Daniels, known for “Monster’s Ball,” “Precious” and more recently “The Butler,” starring Forest Whitaker and Oprah Winfrey, asked Port Arthur native Savoie to paint a piece for his New York home early last year. Shortly after, when Daniels was filming the pilot episode of his new TV show, “Empire,” the renowned filmmaker asked to lease three of Savoie’s artworks to be featured on the Fox drama series. Two were featured on the first episode inside the family’s home.
“It’s a big deal,” Savoie, 35, said. “I’m featured next to some of these artists I admire and studied when I was on my journey of making a name and a brand for myself.”
Savoie was at the Martin Luther King Jr. National Holiday Celebration in Port Arthur last week, where he received an entertainment honorary award for his achievements.
The Lincoln High School – now Memorial – graduate left Port Arthur at 22 when he gathered enough courage to tell his mother he wanted to go to art school in California.
He studied fashion but found it too technical. He wanted to squeeze all the creativity out of his brain, so he taught himself to paint.
“My voice comes through in painting. It’s something no one else can reproduce,” he said. “When you see it, it screams Michael Savoie.”
Savoie, who has a studio and a gallery in Dallas, where he lives with his wife and two children, describes his style as abstract realism. He paints portraits of men and women and highlights clothing, jewelry and glamour on a bright, abstract background where colors set the mood.
He said his pieces belong on “Empire,” which debuted Jan. 7 on FOX. The musical drama tells the saga of a former drug dealer turned hip-hop mogul – played by Terrence Howard – who runs a music and entertainment company, called Empire Enterprises.