By DeAnn Lubell
Photo Credit: Tom Clark Photography and Garyk Lee
Here we go again. Another multi-talented artist who excels in many creative fields. Garyk Lee is the epitome of an international fashion genius and innovative artist with over 40 years of commissions that include illustration, architecture, fashion, and interior design. You name an artform and he can do it.
Garyk grew ups in the small oil town of Ponca City, Oklahoma and studied architectural engineering at Oklahoma State University. His desire for the creative arts drew him away from the structured math-based engineering aspect which inspired a move to Los Angeles at the age of 23. A short four years later, he opened a couture salon on the fashionable Roberson Blvd in Beverly Hills, California. It was there where Garyk created elegant fashions and showcased his collections with his classic, yet contemporary trompe l’oeil motifs and fashion murals on the walls of the salon. For unique occasions, he would incorporate his art design style into Hollywood soundstage sets for fashionable events he produced.
In the fall of 1989, Garyk moved to New York City as his Couture Fashion Collection was now available for retail sales in one of the top showrooms on Seventh Ave. His first orders were for Neiman Marcus flagship stores. After a couple years of the ultra-fast passed Manhattan lifestyle, Garyk yearned for a more serene environment and moved to Bucks County, Pennsylvania – a bedroom community of Manhattan known as a true artist colony established in 1682.
Garyk, now in his early thirties, was finding new creative energy and began his transition from fashion designer to artist. He opened a charming artist studio on the Delaware river canal in fashionable, New Hope, Pennsylvania. He created many murals and trompe l’oeil designs in the estates of main line Philadelphia, still always incorporating high fashion into his work when he could. By the late nineties, Garyk was missing sunny California. Once again, he began working with some of his Beverly Hills couture clients from his past and by 2001 he was living full time in Palm Springs. Garyk traveled back and forth from his desert home to Los Angeles as he was getting numerous art commissions: both residential and commercial. One of his favorite works was a commission for a mural in Venice Beach. All the while still doing one-of-a-kind designs for an elite clientele.
The most recent works from Garyk are representative of the mid-Century era that Palm Springs has so rightfully come to own. His “Fashion Fused Architecture in Retro Palm Springs” series is available as artist proofs, signed prints, and smaller posters as well as greeting cards. His paintings are bold, sophisticated, and whimsical. His most recent venture is a children’s book “The Hummingbird Troupe” written by Melissa Neiderman. The book, available on Amazon, is dedicated to Desi Chechin, a beautiful, small child lost to cancer. Garyk illustrated this story of hope and for all children and continues to inspire with his detail to design.
“My love and memory of Desi Cechin is truly displayed in the vibrant, detailed and beautiful illustrations that Garyk Lee brought to our book,” said Melissa. “His talent is boundless and is only superseded by his giving and caring heart.”
For more information about Garyk Lee please go to his website www.garyklee.com.
SIDEBAR BOX: Please note that Artist Council at Galen has two upcoming events. Through the Lens takes place from March 23-April 23 and Young Artists Exhibition takes place April 26-May 21. The Young Artists Exhibition, funded by La Quinta Arts Foundation, engages young artists in a transformational art experience. Students participate in a juried exhibition, which is an important learning opportunity, and see their artworks matted, framed, lit, and displayed in a museum-quality setting. Experiencing their art installed in a museum is a life-changing experience for a young artist. Admission is free Wednesdays -Sundays from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. The Artists Center at the Galen is located at 72-567 Highway 111, Palm Desert. Info: artistscouncil.com or 760-565-6130.