AN ACCRINGTON artist is set to launch a high-profile exhibition in California.

Retired criminologist John Tierney found a whole new career when he took LA by storm when his first exhibition in 2012 was housed at Melrose Avenue’s Paul Smith store.

He became an overnight hit when his painting of the iconic store was reproduced on a silk Paul Smith scarf and sold out instantly. Since then he has become a global success and is now returning to the US to host a major show.

His latest paintings are inspired by American street graffiti art, landscapes, everyday objects. They will feature at the Skidmore Gallery in Santa Monica, opening on Tuesday April 8.

The 67-year-old, who now lives in Durham, is a former pupil of Holy Family Secondary Modern, n Fern Gore, Accrington. He said: “During my final year at school the head teacher asked me what I wanted to do when I left school. I said I was interested in going to art school. The head teacher was clearly appalled, as if I’d said I wanted to be a film star."

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