Monthly Archives: August 2013

  • Art: Our New Religion

    With Cosmo Sarson’s recent saluting saviour and Magnus Gjoen tempting us to ‘Break Glass for a New Beginning’ we’ve become incresingly aware of an intriguing resurgence in religious iconography… The History of Art is full of religio....
    With Cosmo Sarson’s recent saluting saviour and Magnus Gjoen tempting us to ‘Break Glass for a New Beginning’ we’ve become incresingly aware of an intriguing resurgence in religious iconography… The History of Art is full of religious or sacred art bursting with doctrinal imagery, from Pieter Bruegel to Hieronymus Bosch and Leonardo da Vinci. But since a secular and universal notion of art arose in 19th century Western Europe there has been a distinct lack of angels, lambs and epic Biblical scenes. Until now that might be.  The Huffington Post recently published an article titled ‘The Return of the Religious in Contemporary Art’; whilst Jonathan Jones of the Guardian wrote about art and religion being intrinsically linked in his piece ‘Art is the Religion of the Modern World’, arguing that “Museums are temples and paintings are relics.” Turning to our vast collection we’ve found some diverse examples of contemporary art incorporating Christian imagery. Religious iconography may have been largely absent since the origins of modern art but it’s clear that there is a growing strain of current artistic practice giving it some serious consideration… Cosmo Sarson Cosmo Sarson is the talented artist behind this summer’s Street Art sensation – an incredible, giant mural of Jesus breakdancing in the Stoke’s Croft area of Bristol. The controversial saluting saviour was inspired by a newspaper cutting of Pope John Paul II enjoying a break dancing display at the Vatican in 2004.  Evidently exploring Christianity in his street art, Cosmo Sarson explained, “There is already a tradition of dancing Jesus, as in the Sydney Carter's hymn, 'Lord of the Dance'. The model for this painting is actually a deaf dancer friend of mine who can dance by feeling the rhythm through the floor vibrations. I like this fact, as I feel it relates to the miracles Jesus performed: getting the blind to see; the deaf to hear; and the crippled to see. Cosmos Sarson’s ‘Breakdancig Jesus’ was the winner of a major arts competition. According to one of the judges, Sean Redmond, "The work raises questions about the role of organised religions in contemporary society and also about how Christ would interact and communicate with contemporary culture if he returned today."  Magnus Gjoen Magnus creates new and modern takes on old masterpieces, questioning the correlation between religion, war, beauty, destruction and art. He has been heavily influenced by his time spent in Italy, with its awe-inspiring art and architecture from Roman and Christian times. Of his art, he once said “this is salvation for a godless generation.” His solo show at artrepublic Soho was titled ‘Break Glass for a New Beginning’ and described as “Exodus for Generation-X”. For his solo show, Magnus Gjoen re-imagined Genesis and the Resurrection in a modern light. He read a lot of the bible in preparation and many traditional religious motifs appeared throughout the exhibition, from angels to Adam and Eve and Jesus on the cross. An original fibreglass sculpture of Jesus in the familiar crucifixion pose was inspired be an earlier print of his, in which Jesus is holding guns in his outstretched arms. Titled ‘Mala Fide’, meaning ‘Bad Faith’ in Latin, the piece is a candid comment on the many conflicts started “in good faith” or in the name of religion.  His print ‘Break Glass for a New Beginning (Eden)’ is evidently an exploration of biblical themes and imagery. In our Q&A, Gjoen elaborated, “Break Glass for a New Beginning illustrates Adam & Eve looking through a concave window given the opportunity to decide and think for themselves, "Should we break the glass, entering Eden and start this cycle again?" or "as we know we have a choice should we do things differently?" Gjoen’s fascinating work raises numerous questions about religion, ‘Where would art be today had it not been for religion?’, for example. It is clear, however that he doesn’t necessarily have the answers, “Both good and terrible evil has come from religion however now that our free society is no longer held together by its spell, are we all doomed? I'm not so sure,” he ruminated.  