From 26th November Art Below will be showcasing selected works from the AKA Peace series on the London Underground. ‘AKA Peace’ originally conceived by photographer Bran Symondson and now curated by artist Jake Chapman, is an exhibition of new works made specially for The Peace One Day Project 2012, bringing together some of the most celebrated names in Contemporary Art, all of whom agreed to transform a decommissioned AK-47 assault rifle, refashioning what has become a symbol of global violence on the broadest scale into artworks of intrigue and even beauty.
Artists showing at Old Street Station and Regents Park Station from the 26th November are: Mat Collishaw, Antony Micallef, Langlands & Bell, Bran Symondson, Charming Baker, Nancy Fouts, Laila Shawa.
Mat Collishaw attended Goldsmiths, University of London (1986-9), alongside Damien Hirst and other YBA artists.
He has shown work nationally in many exhibitions including Freeze at Surrey Docks in London, in which Collishaw displayed large scale tiled photographs of a bullet wound in a head.
His work uses photography and video. His best known work is Bullet Hole which is a closeup photo of what appears to be a bullet hole wound in the scalp of a person’s head, mounted on 15 light boxes. Collishaw took the original image from a pathology textbook that actually showed a wound caused by an ice pick. Bullet Hole is now in the collection of the Museum of Old and New Art in Hobart,Australia.
Commercial gallery shows include “Controlled” at Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York, “The Parable Show” at Galerie Grimm/Rosenfeld in Munich, and “The Passing” at Galeria Helga de Alvear in Madrid.
Collishaw’s work was included in “Sensation” at the Royal Academy of Art.
He recently left Haunch of Venison gallery and now works with BlainSouthern in London. Collishaw is represented by Tanya Bonakdar Gallery in New York, Raucci/Santamaria Gallery in Naples and Galerie Analix Forever in Geneva.
Antony Micallef Internationally acclaimed artist Antony Micallef appeared on the art scene in 2000, winning second prize in the BP Portrait Award competition. Since then his mix of political imagery fused with contemporary expressionism has won him world wide acclaim. Recent exhibitions include group shows at the Royal Academy and the Tate Britain.
Collectors of his work include Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt and a handful of Hollywoods young, bright and beautiful. His paintings examine our relationship with consumerism and branding among other things. His work concerns itself with what he sees as the “frivolities” of pop culture in a process thats been dubbed “critical pop”.
Langlands & Bell have exhibited internationally throughout their career including in exhibitions at Tate Britain and Tate Modern, the Imperial War Museum, the Serpentine Gallery, and the Whitechapel Art Gallery in London, at IMMA, Dublin, Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany, MoMA, New York, the Central House of the Artist, Moscow, Venice Biennale Seoul Biennale, and CCA Kitakyushu and TN Probe, Tokyo in Japan.
Their work was first purchased by Charles Saatchi in 1990 and 1991 from exhibitions at Maureen Paley Interim Art, London. It was subsequently exhibited in the first of the Young British Artists exhibitions at the Saatchi Collection, Boundary Road in 1992, and again in the 1997 Sensation exhibition at the Royal Academy in London. Sensation toured to the Hamburger Bahnhof, Berlin and the Brooklyn Museum, New York in 1998/99.
In 1996-1997, a major survey exhibition Langlands & Bell Works 1986 to 1996 co-curated by the Serpentine Gallery, London, and Kunsthalle Bielefeld, Germany also toured toCantieri Culturali alla Zisa, Palermo, Sicily, and Koldo Mitxelena, San Sebastián, Spain.
In 2002, Langlands & Bell were commissioned by the Art Commissions Committee of the Department of Art at the Imperial War Museum, London, to travel to Afghanistan to research “The Aftermath of September 11 and the War in Afghanistan”.
In 2004, they won the BAFTA Award (British Academy of Film & Television Arts) for Interactive Arts Installation for The House of Osama bin Laden, the trilogy of art works resulting from their visit. The group of works includes an interactive computer animation examining the house near Jalalabad occupied by Osama bin Laden in the late 1990s. In 2004 Langlands & Bell were also short-listed for the Turner Prize for the same work. A few days before the exhibition opened the film Zardad’s Dog which constituted a third of their presentation was withdrawn due to legal advice received by Tate that it was sub-judice because of the impending trial of Faryadi Sarwar Zardad, a former Afghan warlord at the Old Bailey.
Bran Symondson, London Based Photographer Bran, originally trained and worked as a chef. Travelling through Africa he realised the aesthetics of the world were his passion to follow,
He then applied himself to Learning the techniques and skills working with some very high profile and talented photographers in fashion and advertising.
Seeking some diversity, he joined the Army reserves and served in Afghanistan. Documenting what was going on around him in the conflict Bran developed arguably the finest photography of the current situation. Developing a unique style and gathering respect as an accomplished reportage and portrait photographer his subjects are interacting with him in a way that is strangely privileged, and that privilege can only have been won by Bran.
Charming Bakers work combines a number of complex processes into a deceptively simple whole. This simplicity is not the product of naivety or simplistic thinking but rather the paring down of elements that come from experience and wisdom, as well as a playful instinct to entertain us. The end results can seem “charming”, even elegant and playful, but because a sharp message is invariably the driving force behind the works, they always have a significant sting in their tail. “Every picture tells a story, but not every story has a point to it.” – Charming Baker. He cites his influences as cheap books, Zulus, horses, odd looking women, suburbia, power tools, the smell of cheap perfume, nice tea and Britain in Colour. Charming Baker is a graduate of Central St Martins Art College, London, who paints in oil on canvas, linen, wood and paper. Damien Hirst says of his work; “It is hard to say exactly what makes a painting great. Its flatness and its depth, its ease and its complexity, a kind of preciousness that is also kind of throwaway, a risk factor. Who gives a damn? Charming Bakers paintings are great.”
Nancy Fouts Highlight for the surreal, unique and impreessive scuptures with a lot of humor involved by the American artist and based in London, Nancy Fouts. Nancy originally studied at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. With a keen sense of observation she uses and reconfigures found objects with an ironical and often-surreal conceptual twist. With a penchant for exploring the themes of nature and religion she transforms ordinary objects into extraordinary works of art. Highlight for the surreal, unique and impreessive scuptures with a lot of humor involved by the American artist and based in London, Nancy Fouts. Nancy originally studied at Chelsea College of Art and the Royal College of Art in London. With a keen sense of observation she uses and reconfigures found objects with an ironical and often-surreal conceptual twist. With a penchant for exploring the themes of nature and religion she transforms ordinary objects into extraordinary works of art.
Laila Shawa Born in Gaza in 1940, Laila Shawa graduated summa cum laude in Fine Arts from the Italian Accademia di Belle Arti in 1964 and received a diploma in plastic arts from the Accademia San Giacomo in Rome. From 1965 to 1967, she returned to Gaza to teach arts and crafts to underprivileged children. She now lives and works in London. As a Palestinian artist, Shawas concern is to reflect the political realities of her country, becoming, in the process, a chronicler of events. Her work is based on a heightened sense of realism and targets injustice and persecution wherever their roots may be. The initial impetus for a piece often comes from her own photographs, which are later transformed by means of silkscreen printing techniques. The written word is often present in her work, as in the acclaimed Walls of Gaza series (1994), which focused on the heart-rending messages of hope and resistance spray-painted, in defiance of Israeli censorship, by the ordinary people of Gaza upon the walls of their city.