Luxury residential development breaks ground one year after Aston Martin and G&G Business Developments announced partnership
Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way is the first condominium tower to begin construction in Downtown Miami in 2017 and is on track for completion in 2021
18 October 2017, Miami, FL: Aston Martin and global property developer G&G Business Developments have broken ground on Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way in Miami, confirming that construction of the 66-story luxury condominium tower is set for completion in 2021. The milestone marks the development of Aston Martin’s first real estate project, and the iconic brand’s expansion into luxury residential design. Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way has become the first condominium tower to break ground in Downtown Miami this year, underscoring the development team’s strength and market confidence.
The striking building of curvilinear glass and steel is set to rise on one of the last parcels of developable land on the Downtown Miami waterfront and has been designed by Revuelta Architecture and Bodas Miani Anger, renowned for creating visually impressive and exceptionally well-engineered landmark properties. General contractor Coastal Construction Group will now begin work on the tower.
The 391 condominiums will combine breathtaking design aesthetic with an ideal location, featuring spectacular panoramic vistas of Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. The development’s seven penthouses and one duplex penthouse – all of which will enjoy private pools and spacious terraces – will be complemented by a range of expansive one to four-bedroom apartments.
Aston Martin’s design team, led by EVP and Chief Creative Officer, Marek Reichman, will design the interior and amenity spaces throughout the development. Key Aston Martin design elements, such as the signature carbon fibre reception desks, will adorn each of the tower’s two private lobbies. Highlight features will include doors with bespoke artisan Aston Martin handles, number plinths and kestrel tan leather door tabs. Residents will be able to relax and unwind just steps from their front doors, with 42,275 square feet of outstanding Sky Amenities spanning four full levels between the building’s 52nd and 55th floors. Amenities will include a double-level fitness centre overlooking the ocean, spinning studio, boxing gym, virtual golf room, art gallery, two cinemas, as well as a full-service spa, beauty salon and barber shop.
These exquisite spaces will be encased in a bold sail-shaped building reflecting the marina setting and offering superb views of the local surroundings. Residents will also be able to enjoy direct access to the turquoise waters of Miami via an exclusive yacht marina.
Representing Aston Martin at the ground breaking ceremony, Simon Sproule, Aston Martin Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, said: “Aston Martin is on a growth trajectory globally and across the United States. Our partnership with G&G Business Developments to create Aston Martin Residences Miami, forms an important part of that growth story and of our desire to bring our brand to new audiences across the world.”
German Coto, CEO of G&G Business Developments said: “In October 2016 we announced the partnership with Aston Martin and our plan to break ground in October 2017. Exactly one year later we are here to celebrate the start of construction which is confirmation of our commitment to follow our own strict timeline. This development has been extremely well received, in part due to the unique offer but also due to the outstanding job our official broker Cervera is doing. I am confident we will deliver on our promise to create the ultimate residential tower and I’m looking forward to admiring the view from the top of this special building when it is complete.”
Coto concluded: “The success of this collaboration is a testament to the team work, mutual trust and dedication of everyone involved, both at G&G and Aston Martin.”
The residences and penthouses, which range from 700 to 19,000 square feet, are priced from $600,000 to upwards of $50 million.
The sales centre for the Aston Martin Residences at 300 Biscayne Boulevard Way Miami, Florida is open daily from Monday to Friday from 10am to 6pm and Saturday and Sunday from 11am to 5pm.
Aston Martin is an independent British luxury sports car company. Famous for the creation of beautiful handcrafted sports cars, the Aston Martin range today comprises the Vantage, Rapide S, Vanquish, DB11 and special-series cars such as the Vanquish Zagato and Aston Martin Vulcan. Based in Gaydon, England, Aston Martin designs and creates sports cars, which are sold in more than 50 countries around the world.
Founded in 1913, the company recently launched its six-year Second Century plan for sustainable long-term growth. This is underpinned by the replacement of its entire sports car range, including the all-new DB11, an all-electric RapidE, the reintroduction of the Lagonda marque, as well as the development of a new manufacturing centre in St Athan, Wales which will build the company’s new sports utility vehicle.
