He has the likes of Brad Pitt, Jennifer Aniston and John Travolta as clients, and he's working on an art project with music producer/rapper Kanye West. Like Andy Warhol before him, American pop artist Burton Morris is a celebrity in his own right. Even if you haven't heard his name, you might recognise his bright, colourful, comic-book style of painting (think Roy Lichtenstein). His works now adorn the hallways of Warner Bros studios and Microsoft's head office, have featured in promotional materials for the Oscars and the 2004 Olympics in Athens, and were seen on the set of sitcom Friends. Now you have a chance to see Morris' work in its original form when more than 20 pieces go on show at Festival Walk until next Sunday. According to Dominique Perregaux, of Art Statements Gallery - who recommended the Pittsburg-born artist to Swire Properties - the hundreds of thousands of shoppers who pass the mall will be able to relate to Morris' works. 'Swire picks artists who are likely to satisfy the majority of people who see them,' he says. 'They won't pick anyone controversial. Pop art can be understood by the general public - they can easily understand the colour and dynamics. Since Burton Morris works with pop stars, people connect to it.' On meeting the artist, you can immediately sense the extrovert personality which is so much an essential element of his style. The 43-year-old is charming and playful, and often turns questions back on interviewers (like inquiring about Hong Kong's nightlife, and where to hang out). Morris says the roots of his style can be traced to his childhood passion for cartoons and comics, but his initial art education and experience was a little more conventional. After receiving his Bachelor of Fine Arts from Carnegie Mellon University in 1986, he spent three years working as an advertising art director. But even at that stage he had begun to develop his post-pop drawings, and in 1990 set up his own studio. He began enlarging his small post-pop icons, making them more eye-catching and impressive, and gradually tightened his brushwork into his present precise style. He cites Andy Warhol, also born in Pittsburgh, as one of his biggest influences. 'He was the leader of the pop art movement and paved the way for artists like me.' Primary colours have always attracted him, and as he drew scores of comic book figures he started using colourful slashes to create a feeling of high energy and fun. His website says these distinctive sword-like slashes came from his study of woodcut prints. Two of his heroes are Albrecht Durer and Rockwell Kent. Durer used similar hatching in the 16th century; and 20th century American artist Rockwell Kent illustrated books and designed bookplates with similar lines. 'My main inspiration,' he says, 'are everyday objects. For instance, look at that [painting of a] coffee cup. It symbolises coffee culture around the world. I had a Starbucks coffee this morning in Hong Kong. It's everywhere. And there - that popcorn painting symbolises Hollywood and how people are so easily influenced by movies.' The artist adds that his work - and his choice of icons - is distinctly American, referring to a 24-metre poster of Uncle Sam as an example. In the post-9/11 era, does he express political views in his work? 'Yes,' he says, punching the air in a revolutionary manner, before smiling, as if to reassure you that he is politically moderate. 'Just kidding. Yes, my work is very American. But I haven't expressed any political views - it's up to people to read what they want into my work.' Morris' paintings are now displayed internationally in galleries and museums, and feature in the collections of establishments such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Jimmy Carter Centre. Recent solo exhibitions include Sotheby's of Amsterdam, the International Olympic Museum and the Hickory Museum of Art. And while Morris has found eager acceptance in the corporate world, he also likes to reach out to a mass audience: for 10 seasons, fans of Friends saw his work incorporated into the show's sets. Private collectors of Morris' works include big Hollywood names. When asked whether he has any celebrity anecdotes, he gives a wicked look. 'Plenty,' he says, and quickly recounted the day Brad Pitt came to his studio to buy Jennifer Aniston a birthday present. The paparazzi came swarming in, so they had to lock the studio. 'The other day, Bono from U2 called and said he'd be stopping by,' Morris says. 'Then he called a bit later and said he couldn't make it.' He also remembers strolling up the red carpet at the Oscars three years ago and meeting stars such as Angelina Jolie, Johnny Depp, Scarlett Johansson and Steven Spielberg: 'They just came over and talked to me. It was incredible.' Despite the brushes with fame, Morris still insists his art is for the masses, not just celebrity collectors. So what does he aim to bring to people with his paintings? 'I want to bring happiness. My paintings are bold and colourful and I want people to feel happy when they see them. I'm also trying to make pop art universal. I'm a strong believer in art that can bring people an optimistic and positive message.'