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Monthly Archives: February 2010

  • Welcome to the Art of Brian Adam Douglas aka Elbow-Toe

    His debut print has already sold out with the publisher and his originals are much sought after amongst art collectors, but who is Brian Adam Douglas and who or what is Elbow-Toe… As is becoming more often the case with street artists these days two personas appear to be forming: that of ‘....
    His debut print has already sold out with the publisher and his originals are much sought after amongst art collectors, but who is Brian Adam Douglas and who or what is Elbow-Toe… As is becoming more often the case with street artists these days two personas appear to be forming: that of ‘street artist’ who moonlights on the corner with a step ladder and equipment stuffed under one arm and that of the ‘fine artist’; the studio residing, canvas producing artist who shows the end product in galleries. We’ve seen this in the past and we can see it here with Brian Adam Douglas. This is the name attributed to the studio artist, but Elbow Toe, that is the alter ego, the street artist whose work can be seen on outside walls all over the world. Brian Adam Douglas is a Brooklyn based artist who for the past five years has been pasting up his distinctive woodcuts in cities all over the world under the name Elbow-Toe.  His work is often grounded in myth, symbolism and poetry and his distinctive style has gained him an avid following of enthusiasts both within street art and the wider art world.  Douglas is one of a group of classically trained New York based artists who have chosen the street as the primary place to exhibit their work, finding the immediacy of doing so more liberating than the confines of the traditional gallery system. Douglas’s chief theme is portraiture and more recently has created a series of collages portraits. These intricate collages at first glance might be mistaken for paintings given that they have a fluidity rarely seen in collages. Whilst his work has a very definitely unique style it draws on a rich history of figurative painting and has qualities reminiscent of Lucian Freud and Francis Bacon. Brian Adam Douglas’s latest print ‘Brother, Can You Spare A Dime?’ is available at our London Gallery. If you are interested in Brian Adam Douglas and/or Elbow-Toe and would like to know further information or to enquire about other works and artists we have in the gallery call +44 (0)20 7240 7909 or email soho@artrepublic.com Return to our London section $test =
  • Mr Brainwash ICONS Show opens in New York

    Riding a wave of momentum, controversial Pop street artist Mr Brainwash made his New York solo debut as he unveiled Icons, a 15,000 square-foot exhibition of painting and large-scale sculptural installation. The show features portraits of unmistakable cultural figures from various disciplines, inc....
    Riding a wave of momentum, controversial Pop street artist Mr Brainwash made his New York solo debut as he unveiled Icons, a 15,000 square-foot exhibition of painting and large-scale sculptural installation. The show features portraits of unmistakable cultural figures from various disciplines, including musicians, fashion designers and artists. Icons opened to the public on Sunday, February 14, 2010. Mr Brainwash is also the subject of Banksy’s brand new documentary, ‘Exit Through The Gift Shop’, which debuted at the Sundance Film Festival 2010. For more than eight years, Mr Brainwash travelled throughout the United States and Europe with some of the world’s most infamous street artists, documenting the most significant counterculture movement of a generation. However, after meeting Banksy, the British stencil artist turned the tables on the only man who ever filmed him, creating a remarkable documentary that is part personal journey and part an exposé of the art world with its mind-altering mix of hot air and hype. Mr Brainwash’s work has garnered mainstream acclaim, and in 2009, Madonna enlisted him to design the cover of her greatest hits album, Celebration, as well as 15 different covers for the accompanying vinyls, singles and DVDs. A studio visit with Mr Brainwash also aired on Last Call With Carson Daly in April 2009. Mr Brainwash is the moniker of Los Angeles-based filmmaker and Pop street artist Thierry Guetta. Mr Brainwash has spent the better part of the last decade attempting to make the ultimate street art documentary. Meanwhile, inspired by his subjects, he has emerged as a prolific figure on the international art scene with his highly visible, pop-art inspired murals of celebrities.  In June 2008, Mr Brainwash debuted one of Los Angeles’s hottest exhibitions, Life is Beautiful - a massively successful survey of the French-born transplant’s work, held at the old CBS Studios Building on Sunset Boulevard. In addition to his widely recognized, Life is Beautiful featured such larger than life installations as a 20-foot robot constructed of old televisions, a life size recreation of Edward Hopper’s Nighthawks and a pyramid made from 20,000 books. His piece Campbell’s Tomato Spray, a take on Andy Warhol’s Campbell Soup’s Can, was featured on the cover of LA Weekly.     $test =
  • Meet Joe Black