About Aston Martin Art of Living
Aston Martin is a British luxury brand with more than a century of success behind it. Now, with its Art of Living portfolio, the brand is translating its legendary quality into a new generation of carefully crafted commercial partnerships that are the very best reflections of its high luxury values. Art of Living by Aston Martin is a growing collection of luxury lifestyle goods and services made and delivered with the care and quality that would be expected of Aston Martin.
About G&G Business Developments:
Headquartered in Miami, G&G Business Developments, founded and managed by key members of the Coto family, is the largest domestic retailer in Argentina and one of the country’s leading exporters.
The company has quickly established success in the global real estate market, attracting investors seeking well-funded, innovative projects, delivering exceptional results.
A-COLD-WALL* | Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY | COTTWEILER | Halpern
Kiko Kostadinov | Liam Hodges | Marta Jakubowski | Molly Goddard | Nicholas Daley
Paula Knorr | Phoebe English MAN | Richard Malone | Sadie Williams | Wales Bonner
One to Watch – Richard Quinn
The British Fashion Council (BFC) today celebrated the fifteen emerging designers who will receive NEWGEN support for the year ahead. Following the announcement of a new format, NEWGEN sponsorship is now awarded annually to both menswear and womenswear designers who will show at either London Fashion Week Men’s or London Fashion Week. This new format is focused on celebrating the incredible pool of emerging menswear and womenswear talent in London. NEWGEN offers designers the time and support to hone in on critical business skills to futureproof their businesses. Britain leads the way when it comes to nurturing and developing young talent, from early education through to helping designers establish their brands on a global scale.
NEWGEN is a BFC initiative that supports the very best emerging talent and aims to build global, high end fashion brands of the future. The scheme offers designers financial support and showcasing opportunities. The BFC, with support from the NEWGEN committee, will deliver individual mentoring and business training to assist the designers as they develop their business infrastructure and skills. NEWGEN designers are identified by their creativity, strong design aesthetic and point of difference.
A-COLD-WALL*, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, Halpern, Nicholas Daley and Richard Malone will receive NEWGEN support for the first time this year, in addition to existing NEWGEN designers COTTWEILER, Kiko Kostadinov, Liam Hodges, Phoebe English MAN, Marta Jakubowski, Molly Goddard, Paula Knorr, Sadie Williams and Wales Bonner who all continue to receive support. ‘One to Watch’ support has been awarded to Richard Quinn, who will be given exhibition space in the LFW Designer Showrooms at The Store Studios this September. Designers Alex Mullins, Ashley Williams, Craig Green and Faustine Steinmetz now graduate from the initiative.
Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent, Chief Critic, VogueRunway.com and Chair of the NEWGEN committee commented: “To be able to select NEWGEN for both womenswear and menswear side by side this year has given the scheme a panoramic overview of London’s strength as a centre-point of young innovation. We have all been energised to see a surge of diverse talents from so many backgrounds whose focussed individuality inspires us. It’s a privilege to be able to join with so many mentors from the UK industry who volunteer to join together to put these designers on the proven fast-track to recognition and business success”
Caroline Rush CBE, Chief Executive British Fashion Council commented: “The new format of our NEWGEN initiative allows the BFC to be flexible in the support it offers emerging designers, and recognises the changing nature of fashion business and showcasing models. We want to empower these designers to build and strengthen their brands in close alignment with their creative vision. I am delighted as ever to welcome this year’s new designers to the initiative.”
A-COLD-WALL*, Charles Jeffrey LOVERBOY, COTTWEILER, Kiko Kostadinov, Liam Hodges, Nicholas Daley, Phoebe English MAN and Wales Bonner will show at London Fashion Week Men’s in June. Halpern, Marta Jakubowski, Molly Goddard, Paula Knorr, Richard Malone and Sadie Williams will show at London Fashion Week in September. Each of the NEWGEN designers will be allocated a dedicated pop-up showroom space within the Designer Showrooms at The Store Studios, taking residence after their show or presentation to host press and buyers appointments.
Since its inception in 1993, NEWGEN sponsorship has acted as a promotional launch pad for young designers including Alexander McQueen, Christopher Kane, Christopher Raeburn, Christopher Shannon, Erdem, J.W.Anderson, James Long, Lee Roach, Marques’Almeida, Mary Katrantzou, Nicholas Kirkwood, Roksanda Ilincic and Simone Rocha.
