Bernie Taupin, songwriter-turned-visual-artist, explains that his creative process is “simply the visual extension of what I have spent my life creating through words.”
After his successful career working with Elton John, Taupin began to expand his creative oeuvre beyond writing. In 1990, equipped with an acute visual sensibility and infatuation with painting, he set out to begin his career as a serious visual artist.
Taupin first began frequenting art galleries and museums in the early 1970s as a way to seek solace from the chaos of New York City. During his visits he found unexpected crossovers between the art and his own songwriting, particularly in Modernist paintings and sculptures at the Museum of Modern Art.
Although he now lives and works on a ranch house in central California, the influence of 1960s and 1970s modernist painting is apparent in the work of Bernie Taupin, a self-described “east coast painter.” Early in his career he found a particular kinship with artists Barnett Newman, Mark Rothko and Clifford Still, evidence of which can still be seen in his paintings.
Taupin’s work cannot be defined by one particular style, but rather tends to hover around the canons of abstract expressionism punctuated by elements of Pop Art. He has been known to use house paint, acrylic and oil paint, wood stains, spray paint and even collaged elements in his highly expressive works and has found that certain shapes, colors, and even painted words convey different feelings and emotions. For example, he finds that blocks and oblongs of bright color can accurately express affection. In the same way, their dark counterparts, fragmented edges and torn middles spell disturbance and pain.
His work does not aim to convey any obvious narrative, however, Taupin paints in such a way to invite viewers to interpret the works according to their own thoughts and experiences, and encourages viewers to insert their own perceived narratives.
Since he began his painting career, Taupin’s work has been exhibited nationally, including exhibitions in New York and Los Angeles, and his work can be found in significant private collections throughout the U.S.