Jim Fitzpatrick was born in Dublin and is one of the most celebrated and internationally known Irish artists of his generation. His ornate, colourful and intensely decorative Celtic artwork is now so well known and unique that it is instantly recognisable. While never regarded as being in the mainstream of modern Irish Art, no one can doubt the powerful impact his eclectic and idiosyncratic style has had on many an aspiring young talent.
While his striking and memorable album cover designs for Thin Lizzy (and more recently for Sinead O’Connor, Ash and The Darkness) have earned him a permanent place in the annals of Irish rock music, his highly original revival of the Celtic Art of his forebears from the early 1970’s onwards gained him an enormous following worldwide, and today his work is recognised and collected from New York to Tokyo.
In January 2005, his legendary Che Guevara Poster was acknowledged and recognised as the original by the Los Angeles Museum of Photography and Art, and his most recent work, collaboration with New York conceptual Artist Aleksandra Mir was exhibited in the Project Arts Centre. Mir has called his Che Guevara Poster ‘the ultimate graphic in the history of art’.
This iconic image is his most famous creation -the red and black poster of Irish- Argentinian revolutionary Che Guevara. In his seminal work on the history of iconic images ‘Christ to Coke’ published in November 2011 by Oxford University Press, world reknowned art historian and Emeritus Professor of the History of Art at Oxford University, Martin Kemp, listed Jim FitzPatrick’s Che image amongst the 11 greatest iconic images of all time. With the image of Christ at number 1, the Mona Lisa at number 5 and FitzPatrick’s Che Poster at number 6, the artist found himself -as he says himself -‘in some interesting company’.
His latest project is an ongoing series of large paintings of 9/11.For the GroundZero360 exhibition. It is a subject the artist fells powerfullly drawn to: ‘So many innocent civilains were murdered in front of my eyes live ion television. I had to respond somehow. This exhibition is my chance to respond and remember. I intend also to comemmorate the life and heroic death of Father Mycal Judge OFM, chaplin to the NYFD. He is one of my heroes and I intend this painting to be the first salvo in my attempt to have him recognised as a real saint, not just a saintly man’.
‘I have always been an rebellous outsider,’ says the artist, ‘ I intend to stay thatway’.