Proud to be British at Imitate Modern
Imitate Modern opened its tribute to Britain with Proud to be British exhibition last night.
Showcasing a variety of contemporary artists’ masterpieces, Imitate Modern presented the exhibition to celebrate everything quintessentially British and what better time to commemorate British pride than in the year of Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee and London’s 2012 Olympic Games.
The intimate gallery displayed various essences of Britain portrayed by the likes of Rich Simmons, Banksy and Goldie, among others. One of Rich Simmons’ proudly exhibited works includes the “Fiver” that showcases every print of the £5 note. Speaking of the artwork, he commented: “I wanted to take out all of my favourite elements of the £5 note and showcase the true beauty hidden behind the value of the paper it is printed on.”
His other piece of work, perhaps the best in the gallery, shows a woman who has been tied with rope and gagged with a piece of cloth depicting the British flag. It is titled Freedom of Speech Union. The gothic colour work contrasting with the British flag, which retains its original colour, blends perfectly with the woman in the picture who is desperate to be freed from oppression. According to Simmons, he designed this artwork to be an “iconic symbol about the protests and the freedom of speech that everyone who tried to have a voice were often denied”. This picture draws a parallel with Simmons’ own feeling towards the politics of Britain which he believes has denied citizens the right to speak their minds. “Britain is often quick to stop that happening and divide and segregate those who have bigger opinions and louder voices”, Simmons said. “My art is my voice and my creativity is my freedom of speech and this is what I choose to shout about.”
The widely celebrated couple Prince William and Kate Middleton were also the subject of art in the gallery. Romero Britto’s portrayal of the newly wed Royal couple separates itself from the rest of the artwork thanks to his use of bright colours in contrast to other artwork that shied away from the use of eye catching colours. The animated faces of both Prince William and Kate Middleton overlapping with the multi-coloured background is presented in different series including blue, green, pink and yellow. The other Royal blood to be included in the gallery is the queen herself courtesy of Goldie who was recently named in BBC’s list of New Elizabethans. His stunning piece entitled Single Petal of a Rose, depicted on birch wood provokes an eerie sensation, perhaps due to the 3D effect of the unusual canvas or the staring eyes of the young monarch herself.
Apart from the monarch, the other familiar faces that make an appearance include the well known supermodel Kate Moss and boxer Dereck Chisora. The ever growing pop culture of the 60s and beyond also makes an appearance via Thibault Sandret’s obscure collage work.
The other artists featured in the exhibition include Banksy, Tyler Shields with his beautiful image of Buckingham palace gate in the dark, Terry O’Neil, Maxime Xavier, Fin Dac and Maximilian Wiedemann.
Proud to be British will run until September 2012 at Imitate Modern, 2-4 Fairchild Place, London EC2A 3EN. For further information or to book visit the gallery’s website here.