Artbelow Presents Contemporary Alternative Portraits Of The Queen At 90

In honour of the Queen’s Official 90th Birthday, curatorial group Art Below presents ‘Queen Themed’, an exhibition of contemporary portraits and depictions of the Queen by major artists including Gavin Turk, Chris Levine, Mr. Brainwash, Goldie, M.B.E., and Nasser Azam. The exhibition of original artworks will open at The Tabernacle in Notting Hill, London, on 13 June.  Selected works will also be displayed across posters sites at major tube stations across the London Underground from the 20th June.

This exhibition includes new and unseen work, including YBA Gavin Turk’s portrait of The Queen is the smallest work in the show (145mm x 100mm)  is a collaged image of her head using a 2 pence stamp adhered to a 1 pence stamp. Plus a series of paintings by street artist Mr. Brainwash, made famous through the Banksy film, Exit Through the Gift Shop in 2010. Mr. Brainwash has made three paintings of the Queen wearing Ray Ban aviator sunglasses with his trademark splattered paint background.

Scarlett Raven, a young emerging artist known for her paintings that commemorate British soldiers and her collaborations with the British Legion, has also created a new work especially for the show. Raven’s painting of a poppy field has a unique twist when viewed through a smart phone or tablet – using a downloadable Blippar app – as a series of iconic photographs of the queen from childhood to her 90th year appear projected onto the painting, accompanied by a soundtrack written and performed by film composer Marc Canham.

James Mylne is Britain’s leading ballpoint pen artist.  He has spent over 50 hours drawing his latest portrait of the Queen entitled ‘Eyes Wide Shut’. The image features the Queen with a jagged red stripe painted across her face, a look made famous by David Bowie in the 1970s. This new drawing by Mylne is a homage to a work by street artist Banksy, which appeared in Bristol during the Queen’s Jubilee year in 2012, and to the recent passing of the music legend David Bowie. 

Ben Moore, curator of the exhibition says; “Throughout history artists have always depicted royalty. To mark this very special anniversary we have gathered together an exciting collection of works depicting Elizabeth II by some of our favorite modern artists.  The Tabernacle, often heralded the ‘Taj Mahal of Kensington’ is the perfect setting for this very royal exhibition”.

The full list of exhibition artists are: Nasser Azam, Francis Akpata, Mr.Brainwash, Goldie MBE, Luciana Giobellina, Carne Griffiths, Keith Haynes, Chris Levine, James Mylne, Scarlett Raven, Ernesto Romano, Nick Stokes, Gavin Turk, James Vaulkhard.   

Queen Themed was curated by Ben Moore. Moore has had over 10 years experience working with artists, museums, universities, charities, arts organisations, and corporates, initiating and managing partnerships to deliver new public arts projects.  In 2006 he founded the public arts organisation Art Below.  With a wide range of international artists and its various campaigns in cities worldwide, the organisation has an important position within the movement of contemporary art in public space.  Recent exhibitons curated by Moore include ‘Art Wars’ at the Saatchi Gallery, London, 2013  ‘Stations of the Cross’, London, 2014 / 2015 ‘Thatcheristic’, Gallert Different, London, 2013.

Nasser Azam was born in Jhelum, Pakistan in 1963, and moved to London in 1970. He began painting in 1980 and after an extended period living and travelling in Japan, America and Europe, Azam became Artist-in-Residence at the County Hall Gallery, with an exhibition of early and recent work. Subsequent exhibitions include the ‘Anatomica’ series of paintings, made from illustrations taken both from fashion magazines and medical textbooks. Azam’s semi-abstract style of painting has been compared with that of Willem de Kooning. His paintings show the human figure encoded in bio-morphic forms and gestural marks, and typically use a restricted palette.

Mr. Brainwash (often written MBW) is a name used by French-born, Los Angeles-based filmmaker and street artist Thierry Guetta. Guetta was a proprietor of a used clothing store and amateur videographer who filmed street artists through the 2000s and evolved into an artist in his own right in a matter of weeks after an off-hand suggestion from the street artist Banksy.

