THE HISTORY BEHIND THE CREATION
Sir Brett-Livingstone Strong is an international artist in a class of his own, capturing the attention of the public for decades with his award-winning creations, groundbreaking partnerships and large-scale monumental projects, architecture and landmark attractions. Sir Brett’s talents have been commissioned and praised by world leaders, celebrities and elite collectors for the unique creations he continues to produce throughout his celebrated and historic career.
As an Australian child prodigy from the age of four, Brett routinely sold out exhibitions early in his life. In 1972, the Fine Arts Museum of New South Wales held an exhibition of painting and sculpture by Brett-Livingstone Strong with the work of famed British modernist Sir Henry Moore - Brett was just 18 years old. He became recognized the world over in 1973, with the high-profile commission to paint the fine art invitation for Queen Elizabeth's Royal Opening of the Sydney Opera House. Following a rigorous academic training in architecture, Strong left Australia in 1977 on a celebrated globe-spanning exhibition of his work, sponsored by the Australian Art Council and Trade Commission. By constantly exploring innovative ways to combine sculpture with visionary architecture, Strong had already earned a reputation for monument-building.
When a 116-ton boulder was removed from Malibu's Pacific coast Highway, an event which dominated both local and national news, the young artist arranged with the city to purchase the rock for $100 and announced his intention to carve it into an homage to internationally famed actor, John Wayne. The story became Strong’s American debut as he used jack-hammers, the California sun, and his own vigorous charisma to carve an image not just of America's favorite cowboy, but also of himself as an energetic visionary with very public ambitions. Concluding with the sale of the finished piece for $1.13 million, this fully-televised art event established Brett-Livingstone Strong's visibility and market at the highest level.
Strong's 1979 life-size bronze statue of John Lennon serves as the definitive artistic homage to the famed Beatle, the spokesperson of his generation. Following another public multi-million-dollar sale, the sculpture toured the world after Lennon's death, was placed in New York's Central Park at Andy Warhol's urging as well as at the Grammy Awards Headquarters in Los Angeles. By the time Strong returned to Australia in 1988 as the country's Official Artist of the Bicentennial, his public works were among the most valuable in the world, propelling him to the top of the art market while being the constant guest of distinguished government and corporate patrons.
It was during this period that Los Angeles Mayor, Tom Bradley, unveiled Brett's ambitious sculptural celebration of their city's sisterhood with Nagoya, Japan. Building on this success, the artist received a special commission from Chief justice Warren E. Burger, and in 1987 was the guest of President Ronald Reagan who unveiled and dedicated Strong’s 27-ton Monument for the Bicentennial of the U.S. Constitution. The highly-publicized Independence Hall ceremony honored the foundation of the United States, further growing Strong’s ever-widening audience.
Sir Brett's private collectors are among the most influential people in the world, ranging from heads of state to royalty. Portrait commissions have included Prince Charles, Dr. Armand Hammer and Michael Jackson. Rupert Murdoch, Elizabeth Taylor, Bob Hope, Lawrence Welk, Muhammad Ali and the band, U2, have also done business with the artist. For public patrons, he has worked on monumental sculptures to commemorate the achievements of NASA for the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, the vision of Walt Disney, the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles and the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, as well as the 500th anniversary of Michelangelo's David. Throughout his distinguished career, art collectors of the world have always ensured that every limited edition ever created by Sir Brett-Livingstone Strong is sold out upon each release, and that his original paintings have become prized rarities selling for ever-higher record prices.