    In light of Joe Black’s latest, very successful, original series for artrepublic Soho we shed some much needed mood-lighting on this illusive and talented image maker. Joe Black's work in its purist state cuts to the core of blue chip art and born-into pop culture. His work often serves to exp....
    In light of Joe Black’s latest, very successful, original series for artrepublic Soho we shed some much needed mood-lighting on this illusive and talented image maker. Joe Black's work in its purist state cuts to the core of blue chip art and born-into pop culture. His work often serves to expose groups, movements and more often than not individuals as charlatans, greed-mongers and frauds. This is done through a very genuine love and respect for the seemingly infallibility of comic books and fairy tales. It is this added element that makes the delivery of his messages often so visually appealing. Rather than serving a healthy platter of doom and gloom Black’s work comes to you in the form of a big, very friendly looking bear for example. His last major showcase in Brooklyn, NYC, celebrated his role as art middleman; spinning answers in a marketplace where art titans and street artists remake each other , ultimately questioning who owns art and why do people make it? Joe Black creates his very tangible work out of a diverse range of media, but his preference always lands somewhere around Lego, ball bearings and bespoke badges. His technique of assembling photorealistic images from found objects is extremely advanced. The scarily precise formal elements are mirrored in their content. His specific icons and way of depicting them highlight a sinister piece of pop culture and the art world that, through infinite generations, will not leave. Joe Black takes imagery from dozens of modern and contemporary art forms – be it fine art, film, design, popular television. He tends to blend a much known subject with a more subversive, underlying message. Ultimately the end result is more than just the sum of the parts. Welcome to post-street art. If you are interested in Joe Black and would like to know further information or to enquire about other works and artists we have in the gallery call +44 (0)20 7240 7909 or email soho@artrepublic.com Return to our London section $test =
  • artrepublic interview Grant Dejonge, winner of our Street Art competition

    It was Leonardo da Vinci who once said “The eye sees a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination awake”. When looking at ‘Lost’, the winning entry in artrepublic’s Street Art competition, you can’t help but imagine this eerie yet mesmerising piece was conceived in a vivid drea....
    It was Leonardo da Vinci who once said “The eye sees a thing more clearly in dreams than the imagination awake”. When looking at ‘Lost’, the winning entry in artrepublic’s Street Art competition, you can’t help but imagine this eerie yet mesmerising piece was conceived in a vivid dream. Grant Dejonge, the creator of ‘Lost’ and victor of over 250 submissions to the competition, was the self-confessed wild card in our Street Art campaign. His apparent unexpectedness to be shortlisted, let alone win, was testament to his humble attitude, as well as artrepublic’s liberal selection process. If for Grant art has been depicting life, then hopefully now he no longer feels lost. ‘Lost’ – the winning entry by Grant Dejonge “In all honesty I never considered winning any competition. I’ve entered so many in my life and in 42 years never won anything, so winning Street Art, after seeing the high standard of work, is a real joy,” said Grant. “Also as the competition was advertised as street art, I believed they’d choose a more urban style rather than a traditional oil painting. It’s down to the judges’ open mindedness why I’m here now, so I’m extremely grateful to them.”  Although street art is of course synonymous with graffiti and poster art, the term ‘urban art’ has become a little more compromising in recent years. Post-graffiti, for example, has perpetually battled to distinguish itself from mindless vandalism or territorial graffiti, but fortunately now has more legitimate public space to use as a canvas. Also, ‘street installations’ are increasingly prevalent due to the fact that 3-D images can manipulate the landscape without tarnishing it. Another key factor is its non-permission based, so artists can leave their mark without legal action or a tirade from a perturbed environmentalist  However, there has always been a clear message of activism and subversion connected to street art, which is why the connotations are extreme and uncontrolled. However, a property doesn’t have to be forcefully defaced or flash mobbing in the streets for a message to be delivered. Street art can take a more subtle approach yet still have a powerful effect.  The wall that now projects Grant’s work, situated next to MyHotel, off Jubilee Street in the heart of Brighton’s North Laine, is commissioned by artrepublic and acts as the perfect exposed (and legitimate) platform for the artist. This is evidently the break Grant has both wanted and needed for some time; however an opportunity for creative success has presented itself before. “I've painted all my adult life and even managed to make a living at it at times, but I did turn down the chance of the Venice Biennale once (a major contemporary art exhibition that takes place once every two years) because I didn’t know what it was!” Grant admits. “I was rather young and naïve, certainly more naïve, so I often wonder “what if?”. But, I also believe that that particular decision was made for a reason and now is my time for some degree of success.” “However, I am still no different from many other talented artists who live in Brighton and generally struggle,” continues Grant. “The Brighton art scene is certainly thriving, but I often wonder if there’s enough money to support it. That’s why a competition like Street Art helps promote local artists, not forgetting that fact it raised the profile of a good charity too.”  The charity was Street Smart, a fund raising scheme that works closely with participating restaurants to provide over 90 regional homeless charities with well needed financial support between November and December. This event occurs in cities throughout the UK and artrepublic wanted to highlight Brighton’s contribution by involving StreetSmart with their campaign. 'Autumn' by Grant Dejonge “When we devised the competition, we thought that Street Art could provide an ideal platform for raising awareness of the homeless situation in the UK and Street Smart were very enthusiastic from day one. artrepublic is extremely proud to help the cause of a charity that does some much good. We were overwhelmed by the high quality of the entrants, the four judges Pure Evil, Inkie, Ben Eine and Static had a challenge when choosing the winner.  However they all agreed that ‘Lost’ is an outstanding work and a well deserving winner. I absolutely agree that we couldn’t have hoped for a better piece to reflect the purpose of the competition.” says Andrew Milledge, Marketing Director at artrepublic. Although Grant was already familiar with Street Smart, he wasn’t aware of the Street Art competition until a good friend educated him whilst decorating his house as a favour; practicing his artistic ability in a more pragmatic manner. “Yes, I have to confess that fortunately a friend informed me of the competition as I, ironically, had a paint brush in my hand,” says Grant. “I often disappear off the radar and work in my studio, so it wasn’t at all surprising that this was news to me. I paint pretty much constantly, but if I’m not doing that I occasionally use a kiln to produce ceramic-based pieces. I ran a gallery with studio space on the sea front for six years and ceramics was my main output. However, painting is my primary passion.” And when asked who influences this passion: “Well, my favourite painter is Bacon, however my influences are varied but pertinent to me,” says Grant. “I particularly love Otto Dix and Max, as well as Beckerman. Painters such as Matta and ‘Tanguy Futurism’ were an early influence, but in truth most of my day to day influences are my friends and fellow artists who no one has ever heard of - and my wife Jacqueline.” Over the imminent weeks people will begin to hear about Grant Dejonge; the guy whose painting transmits conspicuously from a wall in Brighton, and who may have been lost in some way, but has definitely now been found. Hear a radio interview with Grant Dejonge following the installation of his winning piece outside the London Graphic Centre (just click the green button). You can see ‘Lost’ by Grant Dejonge on a wall next to MyHotel in Jubilee Street, Brighton and outside the London Graphic Centre in London during early 2010. Visit the Street Smart website $test =
  • Affordable Damien Hirst Butterflies Fly into Our London Gallery

