Adam Lister, an American artist who reimagines iconic images with geometric shapes and watercolor

Adam Lister, an American artist who reimagines iconic images with geometric shapes and watercolor

By: Veronica Odetunde

You have seen these images before—but never in this way. Using watercolors, geometric shapes, and sharp technicality, Adam Lister recreates historical paintings, iconic movie scenes, and pop culture images, including Biggie, Tupac, The Simpsons, Mona Lisa, The Godfather, and Van Gogh’s sunflowers.

Born in Virginia in 1978, he went on to receive his Bachelor of Fine arts from the School of Visual Arts, NYC in 2003. After creating mostly abstract work, he ventured into new territory with a winning original concept: fusing his childhood love for video games and appreciation for fine art.

The Mona Lisa was his first reinterpretation, where he used what would become his signature combination of pixelation and iconic images. His signature combination of pixelation and iconic imagery started with his reinterpretation of the Mona Lisa. And if you ever played Super Mario or other old school 8-bit video game, Lister's incorporation of pixilation takes you on a nostalgic trip down 8-bit lane.

Lister begins his paintings by drawing flat, upright lines to create the abstract geometrical shapes, and he completes the work with watercolors to bring back a clear reference to his original inspiration. Along with adding new dimensions to paintings, Lister creates sculptures with 3D printers. Plus, he has also collaborated with streetwear brand BAPE, design company Monoqi, clothing company WAVY, and tech company LG Ultra.

His work has been shown at Arsham Fieg Gallery (New York), Vertical Gallery (Chicago), Spoke Art (San Francisco and New York), Galerie Sakura (Paris), and more.