Monthly Archives: May 2014

  • Aroe: Artist Interview

    Aroe is an insane graffiti writer based in Brighton who creates unbelievable free-hand pieces all over the world, from Russia to Egypt, Malaysia and Columbia. We’ve just released two exclusive new prints by him and seen his work adorning our Urban Artfest venue so we thought it wa....
    Aroe is an insane graffiti writer based in Brighton who creates unbelievable free-hand pieces all over the world, from Russia to Egypt, Malaysia and Columbia. We’ve just released two exclusive new prints by him and seen his work adorning our Urban Artfest venue so we thought it was about time we pinned down this spray painting maverick! When did you start painting? 1983. How did you get into it? Remember back in the olden days when there were only like 2 channels on TV? I lived in the era of the best fads like skate boarding came out and then BMXs came out and then one night me and my brother were watching Top of the Pops, like everyone else was, and the ‘Buffalo Gals’ by Malcolm McLaren video came on and it had graffiti in it, it had break dancing and everything. Me and my brother were just mesmerized by it. The next day we all went back to school and of course everyone was like, “Did you see it? Oh my God what was that? What was that thing where they were pulling the records back forth?” Everyone that day was either a break dancer or a graffiti writer. Because if I’m interested in something I’ll just do it, I’m not going to sit around and wait; I went out and got some paint. On Saturday morning we got paint and all did pieces around where we lived. They were all terrible! There were no legal places because graffiti didn’t really exist before. So it was pretty mental! Pieces just appeared everywhere over that week and over the next few weeks. They were all terrible but there were kids across the whole of England doing it because everyone had watched Top of the Pops. It all spread really quickly across England. Did you do it anonymously? Yeah, you had to. It was the main reason that I moved to Brighton eventually. Once I’d been done for graffiti, once I’d been prosecuted for it, the police then assumed that every time there was any graffiti done it was done by me. Also once the fad died out (by ’85-86 hip hop was dead) if you were into hip hop around where we lived everyone thought you were a weirdo. By the early ‘90s I came here [Brighton] one night, I’d never been before, and within 10 days I moved here. I just thought this is a place for young people so I moved here. And it just changed everything. The environment here is just much more geared to people and people doing what they want. Click here to purchase a print of this image Is graffiti your obsession? It isn’t everything, I’m not a weirdo. But if you want to be good at something you’ve got to be really into it haven’t you? You’ve got to really focus on it. I’ve got mates who’ve got nothing to do with graffiti because I think it’s good to have a break from it. But when I’m painting I’m all about painting. I think tenacity and sticking to what you intend to do is the most important thing. I like to start at the point that other people are satisfied and then I have to excel upon any level of achievement they set. If someone says “I’m going to do this piece on Sunday”, I’ll say “Yeah, cool, I did a piece on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.” Do you think you’re competitive? Yes, super competitive. Anyone who does graffiti is competitive. If they tell you they’re not they’re lying. And anyone who says they don’t do graffiti for the fame is lying. It is interesting because you’ve got to balance this really tough game where you want the fame and you want to notoriety and the kudos but you’ve also got to earn that in a way that you’re sought after by the police and by the authorities. You’ve got to balance it so you don’t get nicked. I think I’ve been very lucky and fluky in the way I’ve done it. I was incredibly wanted to by the police. I’m not antagonistic and I don’t enjoy that side of it but I’m also not willing to stop doing what I’m doing. I’m not going to compromise my integrity to do what I want to do. I want to a graffiti writer that I would be jealous of. What have you risked for graffiti? I’ve risked everything. I’ve risked losing my house, I’ve risked losing my family; I’ve risked everything. But you know, without risk there’s no reward. Nothing good is easy. You’ve painted all over the world haven’t you? Yes and I still paint trains actively in other countries. I still do illegal graffiti across the world. I do illegal graffiti because I think it’s more important than legal graffiti. It’s not in a confrontational way I just think it should make you question things. I’m not trying