Nancy Fouts The artworks of modern day Surrealist Nancy Fouts frequently explore themes of time, nature, humour and religious iconography. She playfully distils and disrupts the roles and associations of objects, icons and relationships. She certainly doesn’t shy away from religious themes in her sculptural arrangements which are drawn from Surrealism and the Absurd.  Nancy Fouts created an entire series of works which parody Christian merchandise. Pieces such as ‘Jesus With Wings’ (2012) and ‘Everlast’ (2013), are altered figurines of Jesus in the crucifixion pose. They include Jesus with a skipping rope, saluting a boxing victory and providing the underarm support for a crutch. These idiosyncratic compositions subvert expectations, challenge convention, and provocatively deploy Nancy Fouts’ black humour in addressing the role of religion in the modern world.  Damien Hirst  Damien Hirst’s work investigates and challenges contemporary belief systems, and dissects the tensions and uncertainties at the heart of the human experience. As a child he attended a Catholic school and references to Christianity are common in his art. His work ‘Mother and Child Divided’, for example, subverts the familiar icon of mother Mary and baby Jesus with a violence Hirst found in religious imagery itself.  “I have a lot of strong memories of religious imagery. We had a big illustrated bible and when I was young I would go straight to the crucifixion or severed head pages”, revealed Damien Hirst. Since the early 1990s, he has combined Christian iconography with the vocabulary of medical science, which for him, is another form of religion. A famous example of this is ‘Away from the Flock’, a lamb pickled in formaldehyde solution and encased in a stainless steel and glass box. The title is a term specifically associated with Christianity; “to leave the flock” means to leave the Church. Furthermore, Christ is often represented as a sheep in religious art.  The Sanctum Series is a collection of six colour photogravure etchings featuring profoundly beautiful butterfly altarpieces. As well as their titles, which refer to different spaces within a church, and their resemblance to the stained glass windows of a grand Romanesque cathedral, the butterly subjects of the Sanctum Series are traditionally symbolic of the resurrection. If you look a little deeper it’s suprising just how much religious iconography there is in Damien Hirst’s contemporary art.    Dolk Dolk Lundgren is an internationally recognized Norwegian stencil artist. Frequently likened to Banksy, he explores pop-cultural references in humorous or critical contexts. His latest street art and limited edition prints reveal that he isn’t one to shy away from examining the role of religion in contemporary society.  ‘Leap’ features a small girl leap-frogging over a member of the priesthood. Dolk has cleverly replaced the child’s father with a ‘Father’ of the church and the title suggests a play on the term ‘leap of faith’. Dolk’s work is often open to interpretation and frequently political and there have been suggestions that this piece is a comment on the negative press surrounding the Church and child abuse.  The figure of the priest has previously appeared in Dolk’s art work. His 2009 print ‘Priest’ featured a monochrome priest with a dripping yellow halo holding a paintbrush. The piece is clearly a street art reworking of traditional religious art. Perhaps Dolk is arguing, like Jonathan Jones, that art is the religion of the modern world? Conclusion From the crucifixion imagery of Eel’s ‘Indifference – Red’ to the Virgin Mary praying in K-Guy's urban art pun ‘Linda EVANGELISTa’, it seems as though there is a growing body of Christian iconography in contemporary art. After modernism and post-modernism, abstraction and minimalism, it seems as though Religious Art is back in vogue!  Contemporary artists do what artists have done throughout the ages: explore, critique, celebrate, lament, transform and subvert, perhaps it was inevitable that they would turn their attention back to religion sooner or later.  artzine your guide to everything that's happening in the art world  $test =
  • The Prince Albert Musicians Mural on Film

