ALEX ECHO (AMERICAN, B. 1958)
Alex Echo has created artwork professionally for forty years, and has placed his works in the collections of some of the world’s top corporations, institutions and celebrities. Primarily a painter, sculptor, collagist, he has had no other profession, art has been his calling from the age of 6.
Relying on his instincts, Echo had no formal training yet created the most spectacular paintings that depict a striking visual narrative. Colour, light, movement and emotion, Alex combined art history with references to popular culture and iconography. The mix of resin and matt finish allows the viewer to explore the intricate process beneath. He adds: "It's a complex algorithm of abstract variables, coupled with a vast knowledge of art history and sophisticated aesthetic. Or I accidentally spilled some paint. One or the other!"
Echo has worked relentlessly for various charities and institutions, raising over £1,250,000 from sales of his work. Selling ten paintings at the prestigious Wallace Collection in London, the proceeds from which were used to rebuild an earthquake-destroyed school in southern China. He also created one of SWATCH Watches’ most successful artist watches, “The Imagine Love” watch, selling more than 153,000 units and giving all his royalties to send over 80 children affected by AIDS to a healthy summer camp in New York with full health care.
Alex has created the principle designs for the Paul Smith “Couture Women’s Wear Collection”, which sold in locations around the world in 2011. He painted a bespoke guitar by request of Eric Clapton, which was played by Clapton and later sold at auction to benefit the Crossroads Centre in Antigua, a rehab facility founded by Mr. Clapton. In 2015 he worked with HRH Prince Charles and The Elephant Family Foundation in London, creating a one of a kind TUK TUK that was auctioned at the private residence of Prince Charles; the sale raised £52,000.00 ($81,500.00).
In 2019 Alex was diagnosed with Parkinson's. Being prescribed a medication toxic to his body just prior to covid lockdown and unable to see a neurologist during lockdown, Alex lost most of his dexterity and became unable to paint.
Whilst working on a monumental commission for the NHS trust and UCLA hospital trust, Alex had to quickly adapt and adjust to working fully digital. Apple generously presented Alex with their latest iPad Pro with a terabyte memory. Working tirelessly and ceaselessly with this new medium and tool, Alex developed many new genres of design aesthetic for himself and delivered and permanently installed 89 large-scale pieces of digital artwork into 81 rooms over five floors in London’s newest hospital, the UCLH Grafton Way Building, Proton Beam Therapy Centre. This installation helped win the European Healthcare Design Award 2021 for Interior Design and the Arts.
Although Parkinson's is a terrible burden, Alex describes it as an artistic and aesthetic blessing. "The universe in no uncertain terms told me I had said all I could say with paint... but gave me a new and unlimited medium and palette."
Working now with various substrates from sustainable paper and maple, silver foil and brushed aluminium to perspex, life sized 3D painting and Lenticular, Alex is free to create in any direction.
In an exhibition in 2021 he commented that “as your body and motor skills break down and fail with Parkinson’s, every moment becomes an existential experience”.
2023 - 2024 Juilliard School New York
Alex constantly endeavours to reinvent and create new artwork found himself being given an opportunity to stretch his artistic wings and experiment with new media and music. Chance and serendipity play a starring role in any artist's journey.
The composer, Katie Jenkins, a graduate of Juillard, the world renowned Music School, was commissioned to compose and create a new concerto. She accepted the commission and set out, looking for inspiration. Ten years prior her parents purchased an Alex Echo original painting and while on a recent visit to her family home, Katie, who had never met Alex, saw the painting and was inspired and asked her family about the piece. With a simple Google search, she found Alex's website, rummaged around the website, and found three works of art from a collection entitled 'Journals'... and three of them spoke to her and inspiration was formed.
Drawing inspiration from Alex Echo's three works of art, Katie Jenkins compose her new concerto with the working title Three echoes.
With an email followed by a couple of zoom meetings, Katie and Alex agreed upon the title, became friends and hatched some inspirational ideas. Move forward two more weeks and a zoom meeting with Katie, Alex and now the director of the Juillard Centre for Innovation in the Arts, Edward Bilous' ideas were forming at a rapid succession and landing on the concept and plan for a fully immersive multi-sensory, multiscreen exhibition experience with a full orchestra and jazz ensemble in New York City at Juillard and Lincoln Centre.
The new concerto 'Three Echoes' is modern and yet reminiscent of Leonard Bernstein and George Gershwin and is in itself a love letter to New York City.
Alex Echo, his daughter and several collectors and friends are spending a week in New York City late summer 2023 and will walking the length of Manhattan, from Harlem to Bowery photographing and filming this iconic cityscape. Alex will be collaging and digitally manipulating and adding to his collection of visuals, creating an evolving interactive immersive exhibition that will have a live orchestra playing the concerto in sequence with it.
There are some secret goodies that will be happening simultaneously as well. Three echoes will be presented in early spring 2024
"The will to make art, is the will to live!” Artist Alex Echo has said amidst his Parkinson’s diagnosis. Parkinson’s is the second most common neurodegenerative disease after Alzheimers, unfortunately meaning that huge numbers of people around the world suffer daily with the condition, and yet there is no cure.
