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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

September 2018

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
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Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
Website »

More information

Organizations making a positive impact on the health of Oklahomans will be honored at the 2018 Champions of Health Gala. All proceeds benefit the Oklahoma Caring Foundation, a non-profit...

Cost: TBD

Where:
National Cowboy & Western Heritage Museum
1700 NE 63rd
Oklahoma City, OK  73111
View map »


Sponsor: Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Oklahoma
Telephone: 918.551.2164
Contact Name: Ellen Devereux

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
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 viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...

Take Steps is the Foundation’s largest nationwide fundraising event where patients, loved ones, friends and supporters empower and inspire each other to continue the fight against...

Cost: Free

Where:
Stars and Stripes Park
3701 S Lake Hefner Dr
Oklahoma City, OK  73116
View map »


Sponsor: Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
Telephone: 972.386.0607
Contact Name: Jackie Peterson
Website »

More information

Price Tower Art Gallery in Bartlesville will host Women Artists of the West's 48th annual juried art exhibition, featuring over 200 original art works, created by women in all mediums, subjects...

Cost: Free 2018-09-21,22,23

Where:
Price Tower Art Gallery
510 S. Dewey Ave.
Bartlesville, OK  74003
View map »


Sponsor: Price Tower Arts Center
Telephone: 918.336.4949
Contact Name: Angelina Bourgou
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 viewing deck and listen...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

The evening Cocktail Cruise offers stunning views of the downtown skyline, the Boathouse District and Finish Line Tower, the Wheeler Ferris wheel and quite possibly an amazing Oklahoma sunset. Come...

Cost: $15 for Seniors and kids under 12, $20 Adults

Where:
Regatta Landing
701 S. Lincoln Blvd.
OKC, OK  73109
View map »


Telephone: 405.702.7755
Contact Name: Business Office
Website »

More information

Show More...
Show Less...
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