    A few weeks ago we wrote an article about a new, music inspired, graffiti mural being created on the vast exterior wall of the Prince Albert pub in Brighton.  Local artists REQ and Sinna collaborated with the pub landlord, Chris Steward, to produce the knock-out street art piece over the ....
    A few weeks ago we wrote an article about a new, music inspired, graffiti mural being created on the vast exterior wall of the Prince Albert pub in Brighton.  Local artists REQ and Sinna collaborated with the pub landlord, Chris Steward, to produce the knock-out street art piece over the course of 3 weeks. The wall is well worth a visit but if you’re not in the vicinity check out this short film charting the creation of the work and some public reactions to it. Don’t miss the expert opinions of Dan from our sister gallery Ink_d! Read our article 'Brighton Beats: New Musical Graffiti Mural' View all Street Art prints $test =
  • The Thread of Carne Griffiths' New Work

    Carne Griffiths is well known for his avant-garde use of materials, including tea, brandy and vodka. His latest project sees him incorporating a material that harks back to his previous career as a gold wire embroidery designer… thread.  Carne has been ingeniously suspending ‘fragments’....
    Carne Griffiths is well known for his avant-garde use of materials, including tea, brandy and vodka. His latest project sees him incorporating a material that harks back to his previous career as a gold wire embroidery designer… thread.  Carne has been ingeniously suspending ‘fragments’ of his beautiful and delicate portraits with cotton thread, giving his distinctive imagery an enchanting 3-dimensionality. The gentle movement of the pendulous paper brings his intricate drawings to life. His subjects sway like the foliage they adorned with. This project has a harmonious simplicity and we're excited to see where this thread will lead... View all Carne Griffiths prints View our Carne Griffiths biography $test =
  • Scream if You're Afraid of Performance Art...

    Police in Oslo were alerted after an attempt to recreate the anguish of Edvard Munch’s famous ‘The Scream’ turned out to be a little too realistic.  Hundreds of people were gathered in a park in the city’s Ekeberg district by Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic . The cr....
    Police in Oslo were alerted after an attempt to recreate the anguish of Edvard Munch’s famous ‘The Scream’ turned out to be a little too realistic.  Hundreds of people were gathered in a park in the city’s Ekeberg district by Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic . The crowd was instructed to scream in a tribute to Munch’s iconic work of art.  Unfortunately, the noise of the performance art piece proved to be as harrowing as the original painting and the Oslo police received several phonecalls from distressed members of the public! View all Edvard Munch prints $test =
  • Art Everywhere: A Very Very Big Art Show

