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"4 Tikis" Velvet Painting by Song Shen

Description:
Original black velvet painting by Song Shen. Size: 21" x 28". 
Source:
Part of the Mark Sellers Tiki Collection at Max’s South Seas Hideaway in Grand Rapids
Maker/Donor
Song Shen
"Song Shen is new to velvet painting. He is a professional portraiture artist who until recently has specialized in oil on canvas. He has been painting for over 20 years and has had formal training and taught college level classes. He is a master artist whose paintings, in my opinion, rival the best of today’s formal painters.

But Song Shen is also a starving artist who is in constant need of work. He lives in Changsha City in Hunan Province, China, has a 4 year degree from Hangzhou Art University, taught for 2 years at Ludong University in Yantia, worked for a short time at the Marc Ecko Studio, and then went freelance in 1998. You would think that with such an extensive background as a painter he would be rather well off, but he is a Chinese painter. And the competition between Chinese artists for work is fierce.

Most of Song Shen’s work is for American middlemen who commission him to do portraits for photo studios. If you have had a professional sitting with a photographer you probably were offered to have your portrait turned into an oil painting – at a phenomenal price. But it is the photo studio that makes the money, not the artist. Song Shen is one of those poor artists. He is constantly looking for work and with the downturn in the economy he is struggling even more." By Keith Hayes' 2009 blog entry "Song Shen Classic Velvet Paintings".