Monthly Archives: May 2018

  • Drop the beat: renowned photographer Lyle Owerko adds his Boombox series to the mix at artrepublic

    Described by some as a ‘cultural anthropologist’, California-based photojournalist Lyle Owerko documents everything from African tribal culture to overlooked everyday objects, following his curiosity to bring viewers a fresh perspective. If you’ve been watching the Netflix series The De....
    Described by some as a ‘cultural anthropologist’, California-based photojournalist Lyle Owerko documents everything from African tribal culture to overlooked everyday objects, following his curiosity to bring viewers a fresh perspective. If you’ve been watching the Netflix series The Defiant Ones recently, you’ll have an appreciation for the innovators and artists who were intrinsic to the rise of hip-hop. You’ll also be far more aware of the various mediums used to share and market this particular musical and cultural dialogue, including the speakers and headphones that were developed to hear the beats and bass as intended by producers such as Dr. Dre and Jimmy Iovine. photo Chang W. Lee c/o The New York Times But Dre, Beats and Apple are far from the only individuals and brands interested in the hardware and tech associated with the music industry. Artists in other arenas are too. Step up Lyle Owerko – the New York-based photographer and filmmaker who is known for his on-the-ground coverage of the 9/11 attacks on the World Trade Center – his image The Second Plane later graced the cover of TIME magazine – as well as editorial and fine art photographic projects created during his global travels. But that’s not all. Owerko also has a real passion for music, saying ‘I can’t create art – sometimes I can’t even think – unless I have music on.’ For him, a device to play music in his studio or wherever he is working is crucial. And that is where the photographer’s interest in the boombox began. ‘It isn’t just an audio device, it’s an icon of many types of movements,’ he says in the trailer that accompanies his book, The Boombox Project: The Machines, The Music And The Urban Underground. For Owerko, the boombox, aka the ghetto blaster or jam box, is an object of empowerment; it offered a way to open up the dialogue of a generation and brought that quite literally to the streets, not only via hip-hop and rap, but also punk, thrash metal, pop and guitar anthems. This view of the boombox – as an object of rebellion and empowerment – led to Owerko seeking out and documenting a whole host of models from their peak period of use, the 1980s, to form a photographic documentary. And, as we welcome Lyle Owerko into our family of artrepublic artists, we are delighted to be able to share some of these prints with you in the gallery. As the photographer points out, each of these boomboxes has a personality. There is a story attached to every one of them, and no two models are the same. Shot against a plain white backdrop, the tech begins to speak for itself (not quite Transformers style, don’t worry). From the dulled chrome finish and multiple dials of one to the matte-black dual cassette decks and primary-colour highlights of another, each is an example of industrial design and contemporary (1980s) engineering. More than that though, they are – in Owerko’s words – the battle shields of a generation. A boombox declares its owner’s tastes and the urban and musical tribe they associated with. And just like that, you begin to understand the photographer’s interest in them. Each individual boombox holds a story, collectively they contain a history – of technological  innovation as well as of a series of cultural and musical conversations that changed the face of the music industry. You’re not just seeing a chunky, dated tape deck any more, are you? You can thank the curiosity of Lyle Owerko for that. See more of the photos from Owerko’s Boombox Project, and start your own dialogue with our art advisors, in the gallery  or online from 19th May. $test =
  • Big Names In Print: a closer look at Albert Irvin, Joe Tilson and Tess Jaray editions