    The UK is half way through experiencing the world’s biggest art exhibition. From the 12-25th of August, some of the nation’s greatest art is on display across 22,000 poster sites and billboards across the country. We take a look at this exciting twist in the history of Street Art and discov....
    The UK is half way through experiencing the world’s biggest art exhibition. From the 12-25th of August, some of the nation’s greatest art is on display across 22,000 poster sites and billboards across the country. We take a look at this exciting twist in the history of Street Art and discover the UK’s top 10 artworks… From Francis Bacon at the bus stop to Constable in the car park and Turner at the train station, Art Everywhere, intended to “flood our streets with art”. The ambitious art project was spearheaded by Richard Reed (co-founder of Innocent Drinks), in collaboration with the Art Fund, Tate, the poster industry, and 101 creative agency. It has received over 30,000 Facebook likes and over a thousand donations (raising over £30,000) to cover the paper and print costs, from around the world.  The public were asked to choose their favourite artworks from a long list of art from UK public collections. The final ‘likes’ were counted to create the Top 57 ‘exhibits’, which will be seen by an estimated audience of 90% of the UK’s adult population over the course of the show. The 22,000 works are on display from Banff & Buchan in Scotland to Torbay in Devon, and from Lowestoft in Suffolk to Belfast in Northern Ireland.  Our favourite Sir Peter Blake launched ‘Art Everywhere’ at London’s Westfield shopping centre, unveiling a reproduction of his work ‘The Meeting Or Have a Nice Day Mr Hockney’ on a large billboard. He proclaimed that the project was “a terrific idea” and said, “Almost 60 years ago with the stirrings of pop art, and what became my branch of pop art, was the idea that art should be available to everybody. All these years later, maybe this is the fruition of what I attempted to do.” Peter Blake was joined by Cornelia Parker, whose ‘Cold Dark Matter’ was voted the 10th most popular work by online voters. She rejoiced in being not only the only living artist in the top 10, but the only woman. “It is just lovely to be up there, along with Bacon, and Freud – who is only very recently dead, of course,” she said, “I’m thrilled to be in the top 10, and to be the only woman.” Damien Hirst, whose work ‘Paradasin’ (2004), was voted number 48 in the list said: “art is for everyone, and everyone who has access to it will benefit from it. This project is amazing and gives the public a voice and an opportunity to choose what they want to see on their streets.” Having long advocated the democratic nature of Street Art and Pop Art, we are delighted to see great popular British artwork on the streets for everyone to enjoy! Of course, if you’d rather have these masterpieces on your interior wall instead of your bus stop, just take a look at our massive collection of art prints, from Peter Blake to John William Waterhouse.  The Top 10 British Masterpieces: 1. John William Waterhouse, The Lady of Shalott, 1888. Tate Britain, London Inspired by Alfred Lord Tennyson’s lyrical ballad of the same name, Waterhouse’s The Lady of Shalott painting portrays the lamenting woman whose unrequited love for Sir Lancelot brought about a curse which led to her death. The moment depicted occurs in the fourth part of Tennyson’s poem, when “at the closing of the day/She loosed the chain, and down she lay;/The broad stream bore her far away.” 2. John Everett Millais, Ophelia, 1851–52. Tate Britain, London (on display at Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts, Moscow) Another Pre-Raphaelite, another unrequited love, another doomed woman; Millais's iconic painting Ophelia shows the scene in which Ophelia, driven mad by Hamlet’s taunts, falls into a brook and ultimately drowns. Millais’s treatment of the model for the painting has become infamous, as he forced the young Elizabeth Siddal to lie fully clothed in a tub of cold water while he completed his work. 3. Francis Bacon, Head VI, 1949. Arts Council Collection (on display at Manchester Art Gallery) While in later life Francis Bacon would dismiss his head series was ‘silly’, his nightmarish paintings inspired by Velazquez’s portrait of Pope Innocent IX are powerfully unsettling. The head of the figure is almost entirely taken up by the screaming mouth, for which Bacon found inspiration in hand-coloured illustrations of medical books on mouth disease. 4. John Singer Sargent, Gassed, 1919. Imperial War Museum, London (on display) Spanning over six metres across, Sargent’s epic war painting shows a group of soldiers heading towards a medical station in the aftermath of a mustard gas attack. Sargent spent time on the Western Front in 1918 after being commissioned to document the war and this record of his experiences was voted picture of the year by the Royal Academy of Arts in 1919. 5. Lucian Freud, Man’s Head (Self Portrait I), 1963. Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester (on display) Created when the artist was in his early 40s, this is one of Freud’s most painterly self-portraits, built up of heavily textured paint layered thickly across the canvas with bold contrasts of shade. His unromantic, almost grotesque treatment of the human form is evident in the severe rendition of his facial contours, and the ungainly angle and skeletal paleness of the arm thrusting into the composition like a punch. 6. JMW Turner, The Fighting Temeraire, 1839. National Gallery, London (on display) Bequeathed to the National Gallery by Turner in 1851, this naval scene captures the moment of transition from a romantic past into an industrial future. The Temeraire, a warship which served at the Battle of Trafalgar, is depicted as a spectral form on the horizon, towed to its final dockyard by a smoke-belching tug. The Fighting Temeraire featured in the most recent James Bond movie, Skyfall, as the ageing agent contemplates his own retirement. 7. Alfred Wallis, Five Ships – Mount’s Bay, 1928. Kettle’s Yard, Cambridge A Cornish fisherman who took up painting at the age of 70 following his wife’s death, Alfred Wallis developed a raw, unmannered style that won him many admirers. While this particular painting is not currently on display, an exhibition of Wallis’s works from the Kettle’s Yard collection is currently on show at the Time and Tide Museum of Great Yarmouth Life. 8. L.S. Lowry, Going to the Match, 1953. The Professional Footballers’ Association (on display at Tate Britain) This classic cityscape won a Football Association art competition in 1953, which surprised L.S.Lowry, who wasn’t aware that he had been entered. The painting shows crowds of fans flocking to Burnden Park to watch a Bolton Wanderers match, and was praised by the PFA for capturing ‘the heart and soul of the game’. It is currently on show at Tate Britain’s Lowry retrospective, The Painting of Modern Life. 9. James Whistler, Nocturne: Blue and Gold – Battersea Bridge, c.1872–5. Tate Britain, London  Though born in America, James Whistler adopted London as his home in his mid-20s and spent the rest of his life working in the British capital until his death in 1903. Although Whistler struggled to gain acceptance in England – John Ruskin compared his exhibition to ‘flinging a pot of paint in the public’s face’ – he was embraced by the country’s national collections when the Art Fund helped acquire Nocturne: Blue and Gold for the Tate Collection in 1905. 10. Cornelia Parker, Cold Dark Matter: An Exploded View, 1991. Tate Collection Originally created for the Chisenhale Gallery in East London, this installation saw Parker employing the services of the British army to blow up a garden shed, then reassembling the pieces within a room as if freezing the explosion in time. The resulting work, hung with a lightbulb at the centre as though recreating the moment of detonation, fills the surrounding room with dancing shadows. Which is your favourite? Join the debate on twitter or Facebook #arteverywhere $test =
  • Sneakerpedia Spotlight on Dave White