to be antagonistic and I’m not trying to be mean I just want to do painting wherever I want to do it. If I’m going to do a painting for an art gallery it will be a variant of something that I’ve done on the street or I’ve done on a train. When I go and paint trains in foreign countries I always try and paint something that’s going to capture the public’s eye. Once we painted these trains near Venice and we did these big burners but I painted ET in the front of Elliott’s bike and suddenly everyone in the station stopped and was looking at it. It was the first time I’d ever seen the public taking note of graffiti because they could see it was ET. I just thought, there it is, you’ve got to paint for the public. I’ve gone on and on trying to find the most ridiculous things I can paint that are iconic on the side of trains. I did a series of paintings of Grace Jones. Instead of there being a sketch on a piece of paper for inspiration, the inspiration for them ran around Italy [on a train] and got washed off in a bowl of acid and is now in a puddle on the floor. Whatever painting I’ve done the initial draft of it was done in the dark on a train. I just think that’s ten times cooler. What’s your motivation? My motivation is to do stuff that makes people think ‘f**k I wish I’d done that or that’s sick’. I try to paint the most complicated, most new, weirdest idea in the most unusual places. Life is full of miserable shit why do you want to look at people complaining about capitalism or this or that? I don’t care. I want to look at something that’s beautiful. Are you inspired by other artists?  A lot of my thing is that I look at other people’s paintings and think ‘Oh f**k me that’s good, I’ve got to really step up’. A lot of guys my age have already set in their ways and gone ‘that’s it graffiti’s got to look like this’ and they keep pedalling out the same old shit. I can’t do that, I’ve got to change all of the time. The next kings are already here doing graffiti you’ve just got to try and hold them down. Once a young person has taken over you’ve got to play catch up. Playing catch up when you’re older is much harder so you need to stay ahead of the curve. It’s a game really and if you play the game hard enough you can alter the rules! There are these twins from Serbia called Sobekcis, I’ve got a painting with them on the side Filthy Media. It’s the one with the weird owl looking over the top, it’s on a grey building and it’s pretty mental. It’s one of my favourite paintings. But they are absolutely at the cutting edge or something that’s so revolutionary in graffiti that if you don’t recognise that you’re going to get left behind instantly. There are other guys too taking graffiti to another level. Anyone who says it’s all been done is done. Every year new techniques are invented. Graffiti will never die out because of the simplicity of what it is. It is you making something from nothing. You take your name and make it as famous as you can. Here’s the way you should do it – you have to have good style, you have to have good ideas, you have to have good places and you have to have tenacity and nerve and a will to do it. View all Aroe prints Read our blog 'Two New Releases from Graffiti Artist Aroe' View all graffiti prints Image Credits: www.instagram.com/aroemsk Visit our Brighton gallery page artzine your guide to everything that's happening in the art world   $test =
  • Tomorrow will be Ice Scream Weather!

    We’re super excited to announce an exclusive print release tomorrow with Street artist Zeus. ‘Ice Scream’ is a limited edition giclee which will available in four vibrant colour ways, each in an edition of 30 and signed by the artist. These dazzling new prints....
    We’re super excited to announce an exclusive print release tomorrow with Street artist Zeus. ‘Ice Scream’ is a limited edition giclee which will available in four vibrant colour ways, each in an edition of 30 and signed by the artist. These dazzling new prints which are a humorous and political twist on the classic ice-cream cone will be released at midday tomorrow (Friday). This exclusive release is timed to celebrate Zeus’ involvement in our Urban ArtFest. Zeus will be flying in especially on Saturday to LIVE paint at our major Street Art festival. Don’t miss out on these striking new prints or the chance to watch Zeus painting in Brighton this weekend! View all Zeus prints Discover more about our Urban ArtFest $test =
  • Our Brighton Gallery Unmasks New Copyright Street Art

    The exterior wall of our Brighton Gallery is getting a Copyright makeover today ahead of this weekend’s Urban Artfest!  Urban artist Copyright is down from Bristol and whipping up a fresh new street piece to adorn our gallery. The stencil and spray paint wo....
