Monthly Archives: December 2018

  • Take a Brighton street art tour with REQ and artrepublic

    Right here, right now; street art has never been fresher in Brighton.   Brighton’s reputation for being a hub of creativity is no better demonstrated than with the ever-evolving street art scene. Street artist REQ and artrepublic are working together to provide a two hour guided Brighto....
    Right here, right now; street art has never been fresher in Brighton.   Brighton’s reputation for being a hub of creativity is no better demonstrated than with the ever-evolving street art scene. Street artist REQ and artrepublic are working together to provide a two hour guided Brighton street art tour so you can dive into the mysterious and eccentric world of the city's graffiti scene with a professional by your side. The tours can be booked through Eventbrite or Airbnb. With knowledge of the labyrinthine lanes like the back of his hand, REQ can guide you to the hidden street art you might otherwise miss. Instead of being just a spectator, REQ provides insight into what artists and what kind of street art are making a splash pavement-side right now. REQ has been hosting street art walks since 1984. He contributes to the scene and can illuminate the stories behind each piece that you encounter as you wander through Brighton. Similar as to how you would get a tour of the artrepublic gallery, the city of Brighton offers a huge amount of artistic talent to admire. Locals are often surprised when stumbling upon a new piece. With REQ, you’ll experience years of expertise and passion for street art, with insight that is hard to find unless you’re part of the scene itself. An exploration of the lesser-known pathways and backstreets, you’ll behold the walls through the lens of an artist, and come away from the tour with more knowledge than the most explorative locals. London and Bristol based graffiti artists often come to Brighton, where the scene flourishes, to unleash their raw talent on the streets. Its a point of pride that Brighton has the size of a small town, but the creative output of a big city. The perfect place to host one of the most exciting and colourful walkable street art tours. Book Your Tour Today and Receive a £10 artrepublic Gift Voucher Book your street art tour with REQ today and artrepublic are delighted to provide a £10 gift voucher, at the end of the tour, to spend at our Brighton gallery (one voucher per booking). Many local street artists have created limited edition prints of their work for our gallery. After the vibrant energy and talent captured on the walls of Brighton, you may be inspired to take a piece of the scene home. The tour costs £20 per person (plus booking fee), great value for a fascinating couple of hours. To book your Brighton street art tour with REQ, please visit the artrepublic page at Eventbrite or you can book it as an Airbnb Experience.   For more news stories and events visit our Brighton Gallery page $test =
  • Review: how artrepublic Brighton celebrated its 25th anniversary year

    From local events and big-name exhibitions to taking art onto Brighton’s streets, here are artrepublic’s highlights of 2018. Typically, as we head towards the end of a year we start to look back at all the things we’ve seen, done and accomplished over the past 12 months. What were the hig....
    From local events and big-name exhibitions to taking art onto Brighton’s streets, here are artrepublic’s highlights of 2018. Typically, as we head towards the end of a year we start to look back at all the things we’ve seen, done and accomplished over the past 12 months. What were the highs and the lows? What do we want more or less of, and what exciting plans and experiences can we carry with us into the sparkling new year? For artrepublic, this has been a truly special and spectacular year. Our 25th anniversary year has offered up almost too many gems to mention. Early in 2018 we launched our brand-new gallery area, doubling the wall space at our Bond Street location to bring you even more of the art and artists that you love. And, with that space came a whole new events calendar, featuring monthly activities for kids hosted by our artists, evenings of edition screen printing with The Private Press (and a few more of our artists), and even some live real-life storytelling with Spark. We had a fair few parties too, with bubbles flowing to celebrate exclusive print launches, including an exclusive launch with Mark Vessey, where we were treated to a spin on the desks from legendary Brighton DJ & producer, Fatboy Slim. There were also solo exhibitions from the likes of Bruce McLean, collective showcases – taking in everything from abstraction to our Modern Masters – and even an album launch for  drum & bass legend, Friction. And that was just inside the four walls of the gallery itself. Out in Brighton, beyond the gallery doors, our annual Art Yard Sale had people queuing round the block in the blazing sunshine, all waiting to get their hands on original art, at great prices, direct from the artists themselves. Some of the newest additions to the artrepublic family were there, right alongside some of the gallery’s veterans (not in terms of physical age, but in terms of long-held creative friendships) and, wandering among them all, was the host of our freshly-launched podcast, Art-related Nonsense, collecting stories from some of the best in the art business to share with you all. Check the first series out on iTunes. Elsewhere on Brighton’s streets, a little later in the year, the gallery was represented in the Martlets Snail Trail with a design created for us specially by Eelus. Unlike that snail (who was very much rooted to the spot), for us this year has sped by.   We’re so grateful to be able to share all this with the art lovers out there – each of you has brought something to the artrepublic story in 2018, a big thank you to you all and we look forward to seeing you at plenty more of the gallery’s events, openings and occasions in the year to come. From everyone at artrepublic Brighton, season’s greetings and we wish you a very Happy New Year. For more news stories and events visit our Brighton Gallery page $test =
  • Call collect: artist Mark Vessey’s new non-traditional portrait of Norman Cook

