Holy Shit! Visions of the Walworth Jumpers

Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Art Shop Collective

I am now part of the artists collective and gallery called Art Shop, a new venture from Arthur and Albert. The gallery space will be open to the viewing public every 1st and 3rd Saturday of the month.
Looking forward to seeing you there!

Thursday, 24 March 2011

Mokita at Pick Me Up Somerset House

Last Tuesday I attended Mokita at the Pick Me Up art fair at Somerset House. The brainchild of reputed academics Roderick Mills, Darryl Clifton and Geoff Grandfield, this all day symposium had for ambition to take an in-depth critical look at illustration today. The all-mighty Adrian Shaughnessy was chair of the proceedings for the day. I understand Shaughnessy cofounded Varoom magazine and that it might be in this capacity that he was there on the day, but I still found his presence puzzling yet perhaps revealing about the status of illustration today? Could it be that the industry is still struggling with a widespread perception of it being an offshoot of graphic design? Surely there are illustrators of the status of Shaughnessy out there that would do just as much justice to the role of mediator for the talks?

On the programme were three questions; the first one “Is commerce the only real context for illustration?” was discussed by James Jarvis and Darryl Clifton. I found that particular exchange the most enlightening of the three, not least because of the well constructed Powerpoint presentation of Jarvis. “Illustrator as Author, new paradigm of the disciploine?” and “Do we need a theory of Illustration?” were respectively discussed by Luke Best with Roderick Mills and Sam Arthur and Geoff Grandfield. 

At £70, this event was a naughty treat that I thoroughly enjoyed. I guess Somerset House does not come cheap but my wish is for Mokita 2 to be more democratic and accessible to a wider audience. After all, the overriding thought of the day was for illustration to raise its profile and be on a par with photography in the mainstream British culture the way it is for the French. That said I enjoyed seeing some familiar faces there such as Gary Powell and Richard Harris, a former tutor of mine at Kingston University. 

Where were the girls? I am told Simone Lia dropped out. Why not replace her with another woman? It was a bit of a sausage fest on the day and one of the participants heckled: "It all looks rather 19th century to me!" After all, if the conference is to be a true window of the recent seismic changes within the industry, then it is only just to shed a light onto the vast amount of ladies working as illustrators. Geoff Granfield mentioned an agent told him 90% of illustration buyers are male... I’d love to meet that gentlemen and find out where he got his “facts”.

Wednesday, 23 March 2011

Dismomorphibia- Ted Talk

I am fascinated by people's faces. I find this talk interesting for its treatment of the psychologies of the face and its link with art as therapy.

Monday, 21 March 2011

Saving Grace- Work in Progress 2

Image courtesy of Valerie Pezeron. Copyright protected 2011. No reproductions without permission.

I intend to have this image included in my "Coffin Island" picture book. The final version will look quite different! We're gathering ideas away....

Thursday, 17 March 2011

Saving Grace-Work in Progress

Image courtesy of Valerie Pezeron. Copyright protected. No reproductions without permission.

Wednesday, 16 March 2011

New York Exhibition

All images courtesy of Valerie Pezeron. Copyright protected. No reproduction without permission.

In January of this year, I took part in an exhibition at the Brownson Art Gallery, part of the Arthur M. Berger Art Gallery in New York. The group show was named Exhibit III and included artwork by faculty staff and students of Manhattanville college and the University of East London.

The artwork I had displayed were prints in progress from my book "Written by Men, Blame it on God" that I am developping with New Humanist and the Rationalist Association. Yes, the book is being developped and is coming along! Taking on the bible is a big job and one that I want to do well so I am taking my time.

I am quite happy with the results so far and am planning a cheap print run and a smaller one-off  handmade set of books for collectors to buy.

Blind but Seeing

Image courtesy of Valerie Pezeron. Copyright protected 2011. No reproductions without permission.

