Collecting art often comes down to being in the right place at the right time, with the right people. Enter Gallery’s CEO Lawrence Alkin opens his archive of rare prints from the mid-2000s once again to purchase for a limited time.
If you haven’t had the opportunity to spend decades on the UK art scene and reap its rewards, this might just be your chance to redeem yourself...
Antony Micallef’s work has been featured in The National Portrait Gallery, The Tate and The Royal Academy. He was taught by the infamous landscape painter John Virtue, who was taught by the legendary Frank Auerbach.
Antony describes himself as a ‘modern expressionist’, as his boldly visceral compositions delve into our relationships with consumerism and violence. His work is darkly ironic and often emphasises the facade of superficiality with references to the natural world.
The themes he explores in his work are still as relevant as ever today, if not more so. You don’t become widely regarded as one of the finest painters of contemporary art today by creating work that becomes dated. Many of these timeless prints are signed by the artist himself.
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Blek Le Rat
If you asked Blek Le Rat who is among his most favoured admirers, he’d probably say Banksy. Often hailed as the godfather of stencil graffiti, his precision and artistry has secured his position in history as one of the first street artists of his kind. He originally came to fame by stenciling giant rats all over Paris, to express his frustration with the plague of bad art sweeping the city at the time.
His work is often fueled by fire, as his stenciling became more engaged with politics and social causes like homelessness and the environment. In 2005, he stenciled images of incarcerated journalist Florence Aubenas that created public outcry, pressuring politicians and journalists to work harder for her release.
Blek Le Rat is a true pioneer in his craft, to the point where even Banksy had to concede, ”Every time I think I've painted something slightly original, I find out that Blek Le Rat has done it as well, only twenty years earlier." It’s difficult to create an iconic style of work to the point where even the best artists in the world recognise it as yours. Blek Le Rat has done exactly that.
Lidia De Pedro
Lidia De Pedro’s work is bursting with colour and inspiration from her travels abroad. She often combines kaleidoscopic surrealism with classicism and modernism, to produce work that is stylistically fresh.
Lidia has a degree in Audiovisual Communication, and describes her artwork as akin to creating a comic strip without dialogue. She showcases her mastery of storytelling with her strong characters and multiple scenes in her pieces. Her work is simultaneously celebratory and satirical, as she grapples with complex social topics with a dark humour.
Her flamboyant pieces have created a cult following, with her solo shows being consistently sold out. She exhibits regularly in the UK alongside internationally renowned artists, and her work is notoriously difficult to get hold of. We’re excited to show you what we’ve got from her.
D*Face is a huge name in the contemporary art world right now. The only urban artist to be featured on the front cover of fine art publication ‘Art Review’, his genre-defying work has reached global acclaim.
His iconographic inspirations include currency, graphic novels and advertising, which he subverts into imagery that forces us to confront uncomfortable truths about our modern society.
D*Face takes the traditional aesthetics of the establishment and turns it on its head, as with the typical Americana advertising style of the Street Improvement set. Stylishly anti-establishment, his work’s unique style has breached the barriers of the art world on a number of occasions. He was one of fifty artists to be commissioned by Penguin to create a 50th anniversary book cover. In 2010 he created the artwork for Christina Aguilera’s album ‘Bionic’, who continues to be an avid collector of his work.
Often hailed as one of the most prolific artists of our generation, his work sits directly in the intersect between pop culture and the art world. An incredibly prestigious place to be for an artist, his work will continue to provoke and delight for many generations to come.
Prominent British artist Hush uses a combination of techniques including spray painting and collage to create stunningly evocative works. His curiosity took him to Asia, where he became inspired by Japanese culture and iconography that then became a prominent aesthetic within his work.
He often explores the dualities in his inspirations within his work, the differences between his European and Asian influences, as he focuses on the complexity of female representation. Often incorporating imagery derived from manga and anime, his art is imbued with electricity as he breathes new life into old ideas.
He was listed as in the ‘Top 20 Artists To Watch’ from The Independent, and has exhibited across the world. Blending street art and fine art, his compositions are elegantly provocative. Hush creates beautiful artworks that boldly celebrate the modern muse whilst paying homage to the traditions of the geisha.
Miss Bugs has redefined pop culture on their own terms. A London-based street art partnership, they have been creating work together since 2007. Their aesthetic inspiration comes from the idea of copying and pasting, as they seamlessly blend different types of media and styles.
Miss Bugs has been hailed as ‘Visual DJs’, and enjoy revealing the connections that their influences, artists such as Basquiat, Picasso and Gary Hume, had on each other in their work. Their work incorporates the familiar with the unfamiliar, remixing what we know in a surrealistic, darkly dreamlike style. In our collection, we see iconic celebrated figures in religious and pop cultures remixed with sinister imagery. The result is work that is subversive and thought-provoking. Miss Bugs provides stunning post-apocalyptic pop culture art and we love it.
OBEY (Shepard Fairey) is not afraid to shake things up. “Art is not always meant to be decorative or soothing, in fact, it can create uncomfortable conversations and stimulate uncomfortable emotions.” His work exemplifies his own specific brand of social critique, usually in the format of posters and stickers.
Perhaps best known for his Hope campaign in 2008, which featured the now-iconic portrait of Barack Obama in his trademark red, white and blue colour scheme. His work blurs the lines between art and activism, and has impacted the political outlook of generations.
In 2017, he created a trio of works featuring culturally diverse women as a rebuttal against then president-elect Donald Trump’s xenophobic comments. The stunning portraits of muslim women in Lawrence’s collection also convey this message. In the year of 2020, its fair to say that these powerful works take on a new level of importance, celebrating beauty in diversity and women. OBEY’s work is clear, concise and empowering. A force to be reckoned with, he is one of the most politically engaged artists of our time.
See the full archive of rare prints here
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Who is Lawrence Alkin? Find out more.