    They have been a part of the heritage and visual identity of Hirst’s work since his early days and these are the newest additions to one of his most popular motifs: the butterflies have landed…and these ones are more affordable than you might think. Damien Hirst’s wide-ranging practice –....
    They have been a part of the heritage and visual identity of Hirst’s work since his early days and these are the newest additions to one of his most popular motifs: the butterflies have landed…and these ones are more affordable than you might think. Damien Hirst’s wide-ranging practice – installations, sculpture, painting and drawing – has sought to challenge the boundaries between art, science and popular culture. No more so it would seem that with his long standing Butterfly series. Hirst’s butterfly etchings are rendered here in fine detail, appearing from their black backgrounds like encased specimens in an enthusiast’s collection. Their appearance is more photographic than a painting, only adding to this notion that they are meant to be real butterflies, preserved for science and study. Having been depicted in art, embedded in resin and seemingly characterised in literature for many centuries, the butterfly has wide significance as a symbol of love, regeneration, fortune, freedom, spirituality and death. Not without coincidence several of which are the chief themes in Hirst’s work, and thus the reason why they so frequently appear in Hirst’s art. Last year Hirst come under fire for plastering a bicycle with hundreds of dead butterflies in his latest creation. He was accused of horrific barbarity by animal rights groups. The bike was ridden by Lance Armstrong at the Tour de France finale where it since then went on display in galleries in Paris and New York before being auctioned to raise as much as £1million for Armstrong’s charity.  Damien Hirst was born in Bristol, England in 1965 and was one of many rising stars to emerge from Goldsmith's College London in the late 80’s. He immediately grabbed attention when he curated the now renowned student exhibition, Freeze in East London.  This, followed by many successful exhibitions and an infamous relationship with the super collector Charles Saatchi led to him headlining in the group show Young British Artists of which Hirst became the most prominent member of the 90’s artistic movement of the same.  If you are interested in Damien Hirst and would like to know further information or to enquire about other works and artists we have in the gallery call +44 (0)20 7240 7909 or email soho@artrepublic.com Return to our London section $test =

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