    The exterior wall of our Brighton Gallery is getting a Copyright makeover today ahead of this weekend’s Urban Artfest!  Urban artist Copyright is down from Bristol and whipping up a fresh new street piece to adorn our gallery. The stencil and spray paint work is titled ‘Masquerade’ and depicts a classic monochrome beauty coyly covering her eyes with an opulent, red, Venetian mask. We’re super excited to have Copyright’s signature imagery embellishing our wall!  You can catch Copyright painting LIVE again on Saturday at the Urban Artfest on Circus Street in Brighton. You can also get your hands on a brand new exclusive print by Copyright being released on Friday at midday... ‘Morning Star 13’ is a signed silkscreen hand-finished with spray paint, acrylic and emulsion. Be quick though, it’s a tiny edition of just 13 and Copyright is a sought-after Street Art star! View all Copyright prints Visit artrepublic Brighton Discover more about our Urban Artfest $test =
  • Super Vision: Bonnie and Clyde vs Maria Rivans

    Our sister gallery in London, Lawrence Alkin Gallery, is currently awash with the cool collage aesthetic of two of our favourite artists, Maria Rivans and Bonnie and Clyde. ‘Super Vision’, their first collaborative exhibition, is a magnificent celebration of al....
    Our sister gallery in London, Lawrence Alkin Gallery, is currently awash with the cool collage aesthetic of two of our favourite artists, Maria Rivans and Bonnie and Clyde. ‘Super Vision’, their first collaborative exhibition, is a magnificent celebration of alternate realities, fantastical other-worlds and voyeuristic adventures. Maria Rivans and Bonnie and Clyde kindly took the time to talk us through their spectacular visions... Bonnie and Clyde and Maria Rivans are both known for their mastery of collage, colour and composition. Interestingly, the two contemporary artists discovered and admired each other’s work before they ever actually met each other. Now they get on famously! “We’ve always had a mutual respect”, explains Bonnie and Clyde. “I think we have similar interests”, adds Maria, “we have similar taste in music; we respect similar artists.” ‘Super Vision’ is their first joint show and although they have worked together on many aspects, from the title to the graphics, “we didn’t plan around each other” discloses Bonnie and Clyde. Both artists worked on their own pieces separately and it wasn’t until they came together that the overlapping themes became apparent. No doubt their complimentary visions are a consequence of their similar interests and their shared medium, collage. “We both use collage but in very different ways,” Maria acknowledges.  The overarching themes of the exhibition include Pop culture, film and television. The title and the exhibition graphic, which Bonnie and Clyde created by blending her work with Maria’s to form a suitably surreal and retro television set, both reference the hypnotic phenomenon that is television. “I’ve always used TVs in my work – so have you”, says Maria to Bonnie and Clyde. “I’ve taken pictures from TVs a lot”, she replies. Bonnie and Clyde explains how she knew that she wanted to do a piece of furniture for this show, to return to her 3D design background, and that she had started thinking about the idea of TV dinners and the TV as a piece of furniture. The television is a magnificent metaphor for ‘Super Vision’. The TV set is both a physical object and a magical window into a multitude of two dimensional visions. The static box transports you into parallel universes, forwards and backwards in time, and positions you as the observer interpreting imagery, characters, and narrative. The work of Bonnie and Clyde and Maria Rivans similarly transports you into alternate realities, across continents, through time and into surreal landscapes with an intriguing cast of collaged characters. The journey is a thrilling adventure full colour, sparkle and philosophical thought! The exhibition has been divided over Lawrence Alkin Gallery’s two floors, with Bonnie and Clyde’s work upstairs, Maria Rivans' below, and the staircase offering a superb combination of the two. Upstairs you can see brand new work by Bonnie and Clyde including, for the first time, sculpture and neon! The sculpture is a three-dimensional retro television set complete with a slowly moving screen which rotates a hypnotic cyclical collage. “I’d been thinking about doing it for a long time and it seemed to make sense for this show”, says Bonnie and Clyde. “To make the image work the whole way through was tricky”, but clearly incredibly successful because it’s a thoroughly captivating piece.   