ADAM SCOTT ROTE Biography
Adam Scott Rote is an award-winning painter whose work throughout the last decade has been influenced by architecture, fashion and classic cinema. Adam is a self- taught artist who studied early iconic artists including pinup legends Vargas & McGinnis as well as master realist painter Charles Bell, Hyper-realist painter Hajime Sorayama, who set the stage for the elegant and breath-taking style of his paintings. By utilizing acrylic paint, gouache, airbrush and watercolor pencils in unison with a brilliant emphasis on high contrast, Adam brings to life images of the past with an ultramodern feel.
His dynamic subjects and signature transparent technique have earned him a loyal following of collectors, including Academy Award winners, singers and actors such as Goldie Hawn, Kurt Russell, Patricia Neal and Grace Jones. Adam’s paintings have also been featured in books, magazines, movies, and television.
Hyperrealism & Artistic Influences
A full-fledged art movement, Photorealism evolved from Pop Art and as a counter to Abstract Expressionism as well as Minimalist art movements in the late 1960s and early 1970s in the United States. Photorealists use a photograph or several photographs to gather the information to create their paintings and it can be argued that the use of a camera and photographs is an acceptance of Modernism, however, the admittance to the use of photographs in Photorealism was met with intense criticism when the movement began to gain momentum in the late 1960s, despite the fact that visual devices had been used since the fifteenth century to aid artists with their work.
Hyperrealism, although photographic in essence, often entails a softer, much more complex focus on the subject depicted, presenting it as a living, tangible object. These objects and scenes in Hyperrealism paintings and sculptures are meticulously detailed to create the illusion of a reality not seen in the original photo. That is not to say they're surreal, as the illusion is a convincing depiction of (simulated) reality. Textures, surfaces, lighting effects, and shadows appear clearer and more distinct than the reference photo or even the actual subject itself.
Charles Bell (1935-1995) is one of Adam’s greatest influences in the paintings he has finally achieved today. Known as a Photorealist with subject matter primarily of vintage toys, pinball machines and action figures, Adam fell in love with the glass like effects that caused the viewer to challenge the believability that it was not a photo. He worked in large-scale panels significantly in oil. His paintings are in the collections of the Metropolitan Museum of Art & The Guggenhiem.
Hajime Sorayama (1947- Present), is an incredible Realist & Surrealist Illustrator. His groundbreaking “Robot Sexy” Pin-up work pushed boundaries in the 1970’s with his female robotic series appearing to be fashioned from molten silver. Adam was in awe of his technique and thrilled later when a book was released showing step-by-step techniques to achieve the realism on his illustrations. Sorayama was one of Adam’s pivotal influences. Instead of adding more paint to a canvas, Sorayama actually erases back to the original canvas, everything is built up slowly in transparent layers then erased back to achieve the highlight from the white of the canvas as much as possible, a time consuming process but incredibly stunning once achieved. Studying his books, Adam felt like the curtain was finally pulled back from Oz and he watched his abilities as an artist grow to new heights.
Alberto Vargas (1896-1982), is considered one of THE most famous artists of pin-up. His works are a combination of Watercolor & Airbrush, his Girls were featured in Esquire magazine & Playboy. Adam was hired in 1992 by a client to recreate several paintings of Vargas. Armed with his new techniques from Sorayama, he set out on the task and in so doing garnered a whole new set of skills while recreating this masters work.
“My paintings are rendered with not just one medium, but several, I work in gradual buildups with transparent overlays. I start with my sketch on paper perfecting the layout then transferring the drawing like the old masters by char-coaling the back of the paper and taping it in place on the canvas. Fixed in place I carefully retrace my drawing, once done, this allows minimal pencil and sketch lines to interfere with the canvas. Removing the paper outline I begin with black acrylic paint specifically formulated for the airbrush and slowly flesh out the image, I alternate with watercolor pencils for sharpness until I achieve the first preliminary stage. I begin with erasing at this point to create distinct depth in the work going back and forth with airbrush watercolor pencil and erasure. This process is lengthy and depending on the image can take several days. I will usually mask off at this point the entire figure and proceed to the background, unless the figure involves transparency, then the background would have been completed first. I will then undo the masking and complete the figure beginning to build color while still erasing to define highlights, (or fur in case of the animals.) I will only now use white paint to help blend the masked edges to give the painting a balanced look. Traditional brushwork is also applied during my painting along with techniques that I studied from a gentleman named Leonard Pardon on faux painting.”
