Saturday, 14 October, 2017
I am delighted to feature the stunning Diamond Dust Collection: an incredible collaboration between esteemed contemporary artist Simon Claridge and legendary English photographer Terry O’Neill whose work features at the National Portrait Gallery in London and is considered one of the great British photographers of our time. He gained renown documenting the fashions, styles, and celebrities of the 1960s, and for over six decades he has photographed the frontline of fame, from the greats of screen and stage, to presidents, prime ministers and rock stars.
I first came across Simon Claridge’s work in 2008 when the art gallery near my offices in Canary Wharf invited me to attend a preview of his debut collection and was wowed by his work. My favourite piece was ‘For your eyes only’ a limited edition print, which was so seductive, powerful and simply stunning. It was also first piece of art I had ever bought.
Over the years, Simon and I have remained friends and I have watched as his work has become even more impressive, featuring well known iconic figures and his now signature use of diamond dust in his paintings. I also love the story of how after graduating with a degree in fine art, Simon began working at an art gallery in Windsor but each night he painted, consumed by the dream of one day having his own work hanging on the walls. One morning, he decided to replace the window display with his own pieces. By lunchtime, he’d sold all of them and never had to work in the gallery again.
In this latest collection, Simon has taken iconic images from Terry’s hallowed archives and applied his signature diamond dust style which he has applied thoughtfully, to retain the essence of the original exposures and showcase the style of both artists.
I was delighted to catch up with Simon at the launch of the new collection at the gorgeous Castle Gallery in South Molton Street in London over the summer.
My favourite piece in the collection is the one featuring Frank Sinatra on the Boardwalk in Miami, taken in 1968, on the first day of filming ‘The Lady in Cement’, as Frank was walking from his hotel to the film set. Terry has commented that “This was the first time I ever saw Frank and I was astonished by the mere power of his presence, mesmerizing the crowd as he walked casually past.” The story of how the picture was taken is even more intriguing. Terry had been given a letter from Ava Gardner who he had met in London, which he delivered to Frank. The letter ensured that Terry could take pictures of Frank without being pushed away by the bouncer entourage!
The collection also features icons such as Mohammed Ali, Raquel Welch and Brigitte Bardot.
I absolutely loved the Diamond Dust collection and can’t wait to see what exciting new work Simon has in store for us in the future!
Note the pieces are available on paper and canvas : Framed Silkscreen on Paper with Diamond Dust | Edition of 150 (from £995) or Framed Silkscreen on Canvas with Diamond Dust (from £2,995) – contact Castle Galleries or Simon Claridge for more information.
Tuesday, 5 November, 2013
In our first of a series of posts about alternative ideas for wedding presents, we want to suggest the gift of art. Nowadays, many couples will have been living together for several years before they get married (and may already have all the dinner sets, wine glasses and cutlery that they will need) and are looking for different ways in which their wedding guests can offer a gift as they start off on married life.
Many art galleries offer a wedding list service which makes it possible for your friends and family to contribute towards a gift of real emotional value whether it is a commissioned portrait, a piece of artwork that means something special to you both or even just the means to start building an art collection together. One of my favourite galleries which offer a wedding gift service together with great customer service within a stylish relaxed environment are the Whitewall galleries with a network of venues across the UK.
Gallery flyer featuring work by Rob Hefferan
Offering a diverse portfolio of contemporary artists covering both figurative, landscape and abstract art; both originals and limited edition canvas collectables are available allowing art lovers to find pieces that suit their individual tastes and budgets. With prices starting at £175 for paper editions, canvas copies from £495 and originals ranging between £495 to £35,000.
One of my personal favourites is the internationally renowned artist Fabian Perez who was the official artist to the 2010 Latin Grammy Awards, as well as the London 2012 Olympics. Born in Argentina, Fabian’s powerful and inspirational compositions reflect his upbringing, Latin soul, love of humanity and his numerous travels, and he has been a large part of the movement bringing figurative artwork to the forefront of the contemporary art scene.
Balcony in Buenos Aires II by Fabian Perez
Fabian will be personally unveiling a powerful new collection of hand embellished canvas editions, bronze sculptures and original oil paintings, and sign copies of his magnificent new commemorative book ‘Neo-Emotionalism this November, kicking his UK tour off tonight at Clarendon Fine Art in Mayfair. Invites to all the events are by RSVP – see http://www.fabianperez.co.uk/events/ for a list of your nearest exhibition and contact relevant gallery for availability at event and exhibition schedules.
And even more exciting, any purchases made during this UK tour will be entered into an exclusive competition where one lucky winner will be given the unique opportunity to have their complimentary portrait created and personally presented to them by Fabian when he returns to the UK in May 2014. The portrait will have an estimated value of £10,000, but to the individual fortunate enough to own it, it will of course be priceless…
Having been a fan of his for over 5 years, I always look forward with eager anticipation to see his latest collections and will never tire of looking at his art. One day perhaps I will be fortunate enough to own an original piece of his work! A girl can dream ….
First meeting with Fabian Perez in 2008