Charles Bell
American, 1935-1995
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Selected exhibitions
2017
Bite Me: Photorealism From the Kitchen,
Louis K. Meisel Gallery
2015
Important Works on Paper,
Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art
2014
Art Silicon Valley / San Francisco,
Jonathan Novak Contemporary Art

Photorealist painter Charles Bell drew inspiration for his large-scale still lifes from America’s love affair with toys and arcade games. Working primarily in oil, Bell depicted vintage dolls, Barbies, and action figures arranged in imaginary scenes and dynamic compositions, cast in studio lighting. In other series, Bell painted children’s marbles, usually placed on reflective surfaces and silhouetted against dark backdrops to accentuate their curvature and colorful, swirling patterns. Bell’s hyperreal renderings of pinball machines are often considered his best work. Taking close-up perspectives and a range of different angles, Bell captured his subjects’ iridescent surfaces and busy patterns with meticulous detail.