View 'Bonnie and Clyde TV: Super Vision' on the Lawrence Alkin Gallery website The majority of Bonnie and Clyde’s work stems from a trip she took to LA and a general feeling of wanderlust, “I fell in love with the Modernist houses in Venice Beach and the colours and vibe of the neighbourhood.” However, she is also presenting her very first depiction of London in ‘High Life High Wire’, an original mixed media collage on wood with neon and screen-print. Even though Bonnie and Clyde has spent a lot of time in London, living there as a student, she confesses “I think I treated it again like an observer; like a visitor.” With her cool and discerning detachment she depicts the South Bank, sky scrapers piercing the clouds, a vivid blue hot tub, and a missing plane. Like the typerope walker the elevated city appears equally spectacular and perilous. We can only wonder where climbing the glittering neon ladder with our ‘jackpots’ will take us... View 'High Life, High Wire' on the Lawrence Alkin Gallery website Bonnie and Clyde cleverly creates thought-provoking landscapes and scenes rich with intrigue throughout the show – will the woman answer the phone in ‘Will Call’? She explains how each piece has “Different layers of meaning. I think you can see different things on different days.” Her keen interests in architecture and psychogeography (the emotional response to a building or place) are easily discernible, as is her continuing fascination with street photography, but there are also subtle and sensitive layers of humour, grit and romance. In the collage ‘Life’ you can spot a photograph of a couple in colourful jackets. The photograph is a perfect example of Bonnie Clyde’s ability to poignantly capture the beauty and idiosyncrasies of people and cities. “They were looking at the car park with their backs to the ocean,” remembers Bonnie and Clyde, “I use a lot of my photos in my work. I travel and take snapshots of life from the streets that I'm visiting.” At ‘Super Vision’ we see these snap shots coming together to form joyful and profound visions.   View 'Life' on the Lawrence Alkin Gallery website The work of Maria Rivans is similarly multifarious, “I think my work is humorous and frivolous when you first look at it. But when you look at it more you realise it’s more philosophical,” says Maria. Ostensibly downstairs at the Lawrence Alkin Gallery is brimming with beautiful Hollywood movie stars, extravagant headdresses, jewels, fauna, and surreal landscapes. On closer inspection you realise you have been drawn into Maria’s intricate and fascinating world of female inventors, explorers and scientists, Hitchcock characters and illuminated 19th century engravings. “The fun element is an important element” explains Maria Rivans, but this new work also explores deeper themes such as feminism, psychology, and the nature of modern day news. ‘Ms Lovelace’, for example, is a fabulous portrait of Joan Collins with her big blue eyes but it is named after ‘Ada Lovelace’ who was the daughter of Lord Byron. “She wrote a science paper in 1943 that anticipated the development software called Ada”, explains Maria, “She became the first computer programmer.” Maria’s collages highlight and celebrate the diverse achievements women have made, both those that have been recognized on the silver screen and those which have been unjustly written out of history. “I feel empowered myself and I think it’s really coming through,” says Maria. View 'Ms Lovelace' on the Lawrence Alkin Gallery website Much of Maria’s imagery stems from her childhood, “growing up with my mum watching black and white films.” “I loved sci-fi”, she explains. English film director Alfred Hitchcock has been a major influence on her work for the show. Several pieces such as ‘Bodega Bay’, ‘Brilliant Minds I’ and ‘Victims of Circumstance’ are inspired by Hitchcock’s iconic 1963 film ‘The Birds’. “I’ve been playing at re-writing scripts and re-creating characters”, says Maria, highlighting the strong narrative nature of her new work.  The intricacy and technical skill involved in Maria’s collages is astonishing. “I collect things and often the things I find will direct my pieces”, she discloses when discussing her method of appropriating sourced vintage ephemera. The sources for ‘Super Vision’ vary from 1940’s French magazines, to 60’s and 70’s educational pamphlets and an 1883 engraving. She discovered illustrations of gem stones in a vintage magazine which led to her original paper collage ‘Stella.’ “I think it comes from when I was jeweller”, says Maria reflecting on her attraction to the gems and her habit of collecting and archiving printed treasures.     View 'Stella' on the Lawrence Alkin Gallery website ‘Super Vision’ sees both artists pushing collage to exciting new heights, from Bonnie and Clyde’s textural visions on wood, to Maria’s intricate visions in paper and diamond dust. This exhibition is a delightful invitation to stop and view our beautiful, joyful and idiosyncratic world as seen through the eyes of two talented and philosophical artists. Turn off your TV and get down there! View all Bonnie and Clyde prints View all Maria Rivans Read our article 'In the Studio with Bonnie and Clyde' artzine your guide to everything that's happening in the art world $test =
  • Don't Miss Our Urban ArtFest Sat 31st May

    At last the week of the Urban ArtFest is upon us! It’s the final week of Brighton Fringe 2014 and this year we're going bigger and better than ever before, presenting an exclusive LIVE Street Art festival. The massive Urban Art event will be the ultimate finale to one of the world’s largest fri....
