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Ou Ri Dong, Craig Mattoli, Ayu Chen

Ri Dong Ou (Ou Ri Dong) Bio (欧日东)

Ri Dong Ou is an artist who we believe has not yet gotten the recognition that he deserves, and we, therefore, believe that prices of his art have room to grow.  He specializes in portraiture, which is the most difficult category of painting.  Much of his art is pop culture art with themes, both contemporary and historical.
Catalogue Number   Price   Approximate size Button
Dawn: painting by Ri Dong Ou (Ou Ri Dong) 140. Dawn: original oil painting on canvas by Ri Dong Ou (2008)

It's just after dawn.  The impasto sun is breaking through the clouds, and a helicopter can be seen, outlined in the clouds.  The sniper has been deposited on the high ground, ready to go about her business.  The colors in the sky and the way that they complement the girl's attire are simply wonderful.

Ri Dong Ou has done a number of pop culture art paintings in which he puts beautiful Chinese girls in military situations, as snipers or soldiers, stalking though the jungles.  We especially liked this one with its contrasts of the girl, equipped in with sniper gear and attire, yet also made up as if she were ready for a date - could it be a date with destiny?  She is dressed to kill

  $6,000   133x130cm
               
Angel in White: original painting by Ri Dong Ou 665. Angel in White: original oil painting on canvas by Ri Dong Ou 2007

The way that I choose paintings (or many things, for that matter) begins with it catching my eye; thereafter, I take a closer look.  Sometimes, my first impression was right; other times close inspection changes my mind.  I liked this painting when I first saw it, and I continued to like it upon closer inspection.  It has an ethereal feel to it with the light colors, the shadow of a potted plant, and within the genre of the nude it has a nice composition.

Ri Dong Ou is better know for his pop art, but we are happy that he took time to enter new artistic territory with this nude.
 
  $5,000   138x108cm  
               
Hillary Clinton makover: painting by Ri Dong Ou 111. Hillary Clinton Makeover: original oil painting on canvas by Ri Dong Ou (2008)

Talk about pop culture!  In this painting, Ri Dong Ou has captured the essence of the "new" Hillary Clinton, complete with her standard bright orange pant suit (perhaps Ou also watches Saturday Night Live), her new smile (not the "Seven Sisters" smile from her husband's presidency), and her new body language with raised arms to make an emphatic point (that body language seems to me to be borrowed from the Pope).  It is made even more interesting because body language, in China, has not caught up with the present day body language of the West.  For example, any time some one has their picture taken, they invariably flash the peace sign from the 1970's with two fingers held up (or the Victory sign from the 1940's: I can never quite get a proper answer about what it means, here, except to say that everybody does it).  The hand language for "emphasis", the hand is brought up and the fingers closed against the thumb, which was more the emphatic body language, in the West, in the 1950's.  To say "hi", people shake their heads up, not down (as in the nod), another of the earlier modes of "greeting" body language, in the West, although both ways are still used, today.  Thus, it is particularly interesting that Ou has focused on one of the main body language devices that Mrs. Clinton used on her presidential campaign trail.  We like this painting for what it is (and, certainly, not because we like Clinton): a contemporary piece of pop culture art, which becomes even more interesting in that it comes as seen through the eyes of an artist, living in China, who has, nevertheless, focused on the very essence of the new image that Mrs. Clinton has been trying to project. 
  
  $7,000   130x133 cm  
               
Sulphur Island: original oil painting by Ri Dong Ou 116.  Sulfur Island: oil painting on canvas by Ri Dong Ou

Ri Dong Ou has done a number of pop culture paintings about Western culture, and we happened to like this one, not only because I am a former Marine, but because it is well done and symbolizes mankind's quest to be free from tyranny, which is an ever present issue, in the world that we live in.  It is done in a style that he has used in a number of his other pop culture paintings, making it have somewhat of a quality of a black and white photograph, but always with a twist.  This one is done, mainly,  in blues and grays with the American flag that the Marines are planting on Iwo Jima highlighted by being done in its natural red, white, and blue.  Ou has done a nice job on this timeless picture of world history.  It measures a very large 160 cm by 160 cm and will be dismantled and rolled in a tube for shipping.

