In 2014, to commemorate her first international solo show in Italy, Sara embarked on probably her most difficult portrait to date, that of Pope Francis. Not only is this Pontiff highly popular, but he is also a reformer. With this comes a huge weight of responsibility which Sara was keen to express in the portrait. Sara signed it with a personal message on the back. Sara Pope’s portrait of Pope Francis was accepted by the Pope to form part of the Vatican collection. Sara was invited to personally present the painting in Rome in September of that year.
You can see a short film of Sara’s journey to the Vatican, from Florence where she was exhibiting her latest collection of original works.
A print of the Sara Pope piece is currently being developed and will be available soon. The date of which will be announced. If you would like to make a pre-order, please email:firstname.lastname@example.org → Read more
There’s no stopping Sara right now! Another print has just left her studio for it’s new home in Hampshire too.
Gary Churchward Interview: Online versus High Street – crunch time for art galleries
By James Brewer
The future of the fine art market is in your hands – or, more precisely, in your internet browser.
Online art sites are challenging the traditional way of buying and selling, as the cost of running gallery property and maintaining adequate staffing continues to rise.
London businessman Gary Churchward, who has tested both the premises-based and the online options, has come down firmly in favour of the latter. His venture, www.thechurchwardgallery.com is ringing up steady sales of mainly contemporary prints and paintings.
While bricks-and-mortar galleries have long flourished thanks to the face-to-face relationships of proprietors with customers, virtual platforms offer flexibility and ease of transaction, and generate new audiences for artists, galleries and private sellers. It is little wonder that many old school galleries now include an online purchase facility.
Research in 2013 by insurer Hiscox revealed the growing trend for buying art online – with, at that stage, 71% of contemporary art collectors surveyed having bought artwork on the strength of a JPEG image. Buying art in that way has become the norm rather than the exception, said the insurer, although its study found that the majority of traditional galleries had resisted the move to e-commerce.
Mr Churchward relates how he came to be a champion of the online choice. He said: “Ten years ago or so, I started collecting art purely for personal enjoyment, meeting and building relationships with some of the artists along the way. One thing led to another and the next step was to operate my own online art gallery as the amount of stock I had compiled had become substantial, and the contacts I had made encouraged me do so.
“I had opened ‘pop up’ galleries in Shoreditch and in Southfields, different parts of London. Both had elements of potential success but also paved the way to showing that a high street presence, although wonderful to operate, costs a vast amount to sustain. I came to the conclusion that a viable high street establishment would be incredibly expensive, and highly risky without a good deal of investment backing in place. → Read more
Deborah Azzopardi TRUE STORY: Life is a Miracle – Sometimes Unpredictable
New work from London artist Deborah Azzopardi in collaboration with musician Noris Schek
By James Brewer
It is remarkable that just one painting can show how small the world has become, says London artist Deborah Azzopardi.
Deborah has long enjoyed global renown for her piquant and playful Pop Art portraits of faux romantic episodes involving smart young people. One of her best loved pieces is called Sshh… It shows a glamorous female with her well manicured, red-nailed finger seductively pressed against her lips. Prints of the illustration hang on living room walls world-wide and those who possess it proudly consider it part of the furniture.
By chance, Deborah found out not long ago that one such collector – a young Hungarian folk/blues musician living in Transylvania 1,800 km from her London studio – had been inspired to compose a vibrant and moving melody in honour of the print.
Deborah says of the tribute: “How wonderful that was – millions of editions of the image have been sold, and one man with his guitar comes along and dedicates a song to it.”
It was the first time that anyone had applied a musical interpretation to one of her canvases – and there are few contemporary parallels, the best known being the Don McLean 1972 hit song Vincent written as a tribute to Van Gogh and his painting The Starry Night after the American singer read a biography of the Dutch artist.
Deborah happened to find the song celebrating her work on the internet, and the upshot was that she met the singer/songwriter from afar, Noris Schek, in London, which led to the two collaborating on a unique new combined music and visual art project.
Noris said: “Deborah Azzopardi’s artis global – I had the Sshh… on my wall, back in Transylvania. In 2011 I had written The Quiet Song inspired by the painting. I didn’t plan to write the song, it just came to me. It just happened: it was meant to happen!