    The Brighton-based photographer and the international DJ have collaborated on a limited edition artwork. Back in 2015, the Barbican gallery in London hosted an exhibition titled Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist As Collector, the premise of which was looking at the personal objects and ideas....
    The Brighton-based photographer and the international DJ have collaborated on a limited edition artwork. Back in 2015, the Barbican gallery in London hosted an exhibition titled Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist As Collector, the premise of which was looking at the personal objects and ideas accumulated by contemporary artists, and how they were used by to inspire their work. Artists’ archives were laid bare for us to see, giving us an idea of the motifs and influences of the likes of Andy Warhol, Sol Le Witt, Damien Hirst and Peter Blake. Seen together, and in isolation, the exhibition was eye-opening. Unlikely objects gave us the opportunity to view a highly personal (and in some cases impersonal) side to some of the art world’s most famous figures. Something that occurred to me before I met Brighton-based photographer Mark Vessey for a chat about his upcoming print release at artrepublic – a limited edition collaboration with local (and global) legend Fatboy Slim/ Norman Cook. The link between Vessey and this past exhibition is pretty direct: the local artist’s work has a very clear focus on collections. You could say he is a collector of collections. 'Norman' limited edition print by Mark Vessey From his first stack, taking Attitude magazine as its subject matter, through The Face, Vogue and Playboy to Penguin books, Absolut vodka and Chanel perfume, Vessey has explored the ideas and aesthetics created by combining thoughtfully curated and carefully grouped objects. There is nothing accidental about these stacks and arrangements – they are all purposeful, considered, layered. But this latest collection is a slight sideways step from previous works. Because, while all his works have been based around an individual’s unique collection, this one feels more personal; very much like a portrait in fact. Perhaps that has something to do with the fact that the figure at its heart is very well known. Rather than an anonymous (to us, at least) collector, this latest exclusive print offers an insight into DJ and producer Norman Cook aka Fatboy Slim, via his archive of vinyl. We wanted to know more about Vessey’s latest project, which launches at the Brighton gallery on 28 November, so we tracked him down between shoots to ask him a few questions.   Mark, your work is all about collections – it’s the thread running through your work... After I finished university, I photographed my collection of Attitude magazine – it felt like a timeline of my own history, coming out, and independence from home – and after that, people started suggesting projects. Like my dad’s friend sent his Playboy magazines to me from New York, then that led on to me shooting stacks of The Face, then Vogue, and then I decided to collect every edition of British Vogue where Kate Moss had been on the cover...   Those works seem to be more general, rather than about specific individuals. Can you tell us how this particular piece ‘Norman’ came about? Basically, ever since I’ve been in Brighton I’ve had an interest in people’s collections. I have a hit list of people whose collections I want to shoot. There are always people that you’re drawn to, and Norman Cook was one of those people. I love music and how it ties into everything culturally, so the whole premise for this was to take a look at Norman’s influences and his collection. I asked him through Lawrence [Alkin, CEO of artrepublic] if he’d like to do a piece, and he came back and said yes. It was 20 years since the original release of ‘You’ve Come A Long Way Baby’ this year, but the collaboration wasn’t about that. It’s not about trying to hype my name up with someone else – this is very much my work. It just happened that the timing was right.   The image features a selection of vinyl from Norman Cook’s archive. How much input did he have in the records that are part of the stack? I went to his house – initially I was going to photograph it there, but then I thought ‘you know what, this is going to be a nightmare’ so I asked him if he minded me taking the vinyl to my studio, shooting it there and then bringing it back, and he didn’t; he’s not precious, which I love. I’d asked him if he would select three boxes of vinyl, and he thought that was quite a lot. But then he spent about two hours going through it and, by the time we finished all the shelves, it was more or less three boxes. It was perfect. It was interesting because when Norman was choosing the records I was peering over his shoulder, going ‘I feel really out of control. Are you picking the right things?’. And Norman was saying ‘That’s the whole point of me picking them Mark!’.   Were you surprised by the selection? It’s was quite an eclectic mix. It’s not just House music: there’s blues, Beastie Boys, The Clash, Donna Summer... It’s not one genre of music, and that’s why I find it interesting. It’s quite a curveball, because normally I shoot very specific groups of things.   But the photograph doesn’t show all three boxes that Norman selected, so how did you decide what made the cut? Were you looking at it in terms of the music itself or was it more about aesthetics? After he gave me the vinyl, I sat there for a week! (A week and a half probably) I turned it into a drama because I’m so emotionally connected to what I’m doing. My friends were telling me to just get the vinyl out and start. When I did, I was looking at what the spines said, how they fit together, how the colour moves throughout the piece of work and then it kind of came together. So, there’s the original ‘You’ve Come A Long Way Baby’ that Norman mixed his version from. He did give me the original ‘Praise You’ but it had nothing on the spine, which was frustrating. I put it in, thinking ‘it needs to be in there’, but then rethought it because no one would know what it was. There are a couple of doubles in there… The Ultimate Breaks & Beats / Various Artists and Bob James. That’s because when Norman was selecting them he told me: ‘When I’ve put in two of them, it means when I was DJing I had them both spinning at the same time.’ I think it was important to respect details like that.   Were you tempted to swipe any of the vinyl that Norman selected for you? I would love to have one of the Donna Summer records, or Prince… but I would never have taken them. My friends all wanted me to open up the boxes for them and play the records, but I wouldn’t let them near it – I don’t think Norman would have been precious about it, but for me, it’s just not respectful to do that.   Your typical subject matter – vinyl, books and magazines for example – are analogue products in an increasingly digital world. Norman, as Fatboy Slim, switched over to using digital technology for his DJ sets a few years back. How do you prefer to work? All my stuff is shot on film, medium format film. I do use a digital camera for my commercial work, but for my artwork it’s all film-based, developed and then scanned. I have friends who have cameras and they treat them like these precious things; mine is pretty bashed around, but then it’s used. It’s such a big camera it makes the work feel really special, more considered; you have to compose it, so the image is not so throwaway.   You’re a big fan of documentaries – do you think your work is a form of documentary?   I love documentaries. I realised recently that my prints are starting to talk to each other. I can have a shot of a stack of House music and one of The Face magazine, and culturally they are part of the same era and time. All of a sudden they are starting to communicate with each other. It’s a thread of our time. I hadn’t really thought about it before, but it’s all about tapping in to a period of time, or a magazine or movement and what it represented. It makes people see it in different way – like how Pop Art enlarges things and they take on a new meaning. An everyday object can be transformed into something that holds emotion; it stirs up memories. This print is kind of like a collision of sounds – it’s got blues, there’s funk in there, House. I suppose that’s what Norman created from. It’s part of his story. I love that they’re talking pieces.   Interview by Alanna Freeman   For more news stories and events visit our Brighton Gallery page   $test =
  • Lucy Sparrow creates a festive felt wonderland for Hermes shoppers