    At last the week of the Urban ArtFest is upon us! It’s the final week of Brighton Fringe 2014 and this year we're going bigger and better than ever before, presenting an exclusive LIVE Street Art festival. The massive Urban Art event will be the ultimate finale to one of the world’s largest fringe festivals. Offering a glimpse into the graffiti methods and street art skills of some of the UK’s top artists, the Artfest is going to be a massive destination for art fans and the culturally curious alike. You can expect insane LIVE art from the likes of Pure Evil, Copyright, RYCA, David Walker, Carne Griffiths, Hutch, Zeus, Jimmy Crayon, The Thomas Brothers, Dylan Floyd, Cassette Lord & Gemma Compton. Pure Evil and RYCA will both be live printing at the venue – a vacant, industrial, undercover market in Circus Street Brighton; and Copyright will be releasing a brand new limited edition print on the day! As well as spray painting, printing and stencilling, Urban ArtFest will offer live urban music, dance performances, and food vendors. Not to mention the opportunity to buy sought-after prints out the back of a van, the artrepublic van that is! This is a non-ticketed, totally free event – don’t miss it! Read more in our article View all Street Art prints $test =
  • Two New Releases from Graffiti Artist Aroe

    We’re super excited to announce the release of two exclusive new prints by longstanding graffiti maverick Aroe. The Brighton based artist with international kudos, has returned to his early inspirations in these brand new prints – the roots of graffiti and 70’s cool, and American hip hop band....
    We’re super excited to announce the release of two exclusive new prints by longstanding graffiti maverick Aroe. The Brighton based artist with international kudos, has returned to his early inspirations in these brand new prints – the roots of graffiti and 70’s cool, and American hip hop band the Beastie Boys. “Everything I do is in some way a nod to the history of graffiti,” explains Aroe when describing ‘Ink Panther’. The limited edition print is a testament to the deep and fascinating history of graffiti as well as the artists who risked their freedom purely for the sake of art. The Pink Panther represents the early tradition of replacing vowels in a tag with characters, “I think the Pink Panther is cool, he’s always been cool. He’s an iconic image within graffiti.” You might recognise this piece from the walls of the Grand Parade in Brighton.  ‘Licensed to Skill’, as the title wittily suggests, is a tribute to the Beastie Boys and their 1986 album ‘Licensed to Ill’. The print is of a photograph of Aroe painting his iconic 12ft by 68ft mural in Oxford Place, Brighton. The graffiti piece recreates the full album cover image of a Boeing 727 crashing head-on into the side of a mountain like a snubbed out cigarette. Aroe created the plane after Beastie Boy Adam ‘MCA’ Yauch sadly passed away from cancer in 2012. Images of the work were used in Rolling Stone’s obituary and went viral overnight. Aroe, who was heavily influenced by the band in the 80’s, describes the print as “My memorial, paying my respect to the Beastie Boys.”  View all Aroe prints View all Graffiti prints $test =
  • Peter Blake's Studio Featured in the Daily Mail

    Last week the Daily Mail online published a feature on the God father of British Pop’s west London studio, Peter Blake’s “haven”. The piece centres on Blake’s six most cherished items in the eclectic collection he’s compiled in his magical studio space. ....
    Last week the Daily Mail online published a feature on the God father of British Pop’s west London studio, Peter Blake’s “haven”. The piece centres on Blake’s six most cherished items in the eclectic collection he’s compiled in his magical studio space. The objects include midget Tom Thumb’s boots from Barnum’s circus in the 1850s, Ian Dury’s rhythm stick, legendary wrestler Kendo Nagasaki’s mask, a cardboard cut-out of music hall performer Max Miller used in the Sgt Pepper album cover, and a hat worn by Douglas Fairbanks in the 1922 silent film ‘The Adventures of Robin Hood’. Blake also picked his ’75 Years of The Beano’ collage, which was the only piece of his own work to be highlighted, saying “The funny this is that as a child I didn’t read The Beano, my comic was Film Fun”.   Peter Blake has been in his two-storey studio since 1967. It’s just round the corner from where he lives with his wife Chrissy and he still works in it most days. In the article Blake muses, “Maybe Chrissy and our daughter Rose, who’s a graphic artist, will turn it into a museum.” The feature is a wonderful peek into the creative working space of the beloved  British cultural grandee.  View all Peter Blake prints Visit the Daily Mail feature Image Credit: www.dailymail.co.uk $test =
  • The artrepublic Flower Show 2014

    In honour of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show we are once again holding our very own celebration of bloom and flora! Visit the artrepublic Flower Show to see the finest floral depictions in art and decide for yourself which artist deserves the ‘Best in Show’ prize....
