Clifford Shikler

New York and Los Angeles


Clifford Shikler graduated from the University of Minnesota, class of 1990. He was in the first class to graduate with a fine art degree in both traditional and electronic media. 


His interest in art started at home.  As a child, he would watch his father, portraitist Aaron Shikler work in his studio on Manhattan’s Upper West Side.  Clifford would attend the Painting Group, a weekly sketch class run by his father and caricaturist/watercolorist David Levine.  There he developed interests in drafting and anatomy, which continued into his studies at The Art Student’s League of New York.


Clifford spent several years as a photographer’s assistant learning traditional film and lighting techniques as well as studio organization and management.


Upon returning to New York from Minneapolis, he began a free-lance artist’s career in earnest.  Subsidized by evening bartending jobs, he spent his days in a studio in the Brooklyn neighborhood Dumbo.  Dumbo was then a barren, forgotten place nestled between and under the overpasses of the Brooklyn and Manhattan bridges.  Forgotten by all except a small collection of artists and local manufacturers who occupied the mammoth warehouses that fill every block.  


Clifford developed his technique and focused them in a range of media, often mixing disparate art making tools to present an idea or finished piece.   His work can be characterized as representational, capturing life in a style that suggests discord, tension and the beauty that comes from chaos.  It may be a portrait or cityscape executed in a grimy color palate that challenges nature’s intent and skews the view to imply there’s more to the picture than meets the eye.