Stories grow. This one started on the TV show “Pawn Stars” on the September 8th, 2014 episode of the show. A man brings in a door with Jim Morrison’s portrait on it and asks for $100,000, but the expert that Rick Harrison brings in appraises it at between $40,000-$50,000, and the man ends up keeping the door and leaving the store with it. And that would have been where the story ends, but it doesn’t; there’s the story of the door itself and the artist that painted it, Jim Warren.
(All paintings in this article are courtesy Jim Warren.)
In 2006 the house was bought and was going to be torn down to build condos, with someone recognizing that taking the doors from a house where Jim Morrison lived might be a way to generate funds for their development. So it was decided to have local artists paint the doors which would then be auctioned off. But then the real estate market took a turn for the worse and the idea was abandoned. This is where artist Jim Warren came in, completing portraits of Jim Morrison on the doors.
That’s where the story becomes about art, Jim Warren’s art in particular. Warren is a Florida artist with many different influences, including surrealism in the art of Salvador Dali, natural landscapes, portraiture, and rock ‘n’ roll. Warren’s art has been seen by rock ‘n’ roll fans since 1981 when he did the album cover for Bob Seger’s breakthrough album “Against the Wind” (for which Warren won a Grammy). Since then, Warren has done album covers for Alice Cooper and Prince. But Warren’s main interest has always been fine art and bringing out his vision of the world.
In viewing Warren’s work, one instantly sees the influence of Dali in the calves of a woman’s legs painted as water that seems to rip through the fabric of reality. A favorite theme of Warren’s, this is a motif that appears in Warren’s work with many different variations. Jim Morrison may appreciate Warren’s interest in surrealism but Warren’s vision is much brighter and more optimistic than Morrison’s artistic vision. Warren’s paintings are filled with whimsical images, romantic explorations of the vision of iconic artists, such as the Jim Morrison door or the painting “Charlie Chaplin Dreams in Technicolor.” Splashes of color come out of nowhere, catching your attention and drawing your eye to where Warren wants you to look but keeping very much in the context of the painting.
(Click images for full size.)
Originally published September 13, 2014.