    In honour of the RHS Chelsea Flower Show we are once again holding our very own celebration of bloom and flora! Visit the artrepublic Flower Show to see the finest floral depictions in art and decide for yourself which artist deserves the ‘Best in Show’ prize… Because of their varied and colourful appearance and their association with nature, life and decay, flowers have long been a favourite subject of visual artists. Some of the most celebrated paintings in art history are of flowers, such as Vincent Van Gogh’s sunflowers series and Claude Monet’s water lilies.  Apparently the first flower to be used in ancient art was the lotus. It is found on many Egyptian tombs as well as in sculptures from some of the oldest dynasties. Remains of fresco paintings depicting gardens full of flowers were found in the city of Pompeii revealing the Ancient Romans’ fancy for floral art.  Perhaps the most revered flowers in western art are those in 16th and 7th century Dutch and Flemish still-life paintings. However, Modern Art is also replete with floral imagery - from Georgia O’Keeffe’s feminist flowers to Andy Warhol’s Pop Art posies and Egon Schiele’s decaying sunflowers. This year has been no exception as our artists’ fascination with flowers continues... Here’s our pick of this year’s best bloom in art: Copyright This year Copyright accelerated his ever-blossoming art career with a blooming lovely exhibition at our sister gallery, Lawrence Alkin Gallery. ‘One Red Rose Forever’ centred on Copyright’s longstanding Street Art motif, the rose.  “I started with the rose image about 11 years ago”, explained Copyright. Back then the roses were mostly monochrome and speedily sprayed on the streets, this year they were beautifully hand-painted on canvas in tonal pinks and greens.  Prize: Best Urban Art Floral Bruce McLean This year Scottish painter Bruce McLean has had a storming success with his dynamic floral creations. His perfectly balanced compositions with their abstract quality offered us a garden of tranquillity and serenity. ‘Tall Dutch Tulips’ and ‘Tulbaghia’, an herbaceous perennial bulb native to Africa, have been a real highlight at this year’s show.  Prize: 1st Place in Bold British Bloom   Carne Griffiths Find faces in the flowers and flowers in the faces... Carne Griffiths is well known for his delicate and intricate images which explore both human and floral forms, figuratively and in an abstract sense. He is fascinated by the flow of line and the “invisible lines” that connect us to the natural world. His collection of portraits beautifully captures the form and fragility of flora.  Prize: Posy Portraiture Award Maria Rivans Who says gardens can’t be cinematic? Collage artist Maria Rivans creates wonderfully surreal landscapes inspired by iconic sci-fi films and appropriated retro ephemera. ‘Natural Highs I’ is a marvellous surreal vision created from scavenged vintage printed material. Behold the giant white rose, enigmatic beech trees and peculiar sea anemones all flourishing in purple-hued harmony.  ‘Natural Highs II’ is an equally spectacular cultivation complete with giant mushrooms, cacti and orchids. The exotic plants, recreated in Hitchcock’s Technicolor, are clearly a joy to behold for all of the check-shirt-clad family.  Price: Botanic Surrealist of the Year  Magda Archer Never mind watering the flowers, “I like to concentrate so hard my eyes are watering”, says artist and illustrator Magda Archer. Her Surreal-Pop creations are this year’s most kitsch and eccentric blooms. In ‘Please Go Away’ inviting, bright pink, glittering blossoms are juxtaposed with Archer’s antagonistic expression “please go away”.  Prize: 1st Place in Kitsch Bouquet Kozyndan Committed naturalists and ocean enthusiasts Kozyndan claim, “Nature is always more amazing than anything we can produce.”  This husband and wife artistic duo is deeply inspired by the natural world. Flowers feature heavily in both ‘Hunters: Charks an Kittehs’ and ‘Vegans: Manatees n’ Bunnies’.  In ‘Vegans: Manatees n’ Bunnies’ gentle manatees float through a sea of blue hydrangeas with fluffy bunnies balanced on their backs. In ‘Hunters: Charks an Kittehs’ vibrant pink carnations offer a perfect backdrop for a swarm of voracious killers. Both prints explore our relationship with the natural world and draw attention to species extinction.  Prize: 1st Place in Environmental Preservation Marc Quinn “I work with flowers the whole time but usually the ones I work with aren’t alive,” said Marc Quinn. This pigment printing contemporary artist has turned to the natural world to explore his interests in genetic modification, hybridism and modern technology.  Marc Quinn uses scientific knowledge to transform the flower into a meditation on how the conflict between the ‘natural’ and ‘cultural’ has taken a grip on the contemporary psyche. He truly is the space-age gardener of the art world.  Prize: Best Hybrid Horticulturalist   $test =
  • Selfies and the History of Self Portraiture

    We live in an age of addictive self-portraiture, increasingly known as the ‘age of the selfie’. With our new discount on hundreds of portraits, many of which are self-portraits, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the changing genre of self-portraiture. Here....
