garyk lee

Palm Springs Illustrated

Palm Springs artist Garyk Lee captures the essence of the retro desert lifestyle in his drawings, but it's up to you to discover the story behind it.

Nicole Borgenicht Arts & Entertainment, Modernism

garyk lee
Artist Garyk Lee stands by one of the drawings he did for his Palm Springs living room. Lee's drawings will be available during Modernism, Week at CAMP.

Take a look at Garyk Lee’s drawings, and you’ll find yourself quickly immersed in the drama being played out in front of you.

The Palm Spring artist has illustrated classic Palm Springs for Modernism Week 2017, and his Modernism Series will be showcased at Destination PSP’s store at the event’s headquarters called CAMP (Community and Meeting Place). Lee’s Fashion Fused Architecture in Retro Palm Springs Style is a signed series of five, with titles for each. In addition, a poster version of the series is available, which has been created with different colors and other details.

Viewers will enjoy discovering a flirtatious and romantic story in each artwork. Lee talks with Palm Springs Life about his art and his involvement with Modernism Week.

PSL: What is your background and how did you arrive at your new Modernism series?

Garyk Lee: From the time I can remember, I was interested in drawing. I started around 3 years old and by the time I was 4 I could draw in perspective. I loved drawing houses, people, cars and cityscapes. I wanted to do architectural renderings and incorporate fashion, creating a lifestyle image, sort of a Mad Men stylistic approach to midcentury architecture. Hence the new series: Fashion Fused Architecture in Retro Palm Springs Style.

PSL: What is unique to this Modernism Series?

Probably the depth of personality in the characters, and the depth of color and perspective in the architecture. Together it creates a piece you can get lost in: figuring out the drama or possible plot.

VIDEO: Garyk Lee describes his Modernism Series of drawings.

PSL: How has midcentury architecture influenced your life?

GL: I grew up in the 1960s, in a pretty interesting little oil town in Oklahoma. There were many nice homes built in the 50s and 60s that were of the midcentury style that caught my eye. I also was fortunate to go to Expo 67 – The Worlds Fair in Montreal. I was fascinated with Habitat 67: Cubical midcentury modern stacked architectural units, which prompted my interest in architecture. Then, studying architecture in college in the 70s, I was influenced by the contemporary works of Frank Lloyd Wright. Simplicity with total elegance as is my fashion. To me this formula evokes…classic.

PSL: What other projects are you working on?

GL: I am currently doing three large 30-inch by 60-inch canvases with retro characters that are stylized with the Mad Men motif; once again incorporating the palm fronds as the ladies bustier! They are humorous and sophisticated.

Modernism Week, Feb. 16-26, Find Lee’s artwork at Modernism Week’s headquarters, CAMP, 350 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Palm Springs.

Visit for more information on Garyk Lee.