American Ruins Series
"American Ruins," the beautifully ethereal collection based on the historic architecture of New England, was inspired by a photographic diary of places - catching the beauty, the decay and the neglect of magnificent structures built in a century of lost craftsmanship, abandoned over the decades. As the paint peels back from the walls, one senses the rooms as time capsules, life flowing backwards to be revealed in a palette of colors from bygone eras. "I wanted to capture a moment of forgotten space, and marry it to the now." Using his trademark ethereal objects and figures that invoke feelings of a faded photograph; he drew on the 1960's for a dramatic timeline for the original series. They immediately suggest an innately nostalgic and romantic notion - one, uniquely American. But they are more than just that. The newer work adheres to that intrinsic idea, that the subject - whether animal, vegetable or mineral undergoes a kind of rebirth to become an object, not only of past desire but essentially an icon of permanent importance. Adam's work, whether it be rusting tin cans, derelict interiors or, ourselves, is about adjustment, development and acceptance.
Drive-In Daze Series
Adam has teamed with Iconic Hollywood Silver Screen Legends, Tipi Hedren, Angie Dickinson, Ernest Borgnine, Barbara Eden and others for exclusive co-signed limited edition prints featuring his famous Drive-In Daze paintings.
Wild Life Series
Adam captures the details of elegant and powerful animals in minutia… from dusty elephant plains to the power and majesty of natures greatest predators – the lion, snow leopard and tiger – Adam has created imagery that is even more detailed than a photograph itself.
Adam has used textile inspirations from the past as well as some of his own textile designs, juxtaposed those with iconic imagery of pin ups and natural inspirations such as palm trees to arrive at an innovative and exciting new series filled with color, glamour and energy.
Travilla Fashion Series
“I knew I belonged to the public and to the world, not because I was talented or even beautiful, but because I had never belonged to anything or anyone else.”
- Marilyn Monroe
“I quit designing for movies eight years ago because I tired of trying to dress Marilyn Monroe, Jane Russell and Betty Grable to reveal as much as possible to make them sexy and exciting-- and still pass the censors. Now nobody worries about the censors.”
- May 1968 William Travilla
“Your clothes should be tight enough to show you're a woman but loose enough to show you're a lady”
- Marilyn Monroe
Who could imagine that fifty years ago when Marilyn Monroe left us that her words and imagery would still resonate so profoundly today.
Adam Scott Rote early on had attended Fashion design school for a year, his love of old movies and the theater had always been a passion and what better place then fashion illustration. Though he never finished, his love would resonate in the paintings, with the gowns and fashion style of illustrating his figures carry.
Today History is made! Adam is proud to announce the Tribute paintings honoring Leading costume designer William Travilla, known simply as "Travilla", he first met Marilyn in 1950, when she asked if she could borrow his fitting room - he was one of several contract designers for Twentieth Century Fox - to try on a costume. They worked together on eight movies: Monkey Business (1952), Don't Bother to Knock (1952), Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (1953), How to Marry a Millionaire (1953), There's No Business Like Show Business (1954), River of No Return (1954), The Seven Year Itch (1955), and Bus Stop (1956). In his long career, Travilla won an Oscar for his work on the Errol Flynn drama The Adventures of Don Juan (1948); he was nominated for his work on two Marilyn movies, There's No Business Like Show Business and Bus Stop.
Travilla designed the vast majority of Marilyn's most memorable costumes, including the gowns she wore to such devastating effect at public events such as the 1953 Photoplay awards. He helped to sew her into the sheer gold lame dress she had worn (briefly-it was deemed too revealing to pass the censors) in Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, to go and claim her award for Hollywood's "Fastest Rising Star of 1952."
Marilyn autographed a nude calendar for Travilla with the words, "Billy Dear, please dress me forever. I love you, Marilyn."
Adam has acquired from the estate of Travilla, one of the legendary Inspired patterns that made Marilyn's dress for "Gentleman Prefer Blondes", along with several sketches and signatures including Jane Russell and Joan Fontaine. An incredible dream and passion has now been realized, Adam has transformed ordinary canvas into incredible paintings, adding original signatures, sketches and pieces of the pattern creating an unheard of "Historic Masterpiece".
Adam Scott Rote continues to innovate and pursue new and exciting means of artistic expression. His dynamic subjects and signature transparent painting technique have spanned almost thirty years in the making, and earned him a loyal following of collectors.