This year is a big one for us. 2022 marks Enter Gallery’s 30th birthday. Throughout the year, we’re honouring our pearl anniversary with fun content that takes a look back at our 30 year history, and exclusive events, like our Peter Blake showcase that took place last month.
Today, we’re delighted to announce the launch of our Fab 30 – a monthly collection of 30 pieces of art, specially curated by Enter Gallery staff and people who have contributed to our success.
To kick off our Fab 30 series, our CEO Lawrence Alkin has brought together 30 of his favourite artworks.
In today’s blog, we’re listing some of the key pieces in the collection, and divulging some personal stories from Lawrence’s time working with these artists.
Jamie Reid – God Save The Queen
Enter Gallery started working with the notorious punk artist back in 2002, just before the Queen’s Golden Jubilee. Working with Jamie Reid marked a significant turning point in the gallery’s history, namely, the point that the gallery shifted from selling open edition prints, to its current focus on limited edition artworks.
‘I’d always loved the rebellious nature of Jamie’s work, so when an opportunity arose to get my hands on a number of God Save the Queen’s in time for the Jubilee, I jumped at it. From this point on, the gallery shifted focus to limited editions. Next came, Jimmy Cauty and Banksy, and the rest is history.’
Dan Baldwin – Anomie
Dan Baldwin was one of the first artists that Enter Gallery worked with exclusively after Jamie Reid, which means we’ve have been working with the artist for 20 years now. Lawrence worked directly with Baldwin to produce his first six prints. ‘I love Baldwin’s colour palettes and his subtle infusion of political themes.’
Patrick Hughes – Special Banksy
As far back as the 80s, Lawrence was selling prints by British artist, Patrick Hughes – an artist known his optical illusions created in his signature ‘reverspective.’
Special Banksy makes it into Lawrence’s Fab 30 as it is a combination of his history with both Hughes, and with Banksy. Enter Gallery was one of the first galleries in the world to sell work by Banksy, back when his limited editions sold for £100!
‘I love Hughes and I love Banksy – I couldn’t pick a favourite from either, so I’ve chosen this piece to celebrate both artists who’ve meant so much to the gallery.’
Shepard Fairey AKA Obey– Power and Glory
Lawrence has also selected Shepard Fairey’s Power and Glory boxset – a series of four prints, deconstructing the American flag as a means to dissect the meaning of power. It’s the artist’s political exploration that first attracted Lawrence to his work.
‘I remember the first time I saw Fairey’s work,’ Lawrence tells us, ‘It was part of his George Bush triptych and it was Bush holding a bomb, alongside the statement, ‘Or was it hug babies, and drop bombs?’ It was funny but pertinent. It’s political, anti-war message hit home with me. I knew it was something special. I have one of the artist’s special collage pieces in my own collection. ’
Miss Buggs - Missing Contempt
Another key piece in this month’s Fab 30 is Missing Contempt from Miss Bugs, in which the artist creates their subject by encapsulating various delicate items like paper clips, surgical blades and Japanese charms inside resin. It was this technical skill that drew Lawrence to Miss Bugs back in 2007.
‘I have Miss Bugs’ Mohammad Ali piece hanging pride of place in my home. I love the hidden detail. It’s a real conversation starter.’
Lucy Sparrow - His N Hers
It’s difficult not to fall in love with Lucy Sparrow’s colourful and beautifully-crafted felt artworks, but at first, Lawrence reveals, he wasn’t convinced:
‘When I first heard of Lucy’s felt art, I laughed! But then I went to see her work at a War Monger Pop Up in Shoreditch and I was astounded by the way her work commands your attention.’
At the time, Sparrow was working exclusively in installation art. Enter Gallery helped her put on memorable shows, including her Deli at Scope Art Fair in Miami back in 2017. To get her work into the gallery, Lawrence suggested the idea of cabinets, which you can see here in His N’ Hers. These bathroom style cabinets are stocked with everyday items including everything from tampons, to laxatives, to prescription opioids.
Mr Brainwash - Charlie Chaplin
Charlie Chaplin is an original artwork created using spray and metallic paint and acrylic on canvas by Banksy’s protégé, Mr Brainwash. This piece was first exhibited at Brainwash’s 2009 New York Icons Show – which Enter Gallery worked with the artist to curate.
The gallery also collaborated with the street artist on his 2012 London show, which Lawrence reveals: ‘was a huge event and a great party. We took over the old sorting office on New Oxford Street in London, and David Guetta was the DJ.’
Bruce McLean - Turquoise Hose Pipe Ban
Scottish artist, Bruce McLean is another artist that Enter Gallery have been working with for twenty years. Turquoise Hose Pipe Ban is one of many artworks by McLean that was inspired by his garden in Spain. The piece explores organic, floral themes, and plays with dark shadows and flickering light. Lawrence explains why he included this piece in his Fab 30 collection:
‘I love McLean’s work, especially his monoprints and larger format works. Over the years, as I’ve learned more about climate change and the gallery has moved towards prioritising sustainability and eco-practices, McLean’s work has resonated more deeply with me.’
Peter Blake – Phillip Morris
Perhaps you were one of the Pop Art loving art collectors, old and new who joined us at our Peter Blake Showcase last week? The Godfather of Pop Art has been instrumental in the success of Enter Gallery, we’ve worked with him more than any other artist, and as Lawrence reveals: ‘He [Blake] is the biggest gentleman I’ve met and worked with during all my years in the art industry.’
Phillip Morris is from Blake’s Found Art series, in which the artist takes everyday ephemera and plays with collage and composition to transform it into an object of art.
Bonnie and Clyde – Time to Daydream
Time to Daydream is a wistful piece from Brighton-based artist, Bonnie and Clyde - another artist that Enter Gallery began working with right at the outset of her career.
Lawrence tells us: ‘Over the 14 years we’ve been working with Bonnie and Clyde, I’ve loved seeing her work develop from her early typography work to the beautiful, airy, Californian-style landscapes and collages that she creates now.’
Browse the rest of Lawrence’s Fab 30 collection here.