    Lucy Sparrow transforms the Hermés storefront in Beverly Hills with a wonderfully festive display. Working with artrepublic, Lucy Sparrow has featured her sought-after felt creations from her infamous LA Supermarket exhibition in the Brighton Gallery. The exclusive His ’n’ Hers felt display ....
    Lucy Sparrow transforms the Hermés storefront in Beverly Hills with a wonderfully festive display. Working with artrepublic, Lucy Sparrow has featured her sought-after felt creations from her infamous LA Supermarket exhibition in the Brighton Gallery. The exclusive His ’n’ Hers felt display cabinet, from a limited edition of 50, features soft toothbrushes and a hand-stitched bottle of Old Spice. Published by artrepublic this summer and now working with Hermés, she’s gone from Kickstarting a corner shop in London to Rodeo Drive, Beverley Hills - and we’re excited. Lucy, following from her huge successes including the Felt Supermarket in LA this summer and the Felt Erotic Emporium in London in 2015 offers a fresh take on a decadent classic: the Festive Window Display. A celebration of playful fun and luxury, we are taken into her felt world of wonder, discovering those luxurious purses in the midst of a multitude of jars filled with felt bonbons. Childlike glee is what Lucy inspires in passer-bys. From seasoned fashionistas, to families returning from a meal together, no-one is safe from being stopped in their tracks with delight. The traditional lavishness of Hermés gets taken on a trip to the funfair, complete with a felt carousel horse and a felt covered crane-game to pick up fuzzy handbags. Lucy named the horse Herman, and he is serving equine royalty with gorgeous Hermés bracelets on his ankles just above the hooves, and he doesn’t deny himself a silk scarf either. The interactive nature of the displays is what Lucy has always provided, how we can pick up, feel and play with her art has added a new dimension of fun and intimacy to her work. The Hermés felt crane-game elevates this further, inviting shoppers to have some fun picking up a felt wallet before seriously considering the real deal. If you'd like to have your own Lucy Sparrow installation in your home, artrepublic are showcasing her intricate felt display cabinets in our Brighton Gallery. An opportune time to grab one before her next highly anticipated exhibition at Context in Miami, get in touch. For more news stories and events visit our Brighton Gallery page $test =

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