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The Art of Photoshop

The creative variety of Bennett Berry



 



If you live in Oklahoma City, cheer for the Thunder (or Sooners, for that matter) and have ever been on social media, then you are almost certainly familiar with the work of William Bennett Berry. By way of Thunder blog Welcome to Loud City, the local artist’s humorous Photoshop memes ferociously circulate the social network scene before nearly every significant Oklahoma sporting event.
 

On Facebook, you might see Russell Westbrook riding on the back of a unicorn through a field of flowers, his steed trampling an opponent into the ground. Or a tiny Russ riding on the back of an eagle against the backdrop of an American flag – an image that Westbrook himself posted on his Facebook page on the Fourth of July in 2015, gathering hundreds of thousands of enthusiastic shares and likes. For more than a year, Steven Adams used one of Berry’s memes for his Twitter profile picture, his mustachioed face superimposed over the face of Tom Selleck as Magnum, P.I.

“The first one that I can remember was James Harden riding Falcor [from The NeverEnding Story] over downtown OKC,” recalls Berry. “I posted it on Facebook prior to a playoff game in ’12 and after a day or two, people were telling me that they were seeing it appear on social media. The Thunder won the game and, being superstitious when sports are involved, I decided to do another one.”

Not long after that came the first of Berry’s “Westbrook Riding a Unicorn” series. In it, a howling Westbrook and his mystical mount stampede over the Spurs’ Tony Parker – and this equal-parts-ridiculous-and-hilarious image launched Berry’s memes into the national spotlight. “I got a text from a friend telling me that it was all over Twitter,” he remembers. “Not just people with the generic egg for their profile picture, but national NBA writers and websites.”

From there, Berry got in contact with SB Nation’s Thunder website/blog Welcome To Loud City and started making the memes regularly for important games. Four years later, the “Westbrook on a Unicorn” series (along with numerous others) continues to thrive, landing his work on outlets including ESPN, CBS Sports and the NBA’s home page.

And while the Thunder memes have garnered Berry a spotlight as a creative force in Oklahoma, he has also been one of the state’s premier painters for almost two decades. His work, which shows at the Howell Gallery in Nichols Hills, is as varied as it is striking. Berry attended Denison University and the Pont-Aven School of Contemporary Art in Brittany, France, and received his Masters in Fine Arts from the University of Oklahoma in 2005.


Over the years, Berry’s style has evolved considerably. “At first, I enjoyed, and still enjoy, Impressionist/Post-Impressionist style landscapes,” he says. “After grad school, I gradually became tighter and more focused on a quasi-realism in the visual sense. Cityscapes caught my interest and I focused on that, in addition to the large-scale figurative pieces.”

At the Howell Gallery, there are loose French and Italian landscapes, New York cityscapes, pet portraits and a pair of pieces with downtown Oklahoma City as the focal point.

“I’m not sure if I have one style. It’s evolved over the past 15-16 years, and I like to jump back and forth between aesthetics. Currently I’m trying to get back to the loose, Fauvist or Post-Impressionistic aesthetic, but it’s hard to shake off the urge to grab a tiny brush and get overly detailed and realistic.”

When asked whether his memes influence his painting style or vice versa, he replied, “I’d like to give some long, articulate response driven by aesthetics and color theory, but the Photoshops are their own thing. I try to pay attention to composition like I would with a painting, but that’s about it.”

After all, sports aren’t everything … but we’ll always have Adams, P.I.

 

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Calendar

May 2019

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

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Cost: Free

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Wheeler Ferris Wheel
1701 S. Western Ave.
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James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

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ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
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Telephone: 405.815.9995
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Cost: $10 - $30

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Miller Neighborhood
NW 10th to NW 16th, N Villa to N May
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Sponsor: Miller Neighborhood Association
Telephone: 405.642.5982
Contact Name: Elizabeth Beard

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Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

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Regatta Park Landing
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Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
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Cost: Free

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Website »

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Cost: $15-$20

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The Blue Door
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Telephone: (405) 524-0738
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James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Embassy Suites
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James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
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View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

A nationally touring exhibit “Bison: Ancient. Massive. Wild.” will open May 24 at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. This exhibit explores the significance of...

Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
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1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
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Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

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Cost: Free

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Paseo Arts District
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Sponsor: Paseo Arts Association
Telephone: 405-525-2688
Contact Name: Paige Powell
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Enjoy all your favorite activities at the Orr Family Farm for a special price! Admission is only $8 per person on this day only.

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Telephone: 405.509.9312
Contact Name: Lauren Daughety

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"Sandy Magrath: Dogs of the Southwest" art exhibit will be open May 1 - June 30, 2019, at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. A meet the artist reception will be 3:30 -...

Cost: $6 adults

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Stacy Moore
Website »

More information

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Cost: Save $5 on a Dual Park Pass!

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View map »

More information

James Bailey from Missoula, Montana, is ARTSPACE at Untitled's visiting Artist in Residence; his exhibition, Map-ify, is on view May 9th through July 6th.  "My work examines...

Cost: Free

Where:
ARTSPACE at Untitled
1 NE 3rd st
Oklahoma City, OK  73104
View map »


Telephone: 405.815.9995
Website »

More information

A nationally touring exhibit “Bison: Ancient. Massive. Wild.” will open May 24 at the Chisholm Trail Heritage Center in Duncan, OK. This exhibit explores the significance of...

Cost: $4 - $6

Where:
Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
1000 Chisholm Trail Parkway
Duncan, OK  73533
View map »


Sponsor: Chisholm Trail Heritage Center
Telephone: 580.252.6692
Contact Name: Toni Hopper
Website »

More information

Escape the ordinary, and learn about OKC from a different point of view. Relax in the climate controlled cabin on one of our 65’ cruisers, or enjoy the breeze on the...

Cost: Adult: $20 Seniors and Children: $15

Where:
Regatta Park Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd
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View map »


Sponsor: Oklahoma River Cruises
Telephone: 405-702-7755
Contact Name: Che Loessberg
Website »

More information

America’s largest interactive comedy murder mystery dinner show is now playing at the Skirvin Hilton Hotel. At The Dinner Detective, you’ll tackle a challenging crime while you...

Cost: $59.95

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The Skirvin Hilton
1 Park Ave
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Sponsor: The Dinner Detective
Telephone: 866.496.0535
Website »

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