LOCATION:

Brighton, UK

DATE:

April. 2007

EYECONS

Death & Glory quickly led to my 2007 show ‘Eyecons’ at O’Contemporary Gallery, Brighton, the show offer in fact coming on the opening night of that first solo show. Previously having felt limited or restrained to what I could or was expected to produce as an artists ‘Eyecons’ allowed me to further develop the visual vocabulary I’d started to explore through ‘Death & Glory’, many of the pieces in ‘Eyecons’ i’d already been working on whilst producing painting for ‘Death or Glory’. Through that first solo show I found a freedom to experiment, both conceptually and dimensionally. For ‘EyeCons’ I again produced small maquettes and a large scale inflatable sculpture, this show also saw the release of 2 prints in what I saw as a ‘game changers’ certainly in my and possibly the ‘urban art print market’, previously all prints had sat firmly within the abilities of the POW printers and what had become their ‘known’ quality of print, however feeling jaded, it allowed Black Rat Press, a newly set up gallery in East London to approach me with an offer to produce prints with their publisher. I explained that I wanted to push what I was doing and that I didn’t want to step on POW’s toes but I needn’t have worried, the first 2 prints I produced with BRP, ‘CliChé’ and ‘Pop Tart’ were of unprecedented quality, multiple colours, heavy stock, gold leaf, varnish, it was I believed, a fine art print and a move away from the DIY punk style press previously accustomed to the scene. The quality of these prints and the attention it brought my work was commitment enough for me to later agree a solo show with BRP.

It was at my opening of ‘EyeCons’ that I got to meet Gerald Laing, one of the few well known British Pop Artists, that lived, breathed and survived the 60’s in New York as a successful pop artist. He was good friends with Roy Lichtenstein, knew Andy Warhol and loved my work, he immediately understood the sub text in my work and we got on like a house on fire, he like me, loved old motorbikes and hotrods. He became a good friend and we often hung out, attended shows, which he would often humorously and so easily tear apart with his incredible knowledge of art history and vocabulary. StolenSpace proudly exhibited his most controversial works in an exhibition called ‘Shock and Awe’ in 2007 and we remained friends since. Sadly Gerald passed away in 2010 after loosing his battle with Cancer, he is sadly missed.