PRIVATE VIEW: Thursday 3rd November 18:00-22:00 PUBLIC VIEW: Friday 4th–6th November 12.00-19.00
Acclaimed British surrealist graffiti artist Sickboy returns this November with his second major London solo show, Heaven & Earth.
A celebration of earthly sins and heavenly fantasies, with collaborations from some of the biggest names in the global scene, Heaven & Earth sees Sickboy figuratively fall from grace into one of his own worlds, calling upon 12 art figureheads to plunge into the depths of darkest conscious.
Those familiar with Sickboy’s prolific street work such as the iconic ‘Temple' (sprayed in the McDonalds palette on walls and wheelie bins worldwide) will witness the deeper development of the artist’s visual vocabulary with his new body of work. Inspired by semiotics and symbolism, Renaissance paintings and the surreal landscape workings of artists like Hieronymus Bosch, Sickboy confesses all in this show, with meticulously-detailed paintings containing deeply personal narratives alongside his surrealist depictions of the world.
The artist also presents four major installations which include a walk-in confessional booth (with a resident pastor who will be appearing at various service times throughout the opening), and an installation which sees a who's who of eminent artists joining Sickboy on his cathartic journey including: D*Face, Eine, Anthony Lister, Paul Insect, Vhils, Conor Harrington, Xenz, Word to Mother, Will Barras, Eelus, Mudwig and Hush – all of whom feature in a special collaborative element of the show.
The art exorcism doesn’t just end there. After years of brainwashing the public with his temple and slogans such as ‘Save the Youth’, Sickboy is expanding his ethos of 'art for the people' and inviting the global public to become part of his show by submitting their anonymous confessions to him, which will become one of the main installations, entitled CONFESS.
A fourth surprise installation will be unveiled on the opening night, which brings the artist’s exterior work into an exhibition environment.
" I eat, sleep and shit this music. I'm passioniate to the point that i don't give a fuck. I could sit here and make bouncy bollocks all day long but i don't want to bounce around a bouncy castle like a knob-head. I don't make music for kids. I make it for adults." - Goldie
Hello Sickboy, what can we expect from your Heaven And Earth show next week?
I’d say it was a psychedelic insight into my version of heaven and earth. I’ve spend two years building up a body of work using old renaissance paintings as a springboard for what people can see at the show. There’s a load of paintings and large-scale pieces all done with acrylic, spray paint and oil, and then there’s an installation done in the form of a confession booth, too, which I’ve passed onto other artists to help out with.
Yeah, on your site you’ve asked visitors to leave their confessions for you to use in the show. You come across any dirty ‘orrible ones that you don’t wanna use?
[Laughs] I’ve had over 1,000 confessions, and yeah, there’s some dark ones in there. Bizarre, weird stuff like people stealing their girlfriend’s mum’s knickers and s**t. I’ve not censored them out, as it’s not my place to do so, though.
Amazing. How did you pick your collaborators? You’ve got some ace names in there like Paul Insect, Anthony Lister and Will Barras…
They’re all just friends of mine or people that I’ve worked with along the way. It was really tough getting it down to 12 people, but I wanted to see the guys that I reckon would be good working together. I’m real happy with the final lineup. If someone has never encountered Sickboy, how would you describe his work?
I would say it’s neo-psychedelic-cosmic-abstract-expressionism. I let a lot of demons out onto the canvas when I paint.
With Sickboy as an alter-ego, do you ever confuse your real, birth name with Sickboy when you gotta sign boring s**t like cheques and bills?
Ha, I can never replicate my real signature now. I can never get it right twice. If I switched it around and had to sign it Sickboy, I’d get it right every time. I let the signature on my passport suffer for the love of tagging.
What’s the proudest place you’ve laid some of your graffiti? Where have you said “Yeah man, that’s really cool”?
Erm, well it wasn’t as cool as painting the Houses Of Parliament or anything, but I remember painting a space in London’s Canary Wharf that, when you looked at the view, looked like a spaceship with all the lights. I was sat down taking it in with a friend, smoking a joint, and it was a pretty magical experience.
So it was the experience that made it cool, rather than the actual painting?
Yeah, the other good thing was that while I was painting, a bunch of people came onto the roof so we had to hide as they cracked open bottles of vodka and that. A couple started getting it on too, so that was a bit embarrassing. We had to make a pretty quick exit.
And finally, are you Sickboy as in actually ill, or as in “Oh my God, you totally punched that deer in the face! That’s SICK”-boy?
People often ask me if I ripped my name from Trainspotting. The name came from when I used to draw a lot of ill-looking characters, so I took it from there.
Sickboy is an awesome artist. You may well know him from his brightly coloured temples that dress the walls and, his trademark target, wheelie bins around London. He’s had his head down over the summer though as he’s been busy creating his latest show called Heaven & Earth, due to open on the 4th Nov in the Truman Brewery, which, as well as his own work, features collaborations with other artists such as EINE, Anthony Lister, WIll Barras, D*Face and a whole bunch more. Josh Jones caught up with him as he was washing his paintbrushes to see what we can expect.
Hello Sickboy, how are things with you?
It’s 8a.m. and 5 shots of coffee in, I’m feeling pretty crispy.
Tell me more about what’s going on in your show. Will there be wheelie bins?
Yeah, there will be four wheelie bins filled with empty bottles of beer within the first hour.
Heaven or Earth?
Earth seems to have a lot going on at the moment. It’s a pretty sustainable environment with the odd warlord, discarded mattress’ and victorian picnic areas with a la carte parchment cakes.
What was it like working with all the other artists? The list of collaborators have very varied styles.
Great. I’m super happy to get all these people together and honoured to have them involved. I’m excited to unveil the results.
In your video there are a few nuns watching you work. Do you find nuns a bit scary? I do. But not as scary as one time when I had to sit next to a monk on a plane. I found that really unsettling.
I kind of think they’re pretty chill. I went to Valencia once and saw a gang of them on mopeds, laughing. It dispelled any fear I had attached to them. Unfortunately, I can’t help you on the monk thing.
What’s next on the horizon?
A lot of travelling and painting. I’ve been cooped up in the studio for far too long. I’ve watched summer pass by my window, so will be trying to catch it up on the other side of the world during winter, and hook up with some active acquaintances on the way.
agent provocateur: Any pub/bar owners on here who'd be interested in something to hang in their fine establishment I might have something of interest, pm or email me anytime for more info. AP
Jun 5, 2013 13:52:51 GMT 1
monkeyface: Art Republic recieved some in stock today.
Jun 4, 2013 18:44:42 GMT 1