The NEWGEN committee comprises Sarah Mower MBE, BFC Ambassador for Emerging Talent (Chair); April Glassborow, Consultant; Barbara Grispini, Designer Brand Development Consultant, BFC & Curator, LONDON show ROOMS; Ben Banks, Founder, Fourmarketing; Caroline Rush, Chief Executive, BFC; Cassie Smart, Women’s Shoe and Buying Manager, Mathesfashion.com; Catherine Hayward, Fashion Director, Esquire; Charlie Porter, Journalist; Charlotte Whitehead, Senior Sales & Showcasing Manager, BFC; Katie Rawle, Senior Business Support Coordinator, BFC; Laura Burlington, Consultant; Laura Larbalestier, Womenswear Buying Director, Browns; Lulu Kennedy MBE, Founder and Director, Fashion East; Melanie Rickey, Consultant; Robert Johnston, Fashion Director, GQ; Stavros Karelis, Founder and Buying Director, Machine-A; Susanne Tide-Frater, Brand and Strategy Director, Farfetch and Terry Betts, Head of Business Development, Thread.
This year for the first time The Fashion Awards in partnership with Swarovski acted as a fundraiser for the BFC Education Foundation, with £400k of the £700k raised being used to support schemes including NEWGEN, BFC Designer Business Support and the BFC Colleges Council.
18 hand-coloured offset lithographs with captions – £200,000 for the set.
Peter Harrington Gallery are selling a complete set of Andy Warhol’s iconic shoe portfolio, A La Recherche Du Shoe Perdue, with an early trial cover on which his mother, Julia Warhola, misspelled “Recherche” as “Pecherche”. This portfolio which is in excellent condition was produced in 1955 and was a collaboration between Warhol and the poet Ralph Pomery. It contains 17 hand-coloured lithograph portraits of shoes plus the cover, which are all presented in grey wooden frames. Each of the individual shoe portraits has its own character and is accompanied by a ‘shoe poem’ or caption by Pomery, lettered by Warhol’s mother Julia Warhola.
Kevin Finch of Peter Harrington Gallery says “This is a beautiful, charming, playful collection of prints which blends high and low culture and is a testament to Warhol’s love of shoes and the inspiration they afforded his work.”
The prints are currently on display at Peter Harrington, 100 Fulham Road, Chelsea, London, SW3 6HS.
Andy Warhol’s early career was as a commercial artist and illustrator and one of his first commissions was to produce shoe illustrations for Glamour magazine. The art director Tina Fredericks allegedly had to explain to him that it was not necessary to represent the shoes with so much personality, but rather to show them unworn. Warhol later remembered: “When I used to do shoe drawings for the magazines, I would get a certain amount for each shoe, so then I would count up my shoes to figure out how much I was going to get. I lived by the number of shoe drawings – when I counted them I knew how much money I had.” (Simon Doonan, Andy Warhol: Fashion, London, 2004, p. 65).
In 1955 he was commissioned to produce weekly ads for the shoe manufacturer I. Miller to run in the New York Times. This was a financially and artistically lucrative project for Warhol and this self-published shoe portfolio was produced at the same time.
The shoes themselves are full of character and range across time periods. The collection’s title both echoes Proust’s À la recherché du temps perdu and calls to mind the popular fairy tale Cinderella. This light-hearted allusion continues in Pomery’s captions, which mimic the copy of an advertisement with references to Gertrude Stein (‘The autobiography of Alice B. Shoe’), Shakespeare (‘To shoe or not to shoe’) and popular sayings (‘You can lead a shoe to water but you can’t make it drink’), amongst others.
While the captions are printed in Julia Warhola’s distinctive hand, the title on the cover is hand-written in ink and reads ‘A La Pecherche [sic] du Shoe Perdu…’. This mistake may indicate that this particular portfolio is one of the earlier ones Warhola titled. The lithographs were privately printed in New York and the sheets then hand-coloured using Dr. Martin’s aniline watercolor dye by Warhol and his friends at his ‘coloring parties’. This portfolio also contains one extra double sized illustration of a boot with no caption (a boot of the same style was used by Warhol for a separate work, ‘Gee, Merrie Shoes’ for an exhibition at the Bodley Gallery in New York the following year).
