Who the hell is JJ Adams?

After a week of what can only be described as ‘retail mayhem’ we take a look at the artist in question.

Mr JJ Adams: a quiet unassuming provocateur of the contemporary art form. Before we take a look at a body of work based predominantly on 80’s film and TV culture that was released this week, let’s speculate as to why JJ Adams is taking the art world by storm. One might suggest his ideas are current and mainstream and thus are reticent within British subcultures, however I believe the work has a much deeper underlying agenda. Pausing for thought, each signed limited edition crafted with intent, showcases JJ’s ability to fill with content. Attention to detail and subtle imagery add a narrative to each piece. JJ builds upon these images with an enthusiastic colour contrast and at times a controversial story unravels whether it be linked to intricate tattoo designs, pop art or pulp and movie culture.

For example the piece ‘Game Paused’. Such a clever work of art. JJ has included many elements to this piece, notably characters of various video games but take your time to notice intricate detail such as the score. Quote ‘World 91 – 1’ or 9/11 if you will. JJ’s ability to make something appear simple when actually is thought provoking, compounds the fact as to why his popularity has exploded.

Game Paused - 20x30

Game Paused : Signed limited edition of just 95 copies. Price £495.

Now it’s fair to say I’m a fan of this artist, but let’s look at the maths. After all the facts don’t lie. JJ released his new collection at midday Saturday 28th March and was met with hysteria! I don’t think anyone was expecting what was about to happen as people gathered outside galleries, braving the cold weather, trying to be one of the first to witness this new collection. As soon as the gallery doors opened we realised the entire collection was completely sold out via Wishbone Publishing, purchased by affiliation galleries. Retail sales amounted to a staggering £1.2 million within the hour with originals flying off the walls at an average price of £15,000. Complete editions of prints such as ‘Time Traveller’ and ‘Droids Playing Poker’ sold within seconds of release leaving galleries to deal with the aftermath. Somewhat akin to one of JJ’s pieces there was certainly a lot of hype and excitement surrounding this collection. A notion that has developed not from marketing or gallery salesmanship but that of word of mouth. Probably the most powerful marketing tool but also one that declares JJ as the artist to invest in!

So what makes JJ so special? Evidentially his style has gripped the nation, but what I find fascinating is that as he continues to immerse himself within the art, his popularity grows and grows. This is certainly the mark of a fine artist. In the same vein as street artist Banksy, he shunned the lime light and where other street artists embraced their patrons Banksy remained anonymous. It was down to Banksy’s sheer artistic ability that hit the headlines. The old saying of letting the art do the talking is obviously paramount here and echoes forth with regards to the simply staggering affect JJ has had upon the art market this week.

Twiggy II Tattoo 24x30

Full Metal Twiggy : Signed limited edition, £495 (No deposit, 10 equal monthly instalments of £49.50)

Unhappy Meal 24x30

Warmongers : Signed limited edition silkscreen, £495 (No deposit, 10 equal monthly instalments of £49.50)

Come and visit the gallery or view the work on line – 12A Flying Horse Walk, Nottingham, NG1 2HN – Tel: 01159 243 555

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