Client: Corporate Art Works
Location: Chicago, IL, United States
Completion date: 2012
Matthew Olyphant Fine Art
I flew from California to Chicago to paint two enormous canvases inspired by the Windy City. Working on-site served two purposes: the client Jump Trading wanted me to really experience Chicago, and their art consultant, Blythe Lee of Corporate Artworks, knew that shipping such huge paintings would be both difficult and expensive. I worked in a warehouse to paint the pieces. The Theater piece was approximately 6' ft x 8' ft and the Skyline piece was approximately 5' ft x 15' ft.
The client Jump Trading loved the edgy rawness of my work, and wanted me come to Chicago to have me paint Chicago-themed pieces for their Chicago office. They knew that the passion comes through in my work, and felt that would happen even more if he were in Chicago capturing the energy of the city while painting the pieces.
Blythe Lee of Corporate Artworks negotiate the terms and directed the commission, from the beginning mock-up sketches through to the final works. She found a downtown studio large enough for me to paint in and available to me 24 hours a day. Blythe was able to find a huge warehouse space with running water and it was perfect. Blythe also had to have very large canvases stretched, gessoed, delivered, and hung in the warehouse at an appropriate height so I could begin painting as soon as he arrived. Blythe asked that I order all my supplies ahead of time and have them waiting at the art supply store in Chicago. However, I discovered that spray paint is illegal in Chicago, and not sold in the city. So I had to make arrangements with the manager at my local art store in Berkeley to have all the paints and spray paint delivered to Chicago. We referred to it as contraband!
Blythe Lee and my client Jump Trading arranged and paid for all my travel and accommodations. They also found a large warehouse space for me to paint in, and even had the canvases ready to go before my arrival. All I had to do was arrive safely in Chicago and paint. And what a city Chicago is! It was so fun and so inspiring from an artist’s perspective, full of energy and art and architecture. It was beyond my imagination, a dream come true.