This delightful portfolio is rare as not all surviving portfolios have a complete set of all the plates, and many do not include the larger boot plate.
The print business at Peter Harrington was started over 40 years ago and today Peter Harrington Gallery have an enviable number of rare and signed, modern and contemporary prints for sale at their shop in the Fulham Road, London. High quality signed prints offer an exciting and affordable way to own the works of well-known artists and Peter Harrington Gallery have many beautifully framed prints available with prices starting from less than £1,000.
The Lyric Hammersmith is pleased to present the 2017 Autumn season of Little Lyric especially for audiences aged between 2-11 years. The season includes the return of some Little Lyric favourites, as well as some new companies who will all be sure to delight young audiences with adventures, magic and enchanting stories. Over the October half term children can enjoy the classic story of Burglar Bill adapted from the popular book by Janet and Allan Ahlberg and the much-loved family favourite, Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas returns for the festive season especially for Under-6s and their families.
Little Lyric continues to be a mainstay of the Lyric programme with the current season playing to 93% capacity, and due to this popular demand the Lyric have expanded the season to include extra dates at May half term.
The Emperor’s New Clothes
Tue 30 May – Sat 03 June
11am & 2pm / 60 mins
Age 5 – 11
A LYNGO PRODUCTION
An inventive romp through the tale of the eccentric Emperor who loves clothes more than anything but doesn’t realise the spectacle he is about to make!
Sat 09 September
11am & 1pm / 70 mins
Ages 3 – 7
A TOPSY TURVY THEATRE PRODUCTION
I know a girl, I’d like you to meet her. She’ll give you a smile, whenever you greet her. She’s got a secret, that she wants to tell. Her name is Isabel… and she has a well.
Little Red Robin Hood
Sat 16 September
11am & 1pm / 45mins
Ages 3 – 8
A GARLIC THEATRE PRODUCTION
A long time ago in a deep dark wood, lived a lovely little boy who loved Grandma’s pud and his name was Little Red Robin Hood.
Sat 23 September
11am & 1pm / 45mins
Ages 2 – 7
A LONG NOSE PUPPETS PRODUCTION
Are you ready? Grab a spoon! Because it’s Pat-a-cake time! Pitter-patter – get the butter. Glitzy-glossy – whisk in sugar. Jokey-yolky – add the eggs and feel stuffed to the brim with magic.
Tales in the Attic
Sat 30 September
11am & 1pm / 45 mins
Ages 3 – 6
AN OPEN ATTIC COMPANY PRODUCTION
Meet Kronos and welcome to his attic! Kronos has been gathering stories and tales of things gone by and he’s excited to share the best of them with you.
From the book by Rob Biddulph
Sat 07 October
11am & 1pm / 60mins
Ages 3 – 8
A METTA THEATRE PRODUCTION
Meet Penguin Blue and friends as they go on an acrobatic Antarctic adventure full of good ideas, homesickness and the perils of kites.
The Wind in the Willows
Originally commissioned by the Everyman Theatre, Cheltenham
Sat 14 October
11am & 1pm / 60mins
Ages 5 – 11
A BOX TALE SOUP PRODUCTION
From the peaceful pleasures of the river bank to the fearful frights of the Wild Wood, join Mole and Ratty on their marvellous adventures, along with gruff old Badger and magnificent Mr Toad.
Sat 21 October
11am & 1pm / 60mins
Ages 5 – 11
A RHUBARB THEATRE PRODUCTION
This is no ordinary shed and Sidney Waffles is no ordinary gardener… Join Sidney and Maisie on their time-travelling journey to dig up the past and weed out the bullies.
Adapted from the book by Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Tue 24 – Sat 28 October
11am & 1pm / 50mins
Ages 3 – 8
A PIED PIPER PRODUCTION
Burglar Betty tells the story of Burglar Bill as he creeps from one house to the next doing what he likes best, burgling! Half way through the story Betty realises that she has a part to play as she enters the action with her own swag bag. Both Burglars are in for some surprises…
Sat 04 November
11am & 1pm / 60mins
Ages 5 – 9
A SLOT MACHINE THEATRE PRODUCTION WITH TURTLE KEY ARTS
We need your toys to be the star of the show. Grown-ups and children alike are invited to bring their favourite toy to the theatre and watch them come to life in this gigantic adventure.
