About the artist

“The best subject is an interesting person painted from life. When I paint from a photograph, I only paint a static understanding of a human being. That the portrait grows and deepens as the artist works is the wonder at the heart of portraiture.”– Adrian Gottlieb

Exerpt from “In Darkness Visible,” October 2010 issue, The Artist’s Magazine.

Yankee Summer : A Self Portrait from a mirror, Summer 2000

About the Artist

Viewing Gottlieb’s paintings in person, one is immediately struck by the painterly quality of his work.  While he has expanded his themes to include varied  subject matter, Gottlieb’s passion remains centered on figurative compositions.  It is in this genre that Gottlieb excels, infusing the two-dimensional surface with a luminous and quality that conveys the illusion of lifeforce.

It is for this reason that Adrian Gottlieb was commissioned to paint the portrait of V. Rev. Father John S. Bakas, in celebration of his 10th anniversary as Dean of St. Sophia’s Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Los Angeles.  Adrian’s unique sensitivity to the inner workings of his subjects allows him to communicate a deeply spiritual and paternal personality, while imparting a warmth and generosity of spirit rarely seen in the portraits of traditional religious figures.  He later also painted movie producer and patron of the arts Michael Huffington which faces opposite Father Bakas in The Huffington Center at St. Sophia Cathedral.

His works can be found in both private and public collections throughout the United States and Europe.   He  has exhibited at the Panorama Museum in Germany, and the Oglethorpe University Museum of Art in Atlanta and the Pasena Museum of Fine Art, in addition to galleries across the United States and exhibitions in Italy and is regularly invited to  participate in the California Art Club’s Annual Gold Medal Juried Exhibition.
Adrian Gottlieb is currently represented by S.R. Brennen Galleries in Palm Desert, California, Scottsdale, Arizona and Sante Fe; Waterhouse Gallery in Santa Barbara; and Haynes Gallery in Tennessee and Maine.    He is invited annually to participate in the  “Great American Figurative Artists” exhibition presented by the Waterhouse Gallery in Santa Barbara, CA.

In spring of 2008 Gottlieb took second place in the Portrait Society of America’s annual international competition for his painting entitled “Jennifer.” The painting was featured in a subsequent article in International Artist Magazine.

In 2007 he was awarded Best In Show in that year’s Portrait Society of America competition for his painting, “The Director.”

He won the 2008 American Artist Magazine Cover Competition for “The Auditor,” followed by first place in The Artist’s Magazine 2008 Portrait Competition for his painting “Jennifer.”   He was honored with the Exceptional Merit Award in the 2010 Portrait Society of America competition for his painting entitled “Elysian Fields.”

“Elysian Fields” was also featured on the cover of The Artist’s Magazine 2011 Calendar and was selected as a finalist The Artist Magazine 27th Annual Art Competition, in the December 2010 issue.

Gottlieb spent the summer of 2007 in England, painting the commissioned portrait of Lord William Herbert, 18th Earl of Pembroke, 15th Earl of Montgomery.  The following spring, he returned for the official unveiling of his portrait of  Lord Pembroke at the historic family seat.  Notable guests, family, reporters and the Mayor of Wilton attended the event.  The official portrait is displayed in the main entrance of Wilton House, as part of the permanent collection, and hangs alongside a world class collection of Old Master paintings, including works by Rubens, Ribera, Reynolds, Rembrandt, as well as largest private collection of Van Dyke paintings in the world.  He has also just returned from painting the official boardroom portrait of exiting CEO and Chairman of Nokia Corp., Mr. Jorma Ollila.  Another portrait was painted of him for his private collection in his estate in Finland.

Adrian Gottlieb has enjoyed wide publication in numerous articles in American Artist, International Artist Magazine, Fine Art Connoisseur, The Artist Magazine, and Southwest Art Magazine, the latter released a full article in April 2010.

A full length article entitled “In Darkness Visible:
Employing the Verdaccio technique that dates from the Italian Renaissance, Adrian Gottlieb paints faces that seem to emit light” By Daniel Brown appears in the October 2010 issue of The Artist’s Magazine.  The article examines the psychological effects of the use of luminosity when applied to human expression.


