Gayle Blair Tate (born 1944) is a native of Midwest America, born in Texas and raised as a world traveler, being the son of a career army officer. He studied engineering at the University of Wyoming from 1962-64, then graduated from Florida State University in 1967. He then served in the United States Air Force for five years as a commissioned officer, being honorably discharged in 1972 with the rank of Captain. Desiring to go into studio production, he pursued extensive private studies at the Loch Haven Art Center in Orlando and with private ateliers in Orlando, Tampa, Asheville, North Carolina and Laramie, Wyoming. Even while serving in the Air Force, Mr. Tate began working in the art business, establishing his art business in Texas in 1967.
Mr. Tate has achieved international recognition and major auction sales through his work as a trompe l'oeil painter in oils. Of particular importance are the artist's works depicting images of paper currency, achieving recognition as "the foremost money painter in America" (source: SouthWest Art magazine). Added to his craftsmanship are his unique and often ironic observations and themes, resulting in works that viewers and critics alike remember for their wit and insightful commentary as much as for their technical achievement.
The Artist Writes: "Trompe l'oeil is a French phrase meaning 'trick the eye'. Sometimes art provides the trick... changing the perception of pigments applied to a surface to a different reality. All of art is about perception, and my paintings are all about deceiving the eye to perceive another reality. The Victorians had a hazy, romanticized view of life. The early moderns embodied a revolution against traditions. American artists, despite roots from diverse backgrounds, have drawn together a view of art that is characterized by the same pioneering spirit it took to tame a rugged and uncharted land, raw and direct. From early in its history, America had no time for frivolity. She demands truth and integrity; and in the face of constant challenge, anything less is a waste of time. Any vision that is not born out of passion and sweat cannot last in such a land... tradition deposed and displaced by character . American painters have always depicted real places and real things in real terms. They have always worked with a vigorous energy that matches the splendor of the land. We have been given a responsibility as creative artists to offer a fresh viewpoint to an often drab and uninspired world. I, as any artist with such roots, am dedicated to developing a reflection of this character, founded in my uniquely American roots."
"We need to keep our vision fresh. This is especially important for artists. It is not easy to keep creative juices flowing day after day, when we get bogged down in the "dailies" of life. The premises for the trompe l'oeil artist have stemmed from this need: to challenge artists to look at the familiar with fresh eyes, and to be provoked to think with new perspectives. As we take up the challenge, we have grown as artists... thus being constructive in provoking artists to do better and always be proactive in exercising artistic vision."
Mr. Tate continues a regular study of his craft, particularly of the dynamics of color relationships, often working in diverse subject matter. By working in other venues, the artist is becoming better equipped to understand the dynamics of color in his trompe l'oeil paintings. The result is that he is able to present his enthusiastic world view with excellence and taste. His refined classical techniques and craftsmanship transcend both old and new eras of art history, and assure him a place in the defining of an American national style.