Portrait Of The Artist:

George Byrne

Following his recent opening at our iconic pink Melrose store in LA and the release of a new exclusive ‘Pink Wall #3’ print, we spoke to the artist about nurturing creative impulses, the tunnel vision he gets while he’s working and finding success later in your career.

Share this story

There’s no mistaking a George Byrne piece: they’re instantly recognisable from their dreamily vivid pastels and stark, imagined urban landscapes. And given the nature of his oeuvre, it’s hardly surprising that he’s chosen our iconic hot pink Melrose store in LA ­– a site that has become famous for its ‘Pink Wall’ – as a subject more than once.

Following his recent exhibition at the store, George has returned to the wall once more, with the release of ‘Pink Wall #3’ (2022), a new work exclusively available at Paul Smith. To celebrate the launch, we spoke to the artist about his way of working, tunnel vision and finding beauty in all places.

Where do you find inspiration?

The inspiration for my current exhibition practice is mainly the urban landscapes of Los Angeles and Southern California. But I can find inspiration anywhere in anything.

How would you describe your work?

Urban abstraction.

What do you hope people take away from your art? What are you trying to say?

It’s a cliché but there really is beauty to be found in all things and all places – if you look. My work plays on perception, emotion, colour and composition. I’m in the business of the elevation of the ordinary. I think there is also a sense of meditation in my images. I hope they are calming and inspiring. To quote the forward in my book Post Truth, “the images are me, they are both my conscious and subconscious, they are my attempt to instil order in chaos, beauty in decay and hope in a sometimes-hopeless world.”

Do you have a particular routine or any “rituals” when you’re working?

I love a routine or ritual.  When I’m trying to come with ideas, I’ll make an effort to read about other artists and look at lots of work. When I’m out shooting, I love an early start and lots of coffee and when I’m putting a show together I do very intense long days on the computer and then go for a run up at Griffith Park in the afternoon.

If you weren’t an artist, what would you do and why?

If I wasn’t an artist, I reckon I’d be running a nice little café with good coffee and sandwiches… or a donut shop. Somewhere near a beach.

Discover More


Paul Curates: Chihuly At Albemarle Street

To mark this year’s Frieze Fair in London, Paul has curated a selection of his close friend Dale Chihuly’s Studio Edition glass sculptures and prints in a special, exclusive exhibition at the Paul Smith flagship shop in Mayfair.



Exhibition: George Byrne / Post Truth @ Melrose

As a new show to celebrate the second edition of his monograph Post Truth opens at Paul Smith Melrose, we spoke to artist George Byrne about his idiosyncratic sense of colour, what LA means to him and the malleability of photography.


Sign Up For Updates

Enter your email

Published: 11.22

Words: Molly Isabella Smith