Harrods collaborate with Halycon Gallery to bring immersive art to their iconic store
For the first time, the world’s most iconic department store, Harrods, are collaborating exclusively with one of London’s most respected galleries to bring a series of art installations to their famous shop windows on Brompton road. The artist selected to receive this landmark honour – the first to be featured in this hallowed spot in Harrods’ 171 years – is none other than Anglo-American pop artist Russell Young, who has long been a favourite among celebrities, his work featured in the collections of stars like Brad Pitt, Barack Obama and the late and great David Bowie.
You are sure to recognise Young’s subjects: he is best known for his diamond-dust portraits of the most iconic figures of the 20th century, spanning all spheres of society: from the king of the music scene himself, Elvis Presley, to Hollywood’s golden girl Marilyn Monroe and first lady-cum-queen of culture Jackie Kennedy, to world-class fighters Mohammed Ali and Bruce Lee. His work breaks from the 1950s roots of the Pop Art movement to encapsulate more contemporary figures such as the generation-shaping supermodel Kate Moss.
Young speaks passionately about this new venture: “To have my paintings in the windows at Harrods is an honour. I am displaying my collection of diamond-dusted paintings of icons who were like beacons of light in my youth, like Marilyn Monroe, Brigitte Bardot, Kate Moss, Muhammad Ali and Elvis Presley. These icons are cast in a myriad of colours, hand-mixed from opulent pigments sourced from around the world, and I look forward to seeing them radiate and shine in the cool winter light of London. My relationship with the Halcyon Gallery is a rare and precious thing; many artists seek the kind of love, devotion and integrity that a space like Halcyon shows for my work, and it is a wonderful privilege for the Halcyon Gallery to bring my works to Harrods.”
Though this is an inaugural exhibition, it marks the start of a new initiative for the prestigious Harrods, who wish to continue their collaboration with the Halycon Gallery in order to give their shoppers a rolling immersive experience, meaning that visitors to the flagship store in central London can enjoy a changing programme of artistic enrichment. This project is a testament to the Halycon’s commitment to bringing art to public spaces and encouraging new audiences across the world. This accessible installation could attract a new generation to the art scene.
Alex Wells-Greco, creative visual director at Harrods, lauds the beginning of a new decade and a new era: “Harrods’ first creative campaign for 2020, titled Icons, will celebrate the individuals, creativity and design that changed our world. We will kick off with an exclusive show of Halcyon Gallery artist Russell Young. Young’s work portrays photographs of cultural and pop icons of the past and present in a diamond-dust patina. During the dark month of January, what better way to start the year than with the brightly coloured, larger-than-life artworks of Russell Young?”
“Harrods has an amazing relationship with the Halcyon Gallery and in 2020, we are delighted to introduce and co-create the Art in Harrods programme, showcasing contemporary exhibitions across the store for Harrods’ customers to enjoy.”
Indeed, as well as the window exhibits, once customers enter the store, they will find a whole new 4000-square-foot gallery space on the 3rd floor, featuring world-class works from history’s most influential and groundbreaking artists. This includes modern pieces from pop artist Andy Warhol and cubist revolutionary Pablo Picasso, alongside current figures such as Bob Dylan, Dale Chihuly, Lorenzo Quinn and Paul Cummins. More immersive and experimental digital exhibits will also be on display, with further works positioned around the store to in order to push the boundaries of the medium.
The collaboration is a sign of great things to come according to Halcyon Gallery Managing Director Russell Green: “We are incredibly excited to start this new partnership. Harrods is the most prestigious store in the world and our new gallery on the 3rd floor will definitely create a unique experience for the millions of visitors to the store.”
Young was recognised for his artistic talent as a photographer of live bands in the late 70s, and first came into the spotlight when he was hired to shoot the cover for George Michael’s Grammy Award-winning album Faith. After a period shooting musicians and music videos, he finally began painting at the very end of the millenium, when he produced a series of screenprints in the style of Warhol. By adding his trademark diamond dust effect, he brings en elevated sense of glamour to the medium. Young’s work is featured in galleries all over the globe, and he recently had a retrospective at Shanghai’s modern art museum. This new exhibition, Icons, marks yet another huge achievement and will run all through January at Harrods before he hosts a brand new exhibition from February 2020 at the Halycon gallery itself in Bond Street, entitled FAME.
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Icons is at Halcyon Gallery’s Art at Harrods until 31st January 2020. For further information visit the exhibition’s website here.
FAME opens at Halcyon Gallery, 144-146 New Bond Street London W1S 2PF, in February 2020.