  $7,000   160x160 cm  
               
The Sniper: painting by Ri Dong Ou 194. The Sniper: original oil painting on canvas by Ri Dong Ou (2008)

Ri Dong Ou likes to do pop culture art.  In this one, he shows a young pretty Chinese girl in sniper attire, complete with sniper's rifle with telescopic site.  She looks soft, yet serious.  She is trekking through a forest, and she looks she is all business.  Her garb has that soft feathered look covering shiny surfaces, like has become so popular as sniper attire in recent Hollywood movies.  All of that toughness and seriousness is juxtaposed against a foreground of delicate wildflowers, adding to its tongue-in-cheek composition.

The painting style is realistic, which is Ou's usual style, and the colors are true to life.  It also shows Ou's abilities, not only as a good technical realistic painter but also as a fine painter of portraiture, which is also evident in the paintings that he has done of Hilary Clinton, which can also be seen on this page of the Leona Craig Art Gallery.
  $4,200   97x130cm  
               
Hillary Clinton almost B&W, portrait by Ri Dong Ou 108. Hillary Clinton (almost B&W): original oil painting on canvas by Ri Dong Ou (2008)

Andy Warhol did a series of pop culture paintings of Marilyn Monroe, and the series of pop culture paintings of Hillary Clinton by Ri Dong Ou reminded me of them.  First, you must understand that Chinese are fascinated by blonds, in general, because blond hair is not in the gene pool, here.  So, as a blond haired female, you can be popular whether you are beautiful by Western standards, as Marilyn was, or not.  This painting is done in that almost-all-black-and-white-with-a-little-color style that was popularized in the new generation of computer formatted television commercials from the last several decades.  Here, Hillary is caught with that more human smile that she has developed since she sought to win public office (during the years of her husband's presidency, she still had that smug "Seven Sisters" smile: oh, the importance of image consultants, today).  The color, in the painting, is the pink in her lips and tongue, and her dress is purple, which is used lightly, also, on her face, in a true pop art style; there is also a splash of yellow on the background beside her cheek.  Ou made the paintings because he actually believed that Clinton would win the presidency: really shows how little China knows about the outside world.  For me, it is China's answer to Warhol's Monroe, and who would have though that I would find such a thing, in the Chinese artistic scene.  The painting measures 130 cm by 133 cm, and it will be dismantled and rolled for shipping.

  $7,000   130x133 cm  
               
Mountain Girls: painting by Ri Dong Ou 196. Girls of the Mountains: original oil painting on canvas by Ri Dong Ou

This wonderful pictorial essay about life, in some parts of modern China, is also cinematic, in scope, measuring almost 9 feet by 7 feet (approximately 80" x 107").  It shows a group of mountain girls on an outing ... or is it a mission?  It also shows their typical mode of dress.  Like men in the mountains, the women also wear simple hats, kerchief style. On has on a poncho; one, dressed in camouflage; a baby, tied papoose-style to the back of one.  Several of them are carrying things in balled-up cloths (most people, in China, do not have suitcases, like we do, in the West).   They seem happy but determined, as they trek along a ridge, the dog leading the way.  They are painted against of background of mountain peaks, lost in the clouds.  It is an uplifting piece that mesmerizes, and it is perfect to adorn that extra large wall with extra high ceilings.

  $37,000   200x279cm call or email to arrange for acquisition and shipment.
               
Paris Dreams: painting by Ri Dong Ou 110. Paris Dream: original oil painting on canvas by Ri Dong Ou

This is a whimsical, yet telling painting about the aspirations of both Chinese artists and others.  China is only getting to know the outside world over the last two decades, and the knowing is coming slowly.  Part of that is also the trends, in Western art, which had been seeping in, for centuries, then, was cut off, when the rest of the world was cut off from China, during the middle of last century.  Going to Paris, a place that the Chinese man on the street could not begin to put a face on, is something that an artist or other Chinese person could only dream about.

We liked the playfulness of this large painting and its deeper symbology.  Ri Dong Ou has chosen to specialize in pop culture and social commentary, in many of his paintings, which are always larger than life, in a number of ways.
  
  $7,000    160x160cm  
               
Real Hillary Clinton: painting by Ri Dong Ou 660. The Real Hillary Clinton: original oil painting on canvas by Ri Dong Ou (2008)

Each of the several Hillary Clinton portraits that Ou has done have their own special charm.  This one shows an aging face with a smile, yet lifeless eyes.  The hair is done in an impasto style bringing to mind lacquered hair.  It gives her a rather matronly look.

Ri Dong Ou has been concentrating on pop culture art of one theme or another, over the past several years. 
  $7,000   130x133cm  
               
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