Lyn Ott

 

Lyn Ott

Lynfield George Ott (April 25, 1926 – April 22, 1998), better known as Lyn Ott, was an American artist and a follower of Meher Baba.

Early years

Born in Scranton, Pennsylvania in 1926, Lyn Ott was the son of Lester (vice president of W. T. Grant) and Irene Ott. Lyn was born with retinitis pigmentosa, a hereditary degenerative eye disease that leads almost inevitably to blindness. In spite of this fact Lyn's father Lester encouraged him to pursue his interest in painting. Consequently Lyn graduated from the Rhode Island School of Design in 1957.

After art school, Lyn established a studio in SoHo in New York City. His works were exhibited in several one-man shows at the Lovisco Gallery in the early 1960's to positive reviews.

Around 1958, Lyn Ott settled in Woodstock, N.Y. and joined the Art Students League of New York. There he began a long-term partnership with fellow painter and spiritual seeker Phyllis Silverman. They had two children together, Chris and Leslie, and also raised Phyllis' two other children, Mimi and Betsy, from Phyllis' previous marriage to Buddy Sife.

[edit] Meeting Meher Baba

In 1964 Lyn and Phyllis came in contact with Indian master Meher Baba through their friendship with Tom and Yvonne Riley. Subsequently they met Meher Baba in India in 1965. In his book, In Quest of the Face of God, Lyn Ott wrote that prior to meeting Meher Baba art was his religion. After meeting Meher Baba Lyn became devoted to him and painted him almost exclusively.

In 1966, the Ott family settled on the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina where Lyn produced approximately 500 paintings of Meher Baba. His painting career was eventually interrupted by his complete blindness in 1976 at which time he attended the South Carolina Commission for the Blind [1], and gave up painting. Today Lyn Ott's paintings of Meher Baba adorn places around the world. The 17 murals that he and his wife Phyllis created in 1975 can be seen on permanent exhibit in the Meher Pilgrim Center in Meherabad, near Ahmednagar, India.

Lyn Ott died at the Meher Spiritual Center in Myrtle Beach in 1998, 3 days before his 72nd birthday, survived by Phyllis and their four children. He published one book, "In Quest of the Face of God", and completed a memoir, "Journey Out of Darkness", that remains unpublished.

Artistic style and influence

It is difficult to categorize Ott's artistic style. He admitted being strongly impressed and influenced by emanent artists from many artistic eras and schools of painting. These include Rembrandt, Jan Vermeer, Willem De Kooning, Utagawa Kuniyoshi, Salvador Dalí, and Claude Monet. He was interested also in William Blake and Nicholas Roerich. He even described finding inspiration in the caricaturic genius of Walt Disney and the popularism of Norman Rockwell. He has been described as an action painter, an abstract expressionist, and an impressionist.

Influence on other artists

Among the artists who either studied under Ott or were influenced by him were James Frisino , Bruce Herman , James Meyer, Laurie Blum, Mark Brosgol, and Will David .

Lyn Ott. (2007, February 1). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 08:06, February 2, 2007, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Lyn_Ott&oldid=104921989

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