    Get up to speed on the latest collectable artworks by a range of respected international artists at artrepublic. In the spotlight this week, a trio of British artists: Albert Irvin, Joe Tilson and Tess Jaray. Founded in Leather Market in 1967, Advanced Graphics is now one of London’s longest ru....
    Get up to speed on the latest collectable artworks by a range of respected international artists at artrepublic. In the spotlight this week, a trio of British artists: Albert Irvin, Joe Tilson and Tess Jaray. Founded in Leather Market in 1967, Advanced Graphics is now one of London’s longest running print studios. Specialising in screen printing and woodblock printing, over the past 50 years the studio has worked with some of the biggest names on the British art scene - think Royal Academicians such as Patrick Caulfield and Albert Irvin – to produce print editions. What happens when this technical heritage meets talent? Some pretty special art, that’s what. Capture something of the ‘experience of being in the world’ via the energetic abstract expressionist artwork of Albert Irvin. Colourful and joyful, the British artist’s paintings showcase a highly gestural quality - they are absolutely packed with movement and life. This is not something that was lost in translation between the artist’s paintings and his silkscreen print editions; if anything the quality and vibrancy of the colour palette is even crisper and more distinct in the latter. You can see exactly what we mean with ‘Ranelagh’ and ‘Sangora’ - both from limited editions of 225 and 150 respectively - which showcase an almost Pop-Art-like sensibility. However, rather than locate themselves in a particular era of art history, their bold, bright colours and patterns awaken our senses and bring us firmly into the present. Waking up to see this on the wall would boost your mood instantly we reckon! Other artists draw on the past to create images in the present. Originally associated with the British Pop Art scene of the 1960s and 1970s, Joe Tilson brought more to the movement than his training from St Martin's and the Royal College of Art – he also prided himself on the practical construction skills he gained at Brixton School of Building before the Second World War. This focus on the structural is reflected in the block-coloured stacked form at the centre of ‘Ziggurat’, which was inspired by the massive stepped stone structures built in ancient Mesopotamia. Tilson simplified the form back to a tiered pyramid shape to create this limited edition print (in a run of 300), which is one in a series of the same name. Each image in the Ziggurat series – which has been featured in exhibitions at galleries that range from Britain’s Tate to New York’s MoMA – explores the same central form but with a different approach each time. With its bold blocks of colour, this Tilson print is a Pop Art era classic and a shrewd addition to any modern art collection. Another influential figure in the British art scene with a preoccupation with the built environment, painter and printmaker Tess Jaray has spent much of her career investigating the effects of geometry, pattern, repetition and colour on space. The terrazzo floor designed by Jaray for mainline train station London Victoria, is just one example of how the artist has made her mark on familiar public spaces. Make a mark on your own space with one (or both) of Jaray’s silkscreen prints, such as ‘Citadel Dark’ and ‘Citadel Light’ – currently both available at artrepublic. Each from a limited edition of just 25, these artworks show exactly how Jaray has brought the Pop Art sensibility into the 21st century. Channelling her fascination with geometric forms that recur in architecture throughout history, Jaray creates soft zig-zag lines in the vertical panels of the two prints, confounding the viewer’s expectation of flat harmony. Introduce a little of the British Pop Art aesthetic into your home with these rare limited editions. Drop by our Brighton gallery and speak to one of our art advisors or, if you’re not local, check out these artists' work online at artrepublic.com.   $test =
  • Back Once Again: the Art Yard Sale at Brighton Fringe Festival

