Monthly Archives: April 2014

SPOTLIGHT: Jonathan Sparrow

Today’s spotlight falls on to the work of artist Jonathan Sparrow, and his other-worldly series pHantasy. Jonathan was born in 1988 in Bromsgrove, England and has a BA (Hons) Fine Art from Loughborough University. He works in range of mixed media from oil paint to collage, and produces an intriguing blend of both; the truth and the mystical.

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His works within pHantasy are particularly mesmerizing, each piece luring the viewer into another dimension, where he has bound together the surreal and the absurd to create captivating scenery.

Through purposely colliding the beautiful and the awe-inspiring, Jonathan’s work offers an escape to a nonsensical reality of mythic landscapes where humorous narratives are loosely woven.

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His works invite the viewer to embark on a journey through an alluring playground for the imagination. The reflective materials within his work add an immersive second dimension, allowing the viewer to become a part of the mystical landscapes, as well as just viewing them.

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All images © Jonathan Sparrow

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SPOTLIGHT: Adam Lister

We probably all know Nintendo and Cubism but have you ever wondered what these two completely different things have in common? On my daily routine through the World Wide Web I came across the Beacon, NY based artist, Adam Lister.

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With his interest in geometric figures and his love with cubism, he wanted to create art which did not look like the usual kind of painting. His love for videogames came in the 1980s with the invention of the Nintendo.

Painting mainly iconic images and paintings such as Mona Lisa and the Godfather there is enough space for Lister to play with the shapes and colours he is using. Focusing on 8 bit art, the main (round)shapes seem to disappear, although with choosing familiar visuals we are still able to recognize them easily.

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Lister who is known as an 8 bit artist and enthusiast has recently done a collaboration with Isaac Budman, a 3d print master from Syracuse, NY which is known as 8 bits, 3 Dimensions. The two artists created unique 8 bit videogame style works of classic pop culture prints in 3d format. Having used classic prints, there will be no disappointment (they even did one of the modern icon, Walter White from Breaking Bad)

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If you want to check out his amazing amazing work or want to buy his art, go and check out his website. And if you want to make your own 8 bit art visit this website.

All images © Adam Lister

COMING UP: Bryony Marie Fry

We are delighted to announce our forthcoming exhibition of artist and musician Bryony Marie FryBright Smoke. Having struggled with drugs and alcohol, in the shadow of Amy Winehouse’s death, Bryony decided drastic steps towards recovery. This wonderful exhibition marks 2 years of sobriety and her 26th Birthday. 25% of each art work sold will go towards the amazing work of the  Amy Winehouse Foundation, assisting to fund the vital work in the prevention of alcohol and drug misuse in young people today.

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This exhibition follows Proud Galleries’, For You I was A Flame Exhibition at Proud Camden last September, which also raised awareness and raised money for the Foundation.

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Interested in Art and Music from a young age, Bryony’s work manifests visual representations of iconic musicians who shaped her life in some way. The exhibition will be presenting stunning, music inspired paintings showing figures such as Lou Reed, David Bowie, Janis Joplin and many more.

Her iconic bright colours and bold silhouettes on large canvases echo the work of Pollock and Warhol, perfect for music and art lovers alike.

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The exhibition will be open to the public from the 6th – 11th May at The Strand Gallery, along with a small pop up shop selling gloss art postcards of Bryony’s work and handmade handbags, rucksacks and brooches.

If you would like to attend the Private View on 5th May 5:30 – 8pm, please RSVP to bryonymariefry@hotmail.co.uk.

All images © Bryony Marie Fry

SPOTLIGHT: Jesse Draxler

With Hannah Höch being known as the Queen of collages, there is no surprise that the art of collages recently became quite trendy again. One of the artists I had an eye on for at least 8 months now is Minneapolis based visual artist Jesse Draxler.  By looking what feels like at least 4 hours a day on various Art&Design blogs I stumbled across Jesse’s work which consists mostly of collages from different fashion photographs. Being already published in the hip Dazed & Confused, Elle and Creem he is definitely no newcomer in this business.

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Jesse currently lives and works in Minneapolis, USA where he also studied a BA in Fine Art at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design. After living 6 months in Los Angeles, he soon realised that he belong to Minneapolis which he sees as his home where all the magic happens.

Up until recently, Jesse turned his back on computers and worked solely with his hands to created an intriguing piece of work but with all the technology around us it is hard not to get into it.  It was just recently when the young artist stepped into the fascinating world of digital Art. However with his style of work not seeming to have a fixed style, it stands out anyway for being unique.

Focusing mainly on black and white, his work seems fairly moody which he perfectly achieves through using black as one of his main colours. 

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Like me, many other young people around the world tend to look online for the newest artworks especially on tumblr. With having found Jesse’s tumblr, I soon realised that mixed media is becoming widely known in the art world. Focusing on fashion shots, his work tends to be quite minimal and simple. Living in a world where the minimal look is coming into trend, there surely is a bright future for Jesse.