    We live in an age of addictive self-portraiture, increasingly known as the ‘age of the selfie’. With our new discount on hundreds of portraits, many of which are self-portraits, we’ve decided to take a closer look at the changing genre of self-portraiture. Here’s our pick of our favourite selfies from art history... The selfie is a smartphone produced version of a self-portrait, which has been a staple of art history. It was in 2010 that the iPhone 4 launched with a front-facing camera and the golden age of the selfie was born. Now ‘Selfie’ has been declared by Oxford Dictionaries as their ‘2013 Word of the Year’ and we’ve seen the likes of David Cameron, Barack Obama and even the pope participating in the photographic craze. American art critic Jerry Saltz has written of the selfie, “It’s something like art. They have a certain intensity and they’re starting to record that people are the photographers of modern life.” So is the selfie the latest development in the long and fascinating history of self portraiture? Portraiture was pioneered by the Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, but James Hall, author of ‘The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History’, argues that a coherent starting point for self-portraiture is the middle ages, “because it was an age preoccupied with personal salvation and self-scrutiny.” As the 16th century approached, artists began putting themselves more in the picture, physically, socially and stylistically. By this time portraiture had become more naturalistic and more concerned with the individual. During the Renaissance the genre benefitted from the ‘heroism’ of the artist and became truly popular with the increased wealth and interest in individuality.  “In the 20th Century, the act of self-portraiture turns nasty and neurotic, a form of self-abuse,” writes Peter Conrad in his review of ‘The Self Portrait: A Cultural History’. The ‘heroism’ of the artist gave way to a self-conscious scrutiny of the artist’s odd individuality. Now self portraiture, including selfies, has arguably become the defining visual genre of our confessional age. Here’s a quick run through our favourite self portraitists (we’ve refrained from including Kim Kardashian and her infamous ‘belfie’). From Albrecht Durer to Cindy Sherman, these artworks are proof that “the pursuit of the elusive self, it seems, never ends.”  Albrecht Durer German artist Albrecht Durer was arguably the first master of the self-portrait. Although he wasn’t the first artist to produce a self-portrait, he can be arguably claimed to be the first artist that returned to this subject matter throughout his career. In the first half of his life, Durer created a series of exquisite self-portraits. The earliest was drawn in silverpoint in 1484, when he was just 13 years old. In these images Durer constructs or ‘fashions’ his identity as an artist.  Rembrandt van Rijn Rembrant van Rijn did the same a century and a half later. He created nearly 100 self-portraits during his lifetime including approximately 50 paintings, 32 etchings and 7 drawings over a span of forty years. Many of the paintings show him posing in quasi-historical fancy dress, or pulling faces at himself. Interestingly, the portraits reflect something of Rembrant’s changing fortunes (personal and financial difficulties) and confirm his remarkable creative energy even amidst personal crisis.  Vincent van Gogh  Vincent van Gogh painted over 30 self-portraits between 1886 and 1889. His collection places him among the most prolific self-portraits of all time. Like the old masters, van Gogh observed himself critically in a mirror. With fierce expressiveness he created self portraits with intensity an immediacy that revealed something inner to the outside world in the most vivid possible way.  Van Gogh wrote to his sister: "I am looking for a deeper likeness than that obtained by a photographer." And later to his brother: "People say, and I am willing to believe it, that it is hard to know yourself. But it is not easy to paint yourself, either. The portraits painted by Rembrandt are more than a view of nature, they are more like a revelation".  