Image courtesy of Valerie Pezeron. Copyright protected 2011. No reproductions without permission.

I have used sculpture and clay to mold my own perceived flesh while blindfolded.The tactile experiement was also done while listening to music and tapping into my deepest thoughts.

Image courtesy of Valerie Pezeron. Copyright protected 2011. No reproductions without permission.

For facial surgeon Iain Hutchinson, it's about restoring people's humanities and I find that deeply moving. 

Image courtesy of Valerie Pezeron. Copyright protected 2011. No reproductions without permission.


Tuesday, 15 March 2011

Dysmorphophobia and the Landscape of the Face- Experiment

Irritable as Daylight

Below are experiments and definitely not final work to be put in my portfolio. I am fascinated by people's faces. I find facial surgeon Iain Hutchinson's talk on dysmorphophobia interesting for its treatment of the psychologies linked to the look of the face and its ties with art as therapy.

Somber is the Night

Calm but Doubting

I for myself have explored for a while now faces as landscapes that betray our inner turmoils.

 Anger and Alienation lead to Madness

As usual, I tend to use me, my own experiences or events that I intimately know to make art or to illustrate the stories I write.

 Content to Oblivion

Here I use my face to explore the correlation between moods and colors.

 Tired and Hungover

Monday, 14 March 2011

I want to turn the world inside out...

...just like JR, who uses art to make a difference.

Monday, 7 March 2011

Delphine Lebourgeois is Over the Cover

All illustrations courtesy of Delphine Lebourgeois

Article first appeared on Amelia's magazine.

Last Thursday I made my way to the Frameless Gallery to meet up with illustrator Delphine Lebourgeois. I have admired Delphine’s work for some time now and interviewed her for this very magazine over a year ago. With Delphine and I, it’s a curious case of strange coincidences. We both are French and moved to this country the very same year – 1998. We studied illustration with both graduating in 2005, me from Kingston university, Delphine from Central St Martins.  To complete the freaky set of remarkable happening, we have both lived in the same neighborhood for years and might have even crossed path without even knowing it! 

All photographs courtesy of Valerie Pezeron

Camberwell Green is a good location to set up shop even if temporarily. Lebourgeois’ last show at Coningsby, even though a success, did not have Camberwell’s regular traffic of savvy art enthusiasts. The show is on two floors and with Delphine acting as my guide, I meander around what turns out to be a display of a series of large prints of book cover illustrations elegantly framed. This illustrator is used to producing for the publishing sector under the strict constraints of commercial deadlines. It was apparently a welcome contrast to work in a more relaxed way.

"Most of these images are constructed over weeks even months, until a global architecture emerges. The images change continuously, inform each other...I add or remove layers, and even swap them from one picture to the next until a harmony is reached.” I know exactly what Delphine means! Illustrators need to have that time to nurture their inner artist. I’ve been doing just the same putting the finishing touches to my illustrated book. We both concur the simmering time to be of utmost importance.

I found Delphine’s way of working so puzzling as fundamentally different from mine. For me the concept, the idea is most important and will then dictate what material I will use even if I do have more or less a preferred style. For Delphine the basis of her images is the physical process; here the typographic cover of an existing book, onto which she superimposes her own drawings and printed material using digital collage as her main media.

Lebourgois illustrations always strike me for their surrealist subtext. The choice of book is of no importance; "I decided to work from titles only, ignoring the narrative, and to focus on the complementarity between the imagery and the title itself, creating another story altogether". The result is a set of covers as exquisitely quirky as Delphine herself. 

Over the Cover- New works by Delphine Lebourgeois is at the Frameless Gallery - Clerkenwell Green - EC1 from the 28th February to the 13th March 2011


Wednesday, 2 March 2011

KTZ menswear

Image courtesy of Valerie Pezeron. Copyright protected 2011. No reproductions without permission.
 KTZ Menswear at London Fashion week winter 2011. Fashion illustration for Amelia's magazine