Causing a lack of motor-skills and uncontrollable shaking, to name a few symptoms, many may think of actor Michael J Fox who has been vocal in discussing the condition and has set up a foundation to find a cure for the disease. It has been said that the true measure of a person is not in the cards that they are dealt but in how they use them.
International artist Alex Echo was diagnosed with the disease 4 years ago. In an exhibition in 2021 he commented that “as your body and motor skills break down and fail with Parkinson’s, every moment becomes an existential experience”. Echo has worked relentlessly for various charities and institutions as a professional artist working for over 40 years, raising over £1,250,000 from sales of his work. He has created artworks for some of the world’s top corporations, institutions and celebrities all over the world including creating the principal designs for Paul Smith, painting Eric Clapton’s guitar, and providing artworks for Absolut, Madonna, Oprah Winfrey and the Elton John AIDS foundation. Parkinson’s has never affected Alex Echo’s passion for Art, however, and he continues to produce incredible artworks often supporting Parkinson’s charities.
‘Sky Writing’ captures this hope and love of life that Echo continues to express despite having such a debilitating progressive disease. He has often referred to his condition as a ‘blessing’ for the resilience that he is able to show to his daughter. Echo is always looking at the bright side in the darkest of times. Rainbow words light up the sky alongside detailed emoji-like images accompanying them. These works express a child-like love of life that all of us can do with remembering sometimes.
November 2022. My work was featured on Picadilly lights, Piccadilly Circus, London.
December 2022 My sculpture tremor was auctioned at Christie‘s London, benefiting Parkinson‘s UK
December 2022 was commissioned by Next to create the 2023 Christmas bauble for cure Parkinson’s
December 2022 launched Lotus Moonbelly Publishing
March 23 begin work on multisensory, live exhibition for Juilliard and Lincoln Centre New York,
The last three years...
Diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease and began the most creative journey of my entire art career.
Installed 89 large works in the London nearest hospital to UCLH Grafton Way Building
I designed a home collection for Next and Parkinson‘s UK, raising £250,000 for Parkinson‘s UK charity
Created the 2021 holiday card for the UCLH/NHS trust foundation
Designed three bespoke rowing machine designs for HYDROW raising funds for Parkinson’s UK.
Not too far back...
Designed and created the Glyndebourne Oprah cup trophy
Designed and built bespoke Tuk Tuk for King Charles III, raising £52,000 for his Elephant Foundation
Designed Paul Smith's 2011 spring/summer womenswear fabrics based on my paintings.
Created 10 foot tall, Les Paul Guitar sculpture racing £60,000 for the Princess trust and teenage Cancer trust.
Created bespoke commission guitar for Eric Clapton it’s sold raising £20,000 for the Crossroads Foundation.
Sold 10 of my paintings at an event at The Wallace Collection raising £100,000 to rebuild a school in China.
Created the 1999 IMAGINE LOVE swatch watch raising £153,000 enough to send 70 children with HIV/AIDS to summer camp with full healthcare
Created and painted three 2000 sq.ft ABSOLUT Vodka billboards on Sunset Strip LA.
Created the 1991, AIDS project L.A Holiday Card, raising £150,000 for the charity and Venice food bank
Having built a successful client base in China, Singapore, India, Europe and the UK, with collectors in most American states as well. Collectors include The Carter Centre, Jimmy and Roslyn Carter, HSH Prince Rainier of Monaco, The Princess Grace Foundation, Sir Paul Smith, Ted Turner, Oprah Winfrey, Robert Downey Jr. Madonna, Alain Boublil, The estate of Dr. Timothy Leary, Climate Change Capital SWATCH Watch, Nike, Sony, AT&T, MGM, Gibson Guitars, Broadway Cares, APLA, Seagrams, Montblanc, AMFAR, The Elephant Family Absolut, Sebastian Schwarz, Glyndebourne and Brian Large.
1980 Founded Core317 Art Gallery Denver
1987 Founded Tuna Luna Art Gallery Massachusetts
1991 Absolut Vodka Billboards1993 Absolut Vodka / Absolut Creative Print Ad –Artist of the 90’s
1999 Swatch Watch "Imagine Love"
1999 Founded AE Gallery East Hampton NY
2001 Created Tom Ford for The Black Apartment
2009 Charity Event, Wallace Collection London
2010 32 Paintings Installed with Climate Change Capital, Beijing
2011 Sir Paul Smiths Couture Collection
2013 Alchemy Solo Exhibition, Mayfair London
2014 Album Cover for Lack Of Afro
2014 Eric Clapton bespoke Guitar, ‘Sometimes Quickly Sometimes Slowly”
2015 HRH Prince Charles with The Elephant Family Charity London
2016 Water Solo Exhibition, Mayfair London
2017 Created Lotus Moonbelly
2018 Commissioned to create the inaugural trophy for the Glyndebourne Opera Cup presented by Sky Arts Television.
2020 Installed 89 Digital Works into New NHS/UCLH Hospital
2021 Next Retail Collaboration benefiting Parkinsons UK2021 Interview with The BBC, Arts and Entertainment feature
2021 Created for The University College Hospitals - NHS Foundation Trust
2021 Me My Brain & I Exhibition at the Truman Brewery, Brick Lane London
2023 - 2024 Juilliard School New York