Shaun Keefe ‘Guitart’ book – Available on iBooks.

EYEWITNESS 2015 blog by Aidan O'Rourke - Manchester, Liverpool, North West, photography, art, travel, local interest

EYEWITNESS 2015 blog by Aidan O’Rourke – Manchester, Liverpool, North West, photography, art, travel, local interest


Earlier this year I featured Shaun Keefe who has developed a highly individual style of art. It’s guitar art or guitart for short. He takes high quality photographs of classic guitars, prints them out and then adds colour in the form of paint, to turn them into striking artworks. Now he has released a book of his guitart on the iTunes bookstore. It’s full of these sumptuously coloured and lovingly crafted images of guitars, along with explanatory text and a foreword by Rupert Hine, musician, songwriter and record producer.

With their rich, saturated tones and detailed patterns and textures, these images come across particularly well on a computer screen. As you flip through the pages, the images fade or slide in and out, adding to the effect of an on-screen presentation, but it has the look and feel of a book that you could pick up and browse.

The price of Shaun’s book is £3.99 and you can sample and purchase it on the iBooks store:

Shaun Keefe produced the excellent image of Eric Bell’s guitar which appears alongside my photomontage of the Thin Lizzy co-founder. The images are used on the cover of his 2015/2016 album ‘Exile’.

Exile album front and back imagery

Here’s the audio slide show I did in early 2015 featuring Shaun Keefe’s images of guitars.

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In His Own Words: Shaun Keefe Audio Slide Show

One of the biggest influences on me was a neighbour who was also a school friend. He was into pop art and illustration.

One day he asked me if I wanted to see the film of The Monterey Pop Festival at the Odeon cinema, Union, St Oldham, way back in 1972.

The film was great, but for me, the big thing was the support film, the farewell concert at the Albert Hall by my all time favourite band, Cream.

This film had a massive impact on me.

I bought a guitar, or should I say, my mum and dad bought a guitar for me, from Woolworths. It was an electric guitar and at the age of 12, it meant the world to me. It had a battery powered amp so I didn’t electrocute myself!
And so the love affair with music began.

Shaun Keefe Guitart Union Jack
I took a few really basic lessons from a guitar teacher, I think was called John Nuttall.

I ended up together with a few school mates and I tried to thrash out ‘Alright now’ – as people did back in 1974.

At this time my interest and ability in art began to take shape, mainly due to a great art teacher, Mr Gallagher.
One of the next big influences on me was when I went off to art college in 1978. There were gigs every weekend, clubs, festivals. I had an awesome time.

GUITART by Shaun Keefe

After art school I pursued a career in advertising, so I’ve never been too far away from the excitement of the creative process.

Since 2010 I’ve been a full time artist, combining painting and photography.

And as I say, I’ve been playing the guitar for years, so music has always been a massive passion.
I got great inspiration and influences from Cream, Hendrix and Zeppelin to The Stone Roses and Oasis.

So all of this seemed like a good and enjoyable theme for the art that I produce today, which I call GUITART that’s G-U-I-T-A-R-T that’s all one word.

Shaun Keefe Guitart - Ibanez

In a list of design icons of the second half of the twentieth century, the electric guitar would be close to the top.

And the people who love electric guitars are not just the people who play them.

The whole world loves electric guitars.

Everybody has their own favourite piece of music that remind them of a certain time, and the guitar plays its part in peoples’ memories.

I want to plug in to this affection that people have with guitars. I try to combine the beauty, colour and style of guitars with my original paintings.

The large canvases are a mixture of hessian, cotton, gauze and sharp sand. And for the paint medium, I use acrylics, with oils, pastels, emulsions, spray paint and inks. It’s a form of art that’s truly mixed media.

Shaun Keefe Guitart Norman and John

The finished canvases are then placed with various guitars in situ, photographed and treated in a range of photo effects.
The images are then printed onto textured stock paper weighing 400 gsm. All are limited edition signed prints.

In some ways I still behave like I did when I was 17, but without the same energy or hair!

I’m just as interested in new bands like Chris King Robinson as well as classic performers such as Eric Clapton, and that continues to inspire the art I do today.

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