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 Russell Stuart Irwin  (1959 - )

About: Russell Stuart Irwin
 

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Lived/Active: Missouri      Known for: people, career portrait, paper mosaic

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following is from Dave George, business associate of the artist:

Russell Stuart Irwin was born in St. Louis, Missouri in 1959 and has spent the majority of his life in the midwestern city. Mr. Irwin became an artist the hard way, without benefit of art school training. While always being good at art in high school, at the age of twenty while early in his marriage with his first child, he found himself working long hours for a lawn care company when he decided to put together a portfolio. The first portfolio didn't produce any interest, but a year later a second portfolio landed him a job at a small architectural firm.

After two years, Irwin left the office to pursue an increasingly lucrative freelance career doing 'comps' for major advertisers. The exhausting lifestyle had him yearning for a change when he received a job offer for an agency doing artwork for the US army. Most of his work involved painting murals for the headquarters of various units and doing portraits of retiring officers. It was here that his 'Career Portraits', paintings were birthed which incorporate multiple images of an individual's life and accomplishments. It was also here that on a commissioned job commemorating the sale of some Apache helicopters to the Israeli army that he first began to use his torn paper technique.

After ten years of working for the army, Irwin formed his own company, RSI Creative, which markets his services as a vehicle for charitable fund-raising. The most successful project to date was a career portrait of long time St. Louis Cardinals broadcaster Jack Buck. Mr. Buck is shown in the middle of the picture talking into the microphone describing the action of the six Hall of Fame players around him. The boarder is made up of images of the fans listening to him, people in stores and on factory assembly lines even soldiers listening on armed forces radio. The finished image helped raise more than a million dollars for a local charity. Irwin is currently working on a project for Roger Staubach and five other Cowboys quarterbacks and seems to be enjoying his work and his newfound ability to contribute to good causes.

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