“A couple of months before my wife Cristina and I came to live in London to find a wider audience for my music, the song was recorded and shared with the world on the internet, along with a short explanation telling people where my inspiration came from. A year passed and, in July 2013, I got an email. Deborah Azzopardi, the artist of ‘our’ beautiful Pop Art painting was writing to me, saying she had come across my song.
“How often do such things happen? Was it the accident of finding something extraordinary, or just one of life’s miracles? Take your pick, I go for the miracle,” said Noris.
“Deborah said she very much enjoyed listening to the song, and that she wanted to meet me. I had a concert in Kew Gardens, asked her if she would like to come, and that’s how we met. After that we became good friends.
“My newest composition is called Life Is a Miracle. I recently recorded it, Deborah heard it, and the next thing I knew she was showing me her beautiful, new, larger-than-life painting, inspired by my composition. And she has named it Sometimes Unpredictable, a line found in the lyrics.”
He described as magic “a story that started with an artist creating a painting that inspired a musician, who wrote a song and got to meet the artist who created the painting that inspired the musician to write a song…”
Incidentally, both were already fond of the Don McLean song, having come to it from their respective angles – visual art, and music. → Read more
The modern cityscape is a visually cluttered space, full of government signage, billboards and sporadically public mural or unsolicited street art. Therefore, it is not surprising that a lot of art goes unnoticed or just categorised as ‘urban noise’ and not important by passersby. This is where The Outings Project comes to challenge all that. Set up as a ‘global participative’ one, the project concentrates on the way different people respond to images, which are taken out of their normal logical white walls institutionalised context and pasted up in random public spaces. Nothing new so far you would say, but actually you would be in for a surprise. What sets it apart from every other project, is the fact that it provides an opportunity for everyone to get involved and decide how their urban environment should look like. In Julien Casabianca (Outings Project’s main instigator) own words:
It’s a way to discover how we can share the same urban environment with different generations and different kind of persons : when we stick, we obtain exactly the same reactions from both young and old; hip-hop teenagers to harpsichord old men. Everyone finds it beautiful… Maybe because the aesthetics in these paintings is in our common culture, without opposition of generations.
Below: in Dijon
With 2014 coming to an end, it’s time to reveal the 25 most popular street pieces ranked this year on StreetArtNews.1- Banksy – UK
With little to no surprise, Banksy takes the #1 spot with his spy stencil mural that was painted in Cheltenham, home of the UK Government Communications Headquarters. Compared to last year, a lot less of “festival” pieces are being featured but the lucky few are Memorie Urbane, Life Is Beautiful with JustKids, The White Night, Mural Festival and Djerbahood. The artists appearing for the second year in a row in our annual ranking are ROA, Etam Cru, Alexis Diaz, Ernest Zacharevic, Invader, Blu, Strøk, Borondo, Hopare and Nychos. The rest of this year’s ranking takes us around North Africa, Europe, North America and Asia, offering a superb variety of style and imagery from some very talented artists that you definitely need to keep an eye out for. Continue reading to discover our full 2014’s ranking and then let us know down in the comments which are your most-liked Street Art pieces of the year.
Delighted to find this article The churchward gallery in the Wandsworth Guardian this morning.
Spray-painted odes to New York join the lineup at the 3-day music festival on Randall’s Island this weekend
This weekend, in addition to a star-studded lineup of musical guests that includes everyone from The Strokes to Outkast to Vampire Weekend, Governors Ball, New York’s annual three-day music festival, will bring 20 street artists to Randall’s Island for The Mural Project. Spearheaded by Everyone Onlyco-founders Lola Sherwood and Varghese Chacko, the group effort, subtitled “An Ode to New York,” promises a variety of perspectives on New York City, its melting pot of culture, and especially its lively street art scene.
The 20 artists will make several collaborative works in addition to their own murals. Following the festival, the works will be shown again at the newly opened Greenpoint warehouse gallery Succulent Studios, starting June 28.
From a primordial version of Lady Liberty to a memorial to the women of New York, here are the 19 murals of The Mural Project.
Icy and Sot
In Iranian brothers Icy and Sot’s mural, as is often typical in New York, subway riders stare off into the distance, ignoring the performer in the center. And yet, even though the performer appears to be a nuisance for the riders, he is more colorful than anything else in the otherwise black-and-white scene. → Read more