Pure Evil biography in Biographies from the artzine on artrepublic.com
Charles Uzzell-Edwards is a graffiti and street artist known by the moniker ‘Pure Evil’. He is also the son of Welsh painter John Uzzell Edwards. “Having Pure Evil as a nickname is a bit of a joke,” Charley confesses,”but it’s a license to have fun with dark imagery. It reflects the darkness that’s in the world right now. You can’t just ignore it and do a nice picture of a unicorn. Unless it’s a unicorn with a rocket launcher on its head.”
Pure Evil was born in South Wales and studied fashion and graphics in London. After finishing he went to live in California to avoid the ruins of Thatcher’s Britain. In the early 90’s he was living on the West Coast and working as one of the designers for a clothing label called Anarchic Adjustment with Alan Brown and Nick Philip. He was producing screenprinting t-shirt graphics and became involved in the electronic music scene in San Francisco. He went to lots of Raves and took a lot of weapon grade Psychadelics.
Eventually, he ended up as a recording artist for ambient record label FAX based in Frankfurt, Germany. After making electronic music for about 4 years he got bored and decided to move back to London.
Pure Evil’s street art began in California, where he would paint ‘DUMP BUSH’ on freeways and ‘MURDERERS’ on gun stores. After 10 years in California, heavily influenced by West Coast graffiti artists like TWIST and REMINISCE and skate art, he returned to London and began painting weird fanged Pure Evil bunny rabbits everywhere. “I started to miss London”, he explains, “It’s a dirty places, but it’s the dirt that helps things to grow.”
Pure Evil fell in with the people behind Banksy’s Santas Ghetto and started producing dark new prints and artwork. In the past five years he has exhibited worldwide in China, Russia, Mongolia, Brazil, USA, and all over Europe. He produces a monthly radio show and regularly gives workshops and participates in lectures about street art.
In May 2012 Pure Evil appeared on the prime time BBC TV show The Apprentice, where he took part in an urban art task, this led to a huge increase in interest for his work.
Perhaps it is illuminating to know that Pure Evil is a descendant of Sir Thomas More, an English lawyer, social philosopher, author and statesman, who was Lord Chancellor from October 1529 to May 1532. Hewrote the controversial work Utopia and who was later beheaded by King Henry VIII. His ancestry is also alleged to include eight saints, several European Families, and the Old English Chieftain Ailric, Kings Thane to Edward the Confessor, who held Cawthorne and much of South Yorkshire before the conquest. With this ancestry, perhaps it is only natural that Pure Evil explores the darker side of the wreckage of Utopian dreams and the myth of the Apocalypse.
Pure Evil’s father is a painter so he grew up surrounded by art and artists and that has been a big influence. A lot of his work has to do with American identity because he loves the USA. He’s drawn to the American landscape. His work is also often politically driven, “I think if you can say anything then why not say SOMETHING?” He believes painting on walls is a good way to get his message across in a big way.
Pure Evil uses stencils, spray paint, acrylic, marker pen, phosphorous paint and glow in the dark paint, neon and tempera paint…
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