The Dream Factory
Sat 11 November
11am & 1pm / 50mins
Ages 4 – 9
A HOUSE OF STRAY CATS PRODUCTION
Follow the story of a young girl who has lost her ability to dream as we embark on a magical adventure to find out where dreams are made, what they look like and even what they smell like!
Raymond Briggs’ Father Christmas
Thu 23 November – Sun 24 December
For under 6s
A LYRIC HAMMERSMITH AND PINS AND NEEDLES PRODUCTION
Back for another brilliant year. Join Father Christmas as he awakes from a dream of sun, sea and sand only to find it is the busiest day of the year: Christmas Eve. Christmas isn’t Christmas without this Lyric family favourite.
Lisson Gallery did not have to wait to the last day of the Fair to take stock. Midway through, a piece by Angela de la Cruz had been sold and in the entity it informed that “Random triangle mirror” by Anish Kapoor was reserved, believed to be, for a Spanish art collector. It’s Price? Over one million euros.
Other London galleries that also took part in ARCO included Arcade, Richard Saltoun, Frith Street, Marian Goodman, Stephen Friedman, Victoria Miró and Waterside Contemporary.
Even though official data is not available yet, it is ensured that Jorge Pérez has made interesting investments in the 35th edition of ARCO.
Let us remember that the Perez Art Museum Miami (PAMM) has its name for the Hispanic American entrepreneur, officially recognised as one of the most influential personalities in the international art scene. Other prestigious modern art museums and collectors have hung art works on their walls by artists present at ARCO.
Attendance figures for this event reached 100,000 visitors, around 30,000 of them professionals and collectors from around the world.
But don’t worry if you where not able to enjoy ARCO, and incidentally, the winter sun, delicatessen and the warmth of the city of Madrid. The year ahead gives us other opportunities of an “artistic treat” through other fairs across the globe:
ART BASEL Honk Kong, Asia, March 24-26
Probably the most influential modern and contemporary art fair in the Asian Market. The art works by over 4,000 artists, more than half from Asia and Asia Pacific, will be displayed by 239 of the world’s most important modern and contemporary art galleries showing the works.
ART BASEL MIAMI, USA, December 1-4
Subsidiary of the foregoing. This well known art fair will be displaying artwork from established and emerging artist, presented by the Modern and contemporary art galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Asia and Africa.
FIAC Paris, France, October 20-23
In a luxurious environment as is the Gran Palais of Paris
FRIEZE ART New York, USA, May 5-8
With six site-specific artist commissions curated by Cecilia Alemani that respond to the art fair environment.
FRIEZE ART London, UK, October 6-9
Frieze London in 2015 displayed the work from over 1,000 artists in 160 galleries from around the world, Frieze Projects and Frieze Talks. Enjoy and buy art at home, at The Regent’s Park, in the heart of London.
And many more… We will keep you informed. For more information on Chelsea Monthly Arts section. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or follow us @ChelseaMonthly
From a colourful past to nurturing a colourful present. Lincoln Townley has defied all odds by literally overcoming a life of sex, drugs, and alcohol to become an Artist who was recently described by renowned Actor, Sir Michael Caine as “the new Warhol”. So, who is Lincoln Townley? That´s the burning question that sprung to mind when I encountered echoes of his recent success. Luckily enough, he was in London last week so I popped into Soho Hotel to get an insight behind the enigma that is Townley.
Reading about you I was excited because your encounter with the art world is not through the traditional approach. However, your story is an inspiration, which portrays the perception that anyone with passion can use art as a vehicle to inspire change in his or her own life. You have also written a memoire called The Hunger. Could you give us an insight on your past?
When I was 8 years old, I would spend weekends with my grandfather who was an engineer and a self-taught painter. We would go out during the day and he would get me to draw people’s faces with charcoals. He taught me to cut wood, make stretchers, stretch the canvas and prime it to then start to paint.