Richard Colson has a BA in Fine Art (Painting) from Goldsmiths’ College. He is a gallery artist at the Russell Gallery, the Minster Gallery, Winchester and the Jack House Gallery, Portsmouth. One man shows have been held at Theo Waddington Fine Art (1996) Solomon Gallery, Dublin (1997), the Headquarters of Royal Dutch Shell (2005) and the Palace of Westminster (2006). He is represented in collections such as the House of Commons, the House of Lords and Royal Dutch Shell. 

Clifford Joseph Price, MBE (b 1965), better known as Goldie, is an English musician, DJ, visual artist and actor from Walsall. He is well known for his innovations in the 1990s UK rave scene, including musical styles such as jungle and drum and bass. He had previously gained exposure for his work as a graffiti artist.

Luciana Giobellina studied MA Photography at London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. Graduating in 2013, Giobellina has exhibited internationally in South America and the UK.

Carne Griffiths Originally from Liverpool, Griffiths graduated from the Kent Institute of Art and Design in Maidstone in 1995. Since establishing his own studio in 2010, Carne has exhibited in the UK at the London Original Print Fair at the Royal Academy, the London Art Fair in both 2011 and 2012, and overseas at Urban in Ibiza in 2011 and Arts After Dark, New Orleans in 2010. His clients include HRH the Prince of Wales, The Sultan of Oman, Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Asprey, Chanel, Burberry, as well as many of London’s Savile Row tailors. Carne’s images explore both human and floral forms, figuratively and in an abstract sense. 

Keith Haynes creates his work from the ‘clutter’ of pop culture, using materials such as button badges, CD’s and vinyl records.  

Chris Levine was born in Ontario, Canada and now lives and works in Northamptonshire, UK. He studied at Chelsea School of Art and Central St. Martins School of Art. He has had solo exhibitions at The Fine Art Society Contemporary, London (2013), The Diamond Queen, Asprey, London (2012), The Little Black Gallery, London (2011), Vinyl Factory, London (2010).

James Mylne has a BA degree in Drawing and MA degree, Camberwell College of Arts, London. He mainly uses Ball Point Pen for his drawings and is considered a pioneer in the use of this medium. Mylne has been publicly exhibiting his work since 2008. In 2012 he joined London art gallery Rook & Raven where he had his first sell out solo exhibition ‘Vintage Vogue’. He has since left the gallery and works non-exclusively with various creative agents & art dealers.

Scarlett Raven studied at Central Saint Martins and since graduating in 2009, has participated in a number of group shows across London, and three solo exhibitions: ‘Paint’ in Hackney’s Printhouse gallery in 2010 and ‘Flight’ in 2012, Cork Street, and “The Eleventh Hour”, Castle Gallery in 2016.

Ernesto Romano was born in Italy and lives and works in London. He studied Design and Architecture in Venice, Italy before becoming a visual artist. Romano’s work is an exploration of the human body using photographs, plants and flowers and archive materials. He has had several solo exhibitions and has exhibited internationally. 

Gavin Turk (b 1967) is a British born, international exhibited artist. He has pioneered many forms of contemporary British sculpture including the painted bronze, the waxwork, the recycled art-historical icon and the use of rubbish in art. Turk’s installations and sculptures deal with issues of authorship, authenticity and identity. Concerned with the ‘myth’ of the artist and the ‘authorship’ of a work, Turk’s engagement with this modernist, avant-garde debate stretches back to the ready-mades of Marcel Duchamp.

James Vaulkhard born in Kenya, and later moved to the UK to study History of Art at Leeds University and then fine art in Florence. He trained and taught as a portrait painter in Florence, Italy, and studied marble sculpture and the statutory arts under Jason Arkles. He has produced work for private collectors, group and solo shows, and most recently he has produced a series of sculptures, in collaboration with Kenyan Kisi stone carvers, for Kericho cathedral in Western Kenya.

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