album, and his career hasn’t slowed down since.

Take a look inside Warren’s studio and his astonishing career in this exclusive video from Park West Gallery.

As an artist, Warren has always been inspired by music. In 2017, he told Park West, “One of the first things I ever wanted to do as an artist was, back in high school, I really wanted to paint album covers because, in the 1960s, album cover art was a big thing. So, some of the best artists or best art I’ve ever seen came from album covers.”

A self-taught artist, Warren first began painting with oil on canvas as a teenager. While he was definitely influenced by his favorite album art, Warren also quickly became enamored with iconic artists like Salvador Dalí and Norman Rockwell. Though he was still developing his own personal artistic spin, Warren felt a strong connection to Dalí’s penchant for free expression and Rockwell’s unparalleled ability to tell a story through his art.

“Multi-tasking,” Jim Warren

Warren’s first paintings had a strong surrealistic feel, capturing fantastic landscapes and imagery, though his artwork continued to evolve in theme and perspective throughout the next several decades.

During the 1970s and ’80s, he was commissioned to paint hundreds of magazine illustrations, movie posters, and book covers. Warren also fulfilled his childhood dream by becoming a popular album cover artist for a variety of musicians ranging from Prince to Alice Cooper.

“Wise Old Owl,” Jim Warren

Perhaps the pinnacle of his album career, however, happened relatively early on when his original cover art for Bob Seger’s “Against the Wind” album won a GRAMMY award for Best Album Package in 1981.

“Wild Spirits,” Jim Warren

Since then, Warren has continued to experiment with realism, abstraction, and other artistic forms. But music still plays a huge role in his artwork.

“Probably the biggest inspiration for my art comes from music,” Warren says. “Because, in my youth, I was more into the music of the Beatles, the Beach Boys, anything like that, than art itself. I was inspired by that lifestyle. I just conveyed it with a paintbrush and a canvas.”

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“All Dogs Go to Heaven 3,” Jim Warren

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