Emerging Artist: Adrian Gottlieb, by Bonnie Gangelhoff in Southwest Art.  “At 34, Adrian Gottlieb is considered a rising young star in the art world. But to many observers, he might equally be described as a young painter possessing an old master’s soul.”

April 2010 issue of SouthwestArt Magazine


Adrian Gottlieb’s work is featured in Drawing Inspiration  – Visual Artists At Work, by Michael Fleishman.
A one of a kind text, this book examines the relationship between academic and professional illustration through the ideas and first hand experiences of professional artists and  illustrators working in the field today. With hundreds of diverse hand-rendered and digital images, while learning the fundamentals and basic principles of illustration, readers will also gain insight on how these concepts can be applied in the professional world.
Examples of Adrian Gottlieb’s work are covered under Character Development, Chapter 12.
“Great American Figurative Artists” exhibition at Waterhouse Gallery in Santa Barbara, CA, November 21, 2009 through December 19th.  Three new works exhibited.

July/August 2009 issue: Apollo, The International Magazine for Collectors.  Tradition with a Twist by Michael Hall

Interview with “William Herbert, 18th Earl of Pembroke, 15th Earl of Montgomery, 18th Baron Herbert of Cardiff, 15th Baron Herbert of Shrubland and 7th Baron Herbert of Lea.”
….”Before we settle down to our interview, Lord Pembroke takes me to see one of the newest additions to the house’s collections: a full-length portrait of himself by the American painter Adrian Gottlieb, completed in 2007. It was clearly a commission of some significance to Lord Pembroke, a symbolic acceptance, perhaps, of his preordained role to take responsibility for Wilton: the painting was loosely inspired by a portrait by Reynolds in the dining room of the 10th Earl. It also represents a grafting of his personal enthusiasms onto this historic ensemble – the estate has been in his family since 1544 and the title was created in 1551. The [portrait includes a] prominently displayed crash helmet which symbolises the Earl’s love of motor sports – he was due to take part in a VW Beetle Fun Cup race at Snetterton the weekend after we met. On the laptop in front of him is an estate map of Wilton – ‘it’s a bit of artistic license, as I actually work on a big PC’. The books beside the computer are publications in which his designs have appeared – before Lord Pembroke succeeded his father to the title and estate he was better known as Will Herbert, a designer for Conran & Partners.” 

The Portrait Project: Adrian Gottlieb
In each issue of FINE ART CONNOISSEUR magazine, publisher B. Eric Rhoads is pictured in a different portrait painted from life by some of the top artists in the world today. The portraits accompany Rhoads’ column in every issue of the magazine, and the site chronicles the events and stories, style, creative techniques and methods for each portrait.

The Artist’s Magazine   2008 Portrait/Figure Winners First Place, Adrian Gottlieb by  Paula Theotocatos November 18, 2008

American Artist Magazine 2008 Cover Competition Winner, Adrian Gottlieb
“Gottlieb believes that an artist’s process is as unique as his or her fingerprints… the artist’s brush is controlled not only by learned art techniques but also by a unique lifetime of experiences. “Every painting I have created since my studies in Italy has been influenced by the sights, sounds, smells, tastes, history, and culture leading to and including that experience. In a very real sense, any artist goes through not only a momentary process to create a painting, but a lifelong process to constantly recreate him or herself.”

Brigham Young University, College of Fine Arts and Communications, Museum of Art:  Norma Evans Harkins Memorial Lecture Series presents award winning artist Adrian Gottlieb. Wednesday, October 22, 2008, 7pm, Museum of Art Auditorium.

Waterhouse Gallery in Santa Barbara, California Presents “The Great American Figurative Artists 2007″

November 17, through December 9, 2007. Includes works by Nelson Shanks and Adrian Gottlieb among other contemporary realist figurative and portrait artists. http://www.waterhousegallery.com/Gottlieb.html



Fine Art Connoisseur Magazine
Issue: September/October 2007, Page 83-84
Artists Making Their Mark,  Adrian Gottlieb
by Daan Hoekstra
Adrian Gottlieb(b. 1975) paints marvelous still lifes and landscapes, but he has wisely remained focused on figurative compositions… a portraitist whose vision is so penetrating and profound that it seems as if he sees into the souls of his sitters….