His work recently got published by Gestalten in their book ‘The Age of Collage – Contemporary Collage in Modern Art’

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All images © Jesse Draxler

SPOTLIGHT: Charles Moxon

We hope you all enjoyed Easter and the bank holiday weekend! Today’s spotlight post features the beautiful portraits by British artist Charles Moxon, who graduated in 2013 from BA (Hons) Painting at the infamous Camberwell College of Art, University of the Arts London.

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I first came across Charles’s work in the Catlin Guide, as he is one of 40 artists featured in the 2014 edition. The guide introduces the most promising new graduate artists in the UK, as recommended by a wide survey of curators, collectors, gallerists and course tutors, and it is a great way of discovering emerging artists.

Charles’s astounding skill in portraiture was first recognized whilst he was studying at Camberwell. In 2012 he was short-listed and highly commended for the Young Masters Art Prize, as well as being short-listed to the Final 300 in the BP Award 2012 – quite the achievement for a student!

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Drawing on traditional techniques of the Dutch 17th century Old Masters combined with his own distinctive edge, Charles uses fluid brush strokes to highlight minute detail with a startling accuracy. His careful depiction of light and shadow offer a powerful effect, reminiscent of the chiaroscuro style revolutionized by Vermeer.

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At the age of 24, Charles already has a number of achievements to his name, including being commissioned to paint a portrait of Roy Bentley, the ex-England and Chelsea football player as well as celebrity chef Alex Mackay. His work has also been exhibited at the prestigious Mall Galleries in London as part of the 2012 BBC series Show me the Monet.  His work has also been featured in the Independent and Rankin’s Hunger Magazine to name a few. With his meticulous eye for detail and intricate skill, Charles is a young artist with an astonishing talent – a sure one to watch.

All images © Charles Moxon

COMING UP: Shiri Achu

We are delighted to share with you all our next exhibition here at The Strand Gallery. We are bringing you a series of gorgeous African paintings by the wonderfully talented Shiri Achu in her London Exhibition ’35 in Prints’ at The Strand Gallery. Achu was born in Cameroon, West Africa until she and her family immigrated to London, where she has lived for many years. Today, she has studios in Cameroon, the UK and the US.

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She picked up her first paint brush at a tender age of 9, experimenting with several mediums including oils, acrylics, water colour, mix media etc. Achu’s art comes from everyday, unsurprising yet unexpectedly vivid moments, times, places and objects. She seeks to capture the spirit of her subjects and make them come alive through form, colour, texture and tone. She draws insight from her travels but in general her inspiration is very broad; from natural moments captured in Africa to still objects, from the human form to the human in action.

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The eternal optimist, Shiri sees beauty in almost anything and everything. She finds beauty where there is normalcy, and she sees colour through shades of grey. She therefore draws from this distinctively beautiful world of hers and aims to evoke an emotion, translating into images of delight or surprise, with the sole objective of capturing the soul of the subject.

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Composition and subject matter are key in Shiri’s works. The concept for each piece is clear, and the focus gripping, and although the viewer will understand some of the pieces, some may not be understood and apprehended, because abstract/tashism is explored by Shiri in some of her pieces, to leave her viewers to come to their own conclusions. Shiri’s art is bold, dramatic and uncompromising. Her pieces aim to delight and leave the viewer moved as well as leave the viewer with thoughts of wonderment, at times of bewilderment; also to engage ones diagnostic imagination.

Ever increasingly so, one of the aims of Shiri Achu’s Art is to showcase the culture of Cameroon and other African countries worldwide. It’s also to bring back the fond memories to those in the diaspora. There is a beautiful simplicity in the African culture she is trying to project into the Western world. She paints them to educate people in the West whilst trying to entice them to be inquisitive of the culture and to one day plan to visit and see for themselves.

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All images © Shiri Achu.

Achu’s works can be seen in the exhibition 35 in Print at The Strand Gallery from April 19th to April 25th.

SPOTLIGHT: Jemima Kirke

Girls superstar Jemima Kirke has recently opened her second solo show of painted portraiture. Not many people know this deep, dark actress as the outstanding artist she is, so we want to share with you all some of her recent works.

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Jemima Kirke

What I found most surprising about Kirke’s artistic talent is that she has it! We’ve seen (a lot of) Kirke on screen in Girls, but through these images we get a real sense of the artist behind the actress. And the girl’s got talent! Jemima is portraying to the world series after series of portraits that aren’t beautiful by today’s harsh standards, but have such a beautiful element of rawness that encapsulate real emotion. The finished pieces bring vulnerability, power and real elements of disconcertion.

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Jemima Kirke

They are real, and they are deep, and they show some true promise for this young artist. Having been shown in several group shows, and currently embarking upon her second solo show, Kirke has been noted as saying “If someone was willing to show my work… I don’t care why. I’m honoured to have the platform.” I think she needs to stop being so modest and really revel in the worldwide attention her works have been receiving. Because they have beenr receiving an lot of attention for a number of years now. There aren’t many painters who work in this kind of style, and it’s really refreshing to see.

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Jemima Kirke

All images © Jemima Kirke.

If you are in the San Fransisco area, Kirke’s exhibition runs at Fouladi Projects until May 10th.

For further examples of Kirkes work, please refer to her website here.