    From street artists to selling art on the streets of Brighton, close out your Festival experience at this year’s Art Yard Sale. The Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe Festival 2018 may have only just started, but if we know anything about these two annual arts events - which are among the bigg....
    From street artists to selling art on the streets of Brighton, close out your Festival experience at this year’s Art Yard Sale. The Brighton Festival and Brighton Fringe Festival 2018 may have only just started, but if we know anything about these two annual arts events - which are among the biggest in the UK - it’s this: they fly by. You barely get your hands on the programmes and circle the things you want to see, before the tickets for all the art, comedy, theatre and family events have flown out the doors of the ticket office… and taken both of the May Bank Holidays and David Shrigley (this year’s main Festival guest director) with them. So, with that in mind, consider this your five-minute (or three-week) warning: The annual Art Yard Sale is back on 3 June, and we’re planning to close the 2018 Brighton Fringe Festival on a high. If you’ve never been to the Art Yard Sale before, this is what you have been missing… The opportunity to buy contemporary art, direct from the artists who create it, all in a fun, family-friendly environment in Brighton’s North Laine. Yes, you get to meet the likes of Bonnie and Clyde, Dan Hillier, Eelus and a whole host of other artrepublic favourites, have a chat with them and buy their work. And better still, all of the artists who participate are sharing (and selling) artworks and prints that have either been created specifically for the Art Yard Sale event, or are being sold at a one-off reduced price that you won’t find anywhere else. The unique art event was started in 2015 after we at artrepublic, the main visual art sponsor of Brighton Fringe Festival for many years, decided it was about time we ran our own event.  ‘We wanted a way to get involved in the energy of the Festival season ourselves,’ says Lindsay Alkin, the event’s founder. ‘The result is the Art Yard Sale, which fits perfectly with the local, hands-on, creative ethos of the Fringe.’ The line-up of artists changes each year, so you won’t get the same experience twice, but there is never a shortage of creatives from the artrepublic family who want to get involved.  For us, it’s all about embracing the festival spirit and sharing new things. ‘We aim to bring you a really broad selection of art – from street art to illustration to sculpture – so people can discover new artists and types of work that they may not have thought about before,’ says Lindsay. ‘It sounds really cheesy, but it’s genuinely amazing to see all these people coming to the Art Yard Sale and leaving with a big smile on their faces because of art. That’s what it should do.’ This year’s lineup is yet to be finalised, so keep an eye on our upcoming blogs, the Art Yard Sale website and the artrepublic social media channels - over the next few weeks we’ll be sharing updates about this year’s event. $test =
  • Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous: Slim Aarons’ photography editions at artrepublic

    Take a seat beside the swimming pools of 1950s and 1960s high society, via the iconic images created by one of America’s celebrated lifestyle photographers, Slim Aarons. When you conjure up a visual of 1950s and 1960s America, what do you see? Something like a scene fresh from Mad Men, a Mari....
    Take a seat beside the swimming pools of 1950s and 1960s high society, via the iconic images created by one of America’s celebrated lifestyle photographers, Slim Aarons. When you conjure up a visual of 1950s and 1960s America, what do you see? Something like a scene fresh from Mad Men, a Marilyn Monroe movie or a David Hockney painting: Hollywood glamour, sunshine and blue skies, youth, fashion, stiff drinks, fast cars, modern homes and famous public figures? These images come directly from American popular culture and the advertising of the era, much of which drew heavily on the work of lifestyle photographers such as Slim Aarons. Aarons’ photos are synonymous with a particular mood and point in time - a post-War period of affluence and newness. Like Aarons (who had been a combat photographer during WWII), people wanted to leave the dark days of the war behind and celebrate the joys of modern American life. Modernist design was in demand and fresh ways of living were emerging among members of high society, whose jetset lives were seen as aspirational. And so, Aarons’ imagery of streamlined minimal homes with tanned guests or proud home-owners lazing around azure-blue swimming pools (see ‘El Venero’), or apres-ski gatherings amid Verbier’s powdered coolness (‘Snowmass Picnic’), was perfectly placed to tap into this. A regular contributor to magazines such as Life, Town & Country and Holiday, Aarons got a front-row view of the lives of figures such as the Kennedys, Marilyn Monroe, Grace Kelly and Humphrey Bogart, and shared it with the masses. Travelling between locations such as Capri, the French Riviera, Verbier and Beverly Hills, he shot scenes that captured the public’s imagination – so much so, that his work became the inspiration for many a Madison Avenue ad exec who used his clean and colourful aesthetic to help peddle their products. You can see why though. Spend a little time with these images and you begin to feel like you know luxury. You might be on your sofa, but looking at ‘Eden Roc Pool’ or ‘Poolside Gossip’ it feels like you are sitting in the sunshine, on a clifftop in France or Italy, watching the party unfold from the comfort of your sun lounger. Aarons’ photos transport you to another time and place, where you can relax and sip cocktails by a pool or hang out at a garden party, casually rubbing shoulders with the bold and the beautiful while being, well, fabulous! Bring this feeling of relaxed, sun-filled glamour into your home and set the tone for everyday luxury with a timeless Slim Aarons print from artrepublic. We’ve got a wide selection in the gallery and online, with some special limited edition prints also coming very soon. To find out more, speak to one of our art advisors, or visit us in the Brighton gallery. $test =

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