    Don’t miss this great interview with our favourite contemporary Pop artist Dave White; he talks exclusively to an online sneaker community about his diehard sneaker collection. Dedicated to celebrating popular culture, Dave White pioneered the movement known as ‘sneaker art’ in 2002. This ....
    Don’t miss this great interview with our favourite contemporary Pop artist Dave White; he talks exclusively to an online sneaker community about his diehard sneaker collection. Dedicated to celebrating popular culture, Dave White pioneered the movement known as ‘sneaker art’ in 2002. This interesting little interview features some fascinating shots of White’s studio as well as an insight into some incredible charcoal works from his celebrated ‘Natural Selection’ series. Hear his genuine enthusiasm for design classics – from Coke bottles to Air Force 1 trainers. Part II coming soon… View all Dave White prints View Sneakerpedia Spotlight on Dave White Part II $test =
  • artrepublic at Buy Art Fair 2013: Original, Affordable, Unmissable

    artrepublic are returning to the North of England, bringing the experience of our Brighton and London galleries to this year’s even bigger Buy Art Fair in Manchester from 26th –29th September 2013.  Click here to register for FREE tickets online Cel....
    artrepublic are returning to the North of England, bringing the experience of our Brighton and London galleries to this year’s even bigger Buy Art Fair in Manchester from 26th –29th September 2013.  Click here to register for FREE tickets online Celebrating its 6th year, the North’s leading art buying event will return to Spinningfields in Manchester alongside its sister event, The Manchester Contemporary, making it one of the largest art fairs outside London. This is a fantastic opportunity to get a close up view of our collectable prints. We are particularly looking forward to welcoming customers who haven’t visited either of our galleries before and to giving a taste of the high quality art we have available with our expert advice. Come along to booth 84 and see our best pieces in the flesh. We will have incredible works by Dave White, Banksy, Mr Brainwash, Damien Hirst, Pure Evil, Sir Peter Blake and Dolk to name but a few. We will also be bringing some exciting rare pieces and one-offs. Buy Art Fair offers a relaxed atmosphere for art enthusiasts to see and buy the latest, affordable and original art. Following previous success and a growing reputation the event now attracts over 5,000 people from across the North of England, ranging from first time buyers to collectors and curators.  This year’s 3 day fair will bring together over 70 galleries showing the work of over 500 established and popular artists with a wide selection of original work including paintings, sculpture and drawings as well as limited edition prints. With FREE tours, a café bar, live music, and activity packs for children it’s a really great day out. Prices will range from £50-£5,000, so there really is art for everyone! OPENING TIMES: Thursday 26 September - Invitation only preview night - 5pm - 9pm Friday 27 September - Open to the public - 11am - 7pm Saturday 28 September -  Open to the public - 11am - 6pm  Sunday 29 September - Open to the public - 11am - 5pm TICKET INFORMATION: Free Entry! Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult and children under 2 must be in a pram or pushchair. A free catalogue will be available at the door which will list all the galleries and artists taking part in the fair. Find artrepublic at booth 84! Follow us on twitter and facebook or visit the Buy Art Fair Manchester website for all of the latest art fair  news and details artzine your guide to everything that's happening in the art world  $test =
  • Now You're Talking: Cosmo Sarson's Olympic Mural