From the age of 10 to 13 I was painting faces, I would go out to sketch then go back to the studio with my grandfather and the emphasis was to be able to think about what I had seen and express it in my own way.
When I was about 13 years old I wanted to go out with other boys rather than being with my grandfather. It all started to take its own path, probably the wrong direction. At the age of 15, girls come into the scene and when I was 18 I had my first child.
My father died of a heart attack and I had to work to support my son and help my mother. We lived in a council house in North London and we didn’t have anything.
Later on I got into sales, in my late teens I started working as an estate agent, and then moved into the transport industry. After 14 years working there I decided to do something completely different, I knew Peter Stringfellow, who is a businessman and nightclub owner, for 10 years already. He offered me to work selling the strip club and I accepted. At the time I was single so I moved into a flat in Old Compton street, in Soho.
From that point I started drinking, doing a lot of drugs, and from the nature of working in a strip club I had become probably the worst womanizer known to man.
I would be drinking from 2 o’clock in the afternoon, operating in the nightclub, sitting clients and looking after them. The club would close at 3-4a.m. when I would usually go to another bar, drink more and go back to my flat to paint.
I was being consumed by it and by the fourth year of all this I started to get drawn out anxieties. In the real height of my madness I used to do paintings and push them under my bed. I would find them the next morning and never remember painting them.
So we know about the dark side of your paintings. But where does your artistic influences come from?
My grandfather opened my eyes to art, and it was a baptism of fire. There was nothing classical about the way my grandfather painted. He used to paint very aggressively, and his portraits were quite scary, he would never show his work.
The bedrock of my painting is through Francis Bacon, those images where stuck in my subconscious, and I think I picked it them out when I was in Soho. It was the beginning of me wanting to use art as a cathartic way to express the demons I had in my head.
There is an evolution to my work, from the abstract expressionism of Francis Bacon to Pop-art, Andy Warhol and the way things are marketed. There are two sides to my work, one is from my subconscious, and the other comes from a desire to consume; my latest collection is called Consumption. Those expressional paintings represent the idea that we end up consumed by what we try to consume. When I lived in Soho, I wanted everything, I was poisoned and lost track of what life is really about.
Would you say art gave you a reason to change your life?
Soho was swallowing me up. I wasn’t going to be able to survive, I needed to stop drinking and using drugs and clean up and make something of my life. This was only 4 years ago.
I wrote a series of small stories, to look at why I behaved the way that I did. The Hunger was a mechanism that allowed me to create visuals through paintings.
One day my literary agent came around and I had a painting on the side of girl, a prostitute in Soho. She then asked me: where did you get that from? She was surprised to find out I painted it, and told me to put my work out there, promote it and talk about it.
This is a really big part of where I am today… by then I had probably painted around 80 paintings. My plan was to make something out of this, get the book published and get my paintings out there.
What challenges did you face during the initial stages?
I think it was the hardest time of being told I couldn’t do something, and that was part of the reason I was so determined to make this work.
I would go into a gallery with my portfolio and the manuscript from my book and before my work was looked at I would be asked, where were you trained? and told “ You are not going to be able to do it because your not trained in art, you haven’t gone to Goldsmiths or Saint Martins, we are not going to be interested.”
Once I went into a gallery, got a painting out and the manager of the gallery laughed at me turning towards her colleagues and said “You are in the wrong place” I didn’t stop and kept going. I am lucky and very determined. For me every NO is nearer to a YES.
I can imagine how challenging your artistic journey must have been, so how did you manage to overcome the initial rejections?
At that time I was working as a publicist for two hotels, I used the money I was earning to hire an exhibition space at the Riflemaker, in Beak Street. I advertised the show and contacted people I knew from when I was running the club in Soho. I exhibited 15 paintings and sold all of them in two days. That is when I met one of my biggest collectors, David Sullivan.
No doubt your life is an example of perseverance and self-confidence that reaches across…
We are in Soho right now, Soho is known for sex, drugs and alcohol everything that you left behind, now that your emerged in the art world how has this changed your perception on this area of London?
