What makes the artist JJ Adams so popular?

          Twiggy Tattoo Large 24x30 - Copy          Summer Lovin T Bird Version 24x30 - Copy

JJ Adams…

This exciting young artist is touted as being the Next Big Thing on the British art scene. With his challenge to the heart of British cultural values – members of the Royal family displayed with full sleeve tattoos, iconic buildings such as Buckingham Palace or the Palace of Westminster depicted defaced by graffiti, Adams strikes at the heart of our cultural consciousness with his work.

Rule Brittania - St Pauls Cathedral 20x30

“Rule Brittania – St Pauls”

In the same way that Banksy became the art world’s darling, filling the vacuum left by the end of the love affair with the YBAs, Adams is making a name for himself, aided by Wishbone Publishing, with his phenomenal output. Born in Plymouth, Adams was raised in South Africa, remaining there until the end of the apartheid era when he returned to these shores with the aim of becoming a tattoo artist. Little wonder then that his obsession with body art spills over into his work, evidenced in his ‘Tattoo Series’ where icons of royalty, music and the silver screen are depicted with awesome full sleeve and knuckle tattoos. The ubiquity of the tattoo in mainstream culture must play a part in his appeal to the mainstream art audience, but there is more to his art than purely capitalising on a social trend. His interest in printing and in graphic design – honed when working in the South West as a printer whilst experimenting with art in his spare time – are evident in the stylised way much of his work is presented. Combining media such as printing, collage, spray paint, screen prints and hand painted acrylics, his work has attracted attention from Christie’s, Rolls Royce, Vogue and GQ magazines with its rawness, energy and passion, but also with its accessibility and broad subject appeal.

But, like Banksy, Adams is certainly not a mainstream fine artist, and similarly, much of his work remains true to the roots of his style and influences. Where Banksy’s popularity came from the street through recognition of his graffiti and its subsequent elevation to ‘art’, Adams work is equally accessible and most importantly recognisable in its representation of things ‘normal’ that have been given Adams’ treatment which, in challenging their orthodoxy, cause the audience to consider their own response to these significant cultural icons. However, being able to picture Buckingham Palace with graffitied gate posts somehow appeals to the British sense of humour and perhaps more importantly makes the audience question why the imagery is such a visual shock. To have the artistic vision to produce works that speaks on such an accessible level to the man in the street and yet which so cleverly strikes at the heart of our culture is evidence of Adams’ skill and gives a big clue as to why his work is generating such excitement in the art – and wider – community. Fundamentally this is what makes JJ Adams so popular and undeniably an artist to invest in!

Love-Gun web file

“Love Gun”

Signed limited edition print on paper. Framed just £435.

(Own Art available, spread the payment over 10 months interest free)

Lowbrow Art Movement & the work of Xue Wang!

Coco de Mer

‘Coco de Mer’ by Xue Wang – Original Oil on Board Xue Wang, born in 1980, the year of the mischievous monkey Wang grew up in Northern China before coming to the UK to do an MA and finally setting up her studio in London.  Xue Wang gets much of her inspiration from childhood paraphernalia: Dolls, toys, stage sets and compliments them with the cultural heritage of Victorian, Vintage Fashion and pin-up imagery. Her overall artistic style and finished pieces visually represent the Lowbrow Movement to a tee. So what is “Lowbrow”? What does it aim to achieve and how did it come about? Hopefully we can answer some of these questions for you.

So how did low brow come about? The term “lowbrow” art came about in 1979 when after many attempts the artist Robert Williams finally received news that a publisher was willing to produce a book containing his works. Williams gave the book the self-deprecating name of ‘The Lowbrow Art of Robert Williams’ since no authorized art institution would recognize his type of art. Lowbrow was therefore used by Williams in opposition to the highbrow, established movements. He said the name then stuck, even though he feels it is inappropriate. It is now used across the globe by hundreds of artists and has become a movement in its own right.

What is Low Brow? Williams Describes the movement as “cartoon-tainted abstract surrealism.” Lately, Williams has begun referring to his own work as “Conceptual Realism.  In the UK this work along with Lowbrow has probably best described by many as Pop Surrealism, this harks back to the underground scene that helped create the movement involving Williams and Mark Ryden  both based on the US West Coast. Lowbrow takes inspiration from comic material, film iconography, pop culture and cult magazines to create ‘tongue in cheek’ paintings that poke fun at mainstream art culture. Lowbrow work tends to have a dark underbelly that can sometimes be shocking and provocative, but each piece always has a comical and narrative side. Much like Xue Wang’s ‘Just Desserts’ and ‘A Better’ pictured below.

Just Deserts

‘Just Desserts’ by Xue Wang – Original oil on board, framed £4,950 Payment options are available. Please call the gallery to discuss further – 01159243555

 A Better

‘Abettor’ by Xue Wang – Original oil on board, framed £4,950 Payment options are available. Please call the gallery to discuss further – 01159243555 The Nottingham gallery ‘George Thornton Art’ has a number of original works by Xue Wang. Do contact us for details. {george@georgethorntonart.com}