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The wonderfully surreal art of Jim Warren

 In Art & Gallery News, Articles, Artists & Special Collections, Jim Warren, Norman Rockwell, Rembrandt van Rijn, Salvador Dali
Jim Warren park west gallery

Wild Wave” (2015), Jim Warren

Artist Jim Warren weaves together colorful paintings that transport the viewer to a dreamlike world, where animals spring forth from the froth of waves, or an avalanche of snow gallops to life as horses run down the side of a mountain.

But what shaped this Neo-Surrealist, whose artwork has graced album covers for musicians such as Prince and Alice Cooper, book covers for authors such as Arthur C. Clarke, and posters for movies such as the “Night of the Living Dead” remake?

Warren says his first steps into the art world began by taking up drawing at the age of 2. He began painting in oil on canvas in 1967 during high school, hoping to paint in the fashion of Salvador Dali and other masters.

Aside Dali, Warren has been inspired by masters like Norman Rockwell and Rembrandt. He says one of his favorite mantras comes from Dali’s attitude: “to Hell with the rules, paint what you like,” while Rockwell’s realism and ability to tell stories with his expressive characters also captivated Warren.

Given this blend of influences, Warren has adopted many different styles throughout his oeuvre, starting with his surrealistic fantasy style in 1969, and most recently experimenting with abstract paintings. It wasn’t until 2013 that he switched over to acrylic paint, finding he could still paint realism, but could also explore more abstract styles.

“People often ask how I keep painting for 50 years and not get bored, and I answer it is because I try to do different themes,” he says.

The ideas for Warren’s artwork originate from a variety of sources. A love song he is listening to may guide his brush to create a romantic scene, or memories of growing up by the beaches of Southern California inspire him to incorporate the ocean into many of his works.

jim warren park west gallery

Dream Comes True” (2015), Jim Warren

A portion of Warren’s career focused on painting illustrations for books, record albums and movie posters. He says album cover art in particular was something he dreamed of doing since the ‘60s when he was in high school.

“My first [album cover] was in 1978, and for me I loved to see my art in a store, in ads, billboards and to have my art connected to the music scene, to which music like Beach Boys and the Beatles had been a big inspiration to my art,” he says.

He says album covers and his other illustrative work pushed him to paint ideas or subjects he would not have thought of attempting.

“I had never painted horses until 1980 when the art director of Capital Records in Hollywood commissioned me to paint the cover of Bob Seger’s ‘Against the Wind’ album,” he says.

Pushing the boundaries of his art paid off. Not only did Warren’s style expand, but he gained recognition and exposure when Seger’s album won two Grammy awards in 1981, one of which was for best record package. Warren received a Grammy Award Certificate for his participation.

jim warren park west gallery

Mystic Mountain” (2015), Jim Warren

Warren’s partnerships only expanded from there. In 2004, he collaborated with Disney to create artwork featuring famous cartoon characters, and to this day incorporates them into his art with his unique style. In 2009, Warren partnered with fellow Park West artist Michael Godard to create a series of paintings that blended Warren’s alluring style with Godard’s lighthearted art.

“Collaborating with Godard was fun and very smooth, as I would simply think of a theme that is something I have painted similar, but we would think of fun ways his whimsical olives and martini glasses can interact within my painting as if they stepped into my world,” Warren says.

Collectors are invited to step into Warren’s world with Park West Gallery. Contact our gallery consultants to learn more about artwork by Warren.

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Showing 25 comments
  • Jenny Preston
    Reply

    I absolutely love Jim Warren’s art. First saw these fine artworks on onboard Voyager of the Seas. Fel in love with them immediately

  • James Monroig
    Reply

    Does Jim Warren have any pieces with dolphins?

  • Roberta England
    Reply

    I saw these painting on my last cruise, Dream, and they are more beautiful in person.

  • Roberta England
    Reply

    what is the price of “Dreams Come True” the ones with the dogs?

  • Mary Wells
    Reply

    Love Jim Warren’s art. I have a couple of his pieces, and would love to have more.

  • Margaret peckholdt
    Reply

    I have been looking for the Golden Retriever ones for ages. Are these on the ship or only in tHe gallery? Would love to see more and possibly buy one too. Please let me know more about this painter and where to see hugs work

  • Sylvia Ogle
    Reply

    Bought “Mystic Mountain” last fall on a Princess Cruise. ABSOLUTELY LOVE IT!!!!!

  • Julie Gulleford
    Reply

    I have just come back from a cruise where i attended every art seminar or auction. You Jim were one of the artists that I took a real fascination with

  • Jennifer Pemberton
    Reply

    Loved wild wave. What is the cost?

  • Bruce Edwardes
    Reply

    The horses/wave painting is excellent. Jim should be congratulated.
    What price a print please?

  • Roz
    Reply

    I love the painting with the horses coming out of the wave. This has an awesome beautiful sunset.

  • Ron Hill
    Reply

    I have purchased art before, mostly Disney cells but when I saw Jim Warren’s magic on a cruise ship my heart demanded the purchase of two. Wish I could have purchased all three on display. (sigh) Next cruise..

  • MaryJane Turlington
    Reply

    Fascinating!!

  • Kristine Leaman
    Reply

    I really liked several Of Jim Warren’s work that we saw on our cruise in January. Loved both the horses and the dogs.

  • Jade Allen
    Reply

    Could someone please contact me regarding pricing for all dogs go to heaven both version 3 and 4 please including shipping to Australia
    Thank you

  • Ulla Margaret Rudko
    Reply

    Could someone please contact me regarding pricing for all dogs go to heaven both version 3 and 4 please including shipping to Australia
    Thank you

  • Ulla Margaret Rudko
    Reply

    Please advise pricing for Visiting the Rainbow Bridge Artist: Jim Warren plus shipping to Australia What additional cost applies to basic timber frame? Regards, Ulla

  • Marvin katz
    Reply

    I get true enjoyment looking at a Jim Warren original.The canvas comes alive and i’m drawn into that world.Warren is a gifted artist.

  • STEVE LEHMAN
    Reply

    I PURCHASED “WILD WAVE” ON THE NORWEGIAN JEWEL. LOVE HIS ARTWORK!

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