When I gave up drinking I had to move away form Soho. Once you become addicted to alcohol and drugs I don’t think it ever leaves you. It is a constant reminder and I think there are energies in the world that you pick up that will make you feel strangely confortable and then very uncomfortable.
So, where do you paint now and in which conditions?
I have been working in a garage for 3 years. I don’t work anywhere else. I have one strip light above my head. Its like a bomb is gone off in it. But that is the environment I need, I need chaos, I need to be able to feel at home there, I need my man cave in order to produce this images.
No one else gets involved with my artistic process. There is a big satisfaction from knowing that I go from bits of wood, a bare canvas to creating a painting. The enjoyment factor in the process is that moment I actually know I have captured the image of someone.
What makes you choose famous figures as your Motif for portraits?
I have always been really interested in people’s faces and expression. My grandfather always used to tell me that when I feel that I want to paint someone it is usually for a good reason.
When I paint famous people I am looking at the person, not at the characters they play. In most cases, people are always acting. When you meet someone for the first time they show you what you want to see.
One of the reasons why I started the ICONS collection is because I wanted to be able to portray people, the way I think they are seen, with barriers and I am interested in that.
Do you now feel welcome in the art sphere?
Yes, overwhelmingly welcome. It is strange to think four years ago I was breaking the top of a suitcase to fit my portfolio, wheeling it from one gallery to another with no luck, and now I am approached by galleries who want to know more about my work. In October I will be doing a 6 year retrospective of my work at the Saatchi Gallery, in Chelsea.
Andy Warhol said, “Being good in business is the most fascinating kind of art. Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art.” 2016 is already turning out to become a successful year for you as we just found out you were commissioned to do a portrait on the BAFTA recipients. Now, is that part of your overall strategy as an artist?
Yes, if I sell my art I can make more art. You’ve got to think like a businessman when you’re away from the canvas. When I am in front of the canvas and painting I am not thinking about selling it, only when I finish I think about selling it. I painted six honourees for BAFTA LA in two weeks, I didn’t leave the garage for 4 days, I would sleep on a small arm chair in the garage. That’s what it takes, that is the commitment.
Recently you did a painting for one of our local icons, here in Chelsea Sir Michael Caine… how did all this come about?
When I was working with BAFTA in October, I went to their offices and saw a black and white photograph of Michael Caine. I painted him as Alfie (1966) and as Harry Brown (2009), in effect trying to cocoon him in film. I finished it just after Christmas, showed to a friend who showed it to Shakira (Michaels wife). I then got an email from her saying Michael loved the painting and that he wanted to meet me.
When we met up he said some amazing things; I was sort of blown away. He said I knew Andy Warhol, he used to paint those soup cans and we all used to think what is he doing? He said to me he thought I was the next Andy Warhol.
You have 197.000 followers on twitter, we can now see the effects that social media has had on the creative industries, so what role would you say social media has had in your development as an artist so far?
Huge, I started using social media to express the way I felt about my art. People go into my twitter account, and see I have a lot of followers, different artist, curators, art dealers, galleries, when they see my outreach they become curious about what I do. In a way I am creating my own news line, building that community in social media gets more people interested in you.
What are your future plans as an artist?
Well I am doing a show of all the original ICONS, at the Royal Academy on the 2nd of June. I am using that as a platform to launch the ICONS into other countries, currently looking at Saint Petersburg, the Middle East, Dubai, New York… I am currently in a gallery at Beverly Hills, called Art Angels, they hold my ICONS work there and also in a gallery in Mayfair.
Are you hungry to explore new mediums of art?
At the moment I have just started talking to a production company, about making The Hunger into a film, its something that I have taken on board in the last week. I am 43 now, if I look further along the line by the time I am 50 my goal is to have made a film about the human spirit.
Lastly, bearing in mind there has been a massive change within several sectors of the creative industry that have had an impact of how its distributed, marketed and consumed. What is your personal opinion on the way the art world will look like in the future?
I think that the thought of someone walking through the door to come and view a piece of art in the wall is over. I believe the traditional ways in which art has been sold, will soon disappear. I think you need to use the social media environment even if you start with one follower. One day someone is going to look at what you do and be really interested and curious about it.
Your creativeness in selling is just as important as what you create, that is the one thing I would say to anyone.
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