Egon Schiele One of the leading figures of Austrian Expressionism, Egon Schiele, created self portraits that were searing explorations of his psyche and sexuality. Schiele’s self-portraits helped to re-establish the vitality to the genre with their unprecedented level of emotional and sexual directness. He used figural distortion in place of conventional notions of beauty and even removed the picture’s background to annul any distraction that could compete with the ‘permanent me’. Frida Kahlo  Mexican artists Frida Kahlo is best known for her self-portraits. Following a terrible accident, Kahlo spent many years bedridden with only herself for a model. Self portraits such as ‘The Broken Column’, which represents her spine as a shattered stone column, were metaphors for Kahlo’s pain. Her self portraits not only dealt with her physical and psychological suffering but also chronicled her turbulent relationship with fellow artist Diego Rivera. Her iconic self-portraits poignantly depict both her isolation and indomitable spirit and sense of self.  Andy Warhol Throughout Andy Warhol’s career his own self-image was perhaps the most pervasive, both his self-portraits and those photographers snapped. His photo-booth style self portraits of the 1960’s gave way to other explorations of the self in the 70’s and 80’s. “Like I always wanted Tab Hunter to play me in a story of my life--people would be much happier imagining that I was as handsome as Allen [Midgette] and Tab were. I mean, the real Bonnie and Clyde sure didn’t look like Faye [Dunaway] and Warren [Beatty]. Who wants the truth? That’s what show business is for--to prove that it’s not what you are that counts, it’s what they think you are.” (Andy Warhol, ‘Popism’) Jean-Michel Basquiat  Self-taught artist Jean-Michel Basquiat created brutal self-portraits which were quintessential examples of his ferocious style. Brimming with life and immediacy, they record an almost crippling self-consciousness. Basquiat’s self portraits are allegories of his troubled status caught between communities in a web of expectations.  “Basquiat’s canon revolves around single heroic figures: athletes prophets, warriors, cops, musicians, kings and the artist himself.” (Kellie Jones, ‘Lost in Translation: Jean-Michel in the (Re)Mix’) Cindy Sherman Starting in the late 70’s, American art photographer Cindy Sherman began using herself as her primary subject. Masquerading as a myriad of characters she invents personas and tableaus that examine the construction of identity. By creating images of herself she explores social role-playing and sexual stereotypes. Credits & Image credits: Jerry Saltz, ‘Art at Arm’s Length: A History of the Selfie’ www.vulture.com Frances Spalding, ‘The Self-Portrait: A Cultural History [by James Hall] – review’ www.theguardian.com Wendy Rodewald-Sulz ‘A History of the Selfie’ www.beautyblitz.com Peter Conrad, ‘The Self Portrait: A Cultural History review – ‘enthralling’’ www.theguardian.com  ‘The Artist in the Mirror’ www.theartwolf.com  artrepublic Pinterest $test =
  • Japan Meet RYCA...

    Street artist RYCA and his many smiley faces have been spotted in the Japanese metropolis Tokyo. Going global with his distinctive blend of cult Star Wars imagery, acid house iconography and fantastic plastic toys, RYCA has created two Street Art pieces and presented an emblematic solo show title....
    Street artist RYCA and his many smiley faces have been spotted in the Japanese metropolis Tokyo. Going global with his distinctive blend of cult Star Wars imagery, acid house iconography and fantastic plastic toys, RYCA has created two Street Art pieces and presented an emblematic solo show titled ‘A New Hope’.  One of the street pieces was a recreation of ‘Choose Your Droid – Blue’ on a giant stretched banner in Harajuku, a district in Shibuya, Tokyo. The second was another brilliant RYCA twist on a classic Star Wars character – a vivid pink and yellow AT-ST (All Terrain Scout Transport) wallpaper. We are super excited to see RYCA originals hitting the Japanese streets and for all Japanese RYCA fans – don’t forget we have free wordwide delivery on all of our prints! View all RYCA prints View all Street Art prints $test =

1-10 of 15

Page:
  1. 1
  2. 2
Scroll To Top