    Our new artist Cosmo Sarson created an impressive 45m-long and 4m-high mural for the Olympics Games in Windsor last year. The painting, under Elizabeth Bridge, is a monochrome montage of 16 faces. Now it has become the first audio interactive mural thanks to an augmented reality smartphone....
    Our new artist Cosmo Sarson created an impressive 45m-long and 4m-high mural for the Olympics Games in Windsor last year. The painting, under Elizabeth Bridge, is a monochrome montage of 16 faces. Now it has become the first audio interactive mural thanks to an augmented reality smartphone app. A free app plays video and audio clips when pointed at the 16 faces on the street art piece. The clips feature voices of East Berkshire Performing Arts students and address modern attitudes towards young people. Dan Eastmond, managing director of Firestation Arts and Culture, which commissioned project, said “I believe it’s the world’s first talking mural.” The project is being supported by the Berkshire County Blind Society, whose director explained, “The video and audio has brought the art to life, literally and figuratively.” From his 28ft mural of Jesus breakdancing to talking urban portraits, Cosmo Sarson is pushing boundaries and making more than just sound waves! View all Cosmo Sarson prints View our Cosmo Sarson biography $test =
  • Ben Allen Revamps Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Cornwall

    artrepublic artist Ben Allen is proud to announce an exciting new project! He has been working on a major mural at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, in Cornwall, where he is now based.  Ben Allen is getting on board to try and convey the restaurant’s message that “we....
    artrepublic artist Ben Allen is proud to announce an exciting new project! He has been working on a major mural at Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen restaurant, in Cornwall, where he is now based.  Ben Allen is getting on board to try and convey the restaurant’s message that “we’re not just a restaurant” because of Jamie Oliver’s unique and acclaimed Apprentice Programme. Ben’s challenging task is to create a completely unique artwork that incorporates messages about the Apprentice Programme.  You can follow the project on Fifteen Cornwall’s blog, where they will be showing the progress of the artwork and publishing interviews with Ben, apprentices and staff. We’re looking forward to admiring some contemporary art over dinner... View all Ben Allen prints Visit Jamie Oliver Fifteen's blog $test =
  • £3 Warhol listed on eBay for £1.25 million

    It is every investors dream - making 416,666% on your initial investment; and that is exactly the potential for one art enthusiast who spotted a little drawing in a jumble sale and then discovered its potential... A man who bought what is thought to be an original Andy Warhol drawing at a jumble....
    It is every investors dream - making 416,666% on your initial investment; and that is exactly the potential for one art enthusiast who spotted a little drawing in a jumble sale and then discovered its potential... A man who bought what is thought to be an original Andy Warhol drawing at a jumble sale for £3 has put it for sale on eBay – with bids starting at a princely £1.25m. The buyer in question, on a trip to Las Vegas, US, picked up a collection of unidentified sketches in Las Vegas with experts now saying one of them was a previously unknown drawing by Pop Art legend Andy Warhol. The pencil and graphite sketch has been formally valued at £1.3m, but the potential value could well be worth up to 10 times that. The pencil and graphite drawing is thought to have been done by Warhol in the late 1930s when he was ten or eleven and is of singer and actor Rudy Vallee. If genuine, it is argued that the birth of Pop Art as we know it would shift back by almost two decades and show Warhol was already doing it in childhood. However, pivotally, the sketch was not officially ratified by the Warhol Authentication Board before it disbanded. “I’ve had experts from Sotheby’s and Bonhams who are convinced it is original, without a shadow of doubt. But without an official authentication boards’ approval they are reluctant to speak publicly. I think it is an incredibly important work. When I first found it, I sent it to the Andy Warhol Authentication Board, who wrote their unique number in the corner. They sent it back to me saying they did not have enough evidence to support the fact it could be real. But it’s important to note that when they have the slightest doubt about a piece they simply stamp ‘denied’ on it in red letters. This was not the case with this picture.” The work was picked up at a sale of property that belonged to a man who said his aunt had been a friend and carer of the young Warhol.  The drawing is now on eBay – item number 350844410846 – with a starting bid of £1.25m and if it sells what an investment that'll turn out to be! If you are interested in the investment potential of art and would like further information or to discuss the artists and artwork that we have available in the gallery please call +44 (0)20 7240 7909 or email soho@artrepublic.com artzine your guide to everything that's happening in the art world  $test =

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