Autumn Contemporary at Maddox Gallery, Westbourne Grove

The autumn collection at the Maddox Gallery in Westbourne Grove is a must see, with artworks suited to all artistic tastes and preferences. Artists featured include Andy Warhol, Banksy, Bradley Theodore, David Yarrow, and the Connor Brothers. Newly featured artists showcased across the ground floor of the gallery as part of the new collection ‘Margraves’ include Mr. Brainwash, David Yarrow, Simafra and Michael Moebius.

David Yarrow’s work was recently exhibited at Maddox Gallery’s new Westbourne Grove space under the title, ‘The Untouchables’. The wildlife photographer’s work tells viewers the most incredible stories, with his black and white images perfectly capture the magic of the subjected animals and their surrounding natural habitats. Yarrow uses his art as a platform and as a voice for the animals. As they cannot speak for themselves, Yarrow speaks for them through striking photographs that simultaneously exude a sense of the sublime and render the exotic and faraway accessible; tangible almost, narrowing the distance between urban viewers and the creatures that inhabit the same planet.

Yarrow’s ‘The Killer’ takes up almost an entire wall of the gallery. Viewers are stunned, like the prey this predator hunts, at the sheer magnitude and beauty of the piece. A devil in disguise, the giant tiger glides through deep, black water. The particularly handsome tiger photographed has in fact killed two villagers in Rajasthan, and taking this photograph, from a mere fifteen feet away, was a highly courageous achievement. Wild tigers are now so incredibly rare that to be able to capture this magical beast on camera was huge feat and this was Yarrow’s only encounter after 28 hours searching for the infamous, magnificent animal.

Mr Brainwash is a name used by French-born, Los Angeles-based street artist Thierry Guetta. He was introduced to street art by his cousin, a street artist by the name of Invader, and eventually “evolved” into an artist of his own after an off-hand suggestion from Banksy.

Many people believe that as Guetta’s work strongly emulates the styles and satirical concepts of Banksy, Guetta is really an elaborate prank staged by Banksy who creates the works himself. However, Banksy insists on his website that Guetta is genuine and authentic and is not part of a prank. Guetta’s work which features portraits of Jim Morrison, Charlie Chaplin and Muhammed Ali include collage backgrounds of paint splatter and news clipping alongside graffiti style scrawlings and its graphic style is very striking.

Born in Germany in 1968 Michael Moebius became love-struck with art from a very early age. Viewers will instantly recognise Moebius’ work with his signature pink bubblegum, popping from the mouths of famous icons.  Moebius’ art career was put on hold while he pursued a formal education and decided on a career in engineering. It was during his time working in architectural illustration that he happened upon a book of pin-ups and his love for art was resuscitated.

 His portrait of David Bowie, ‘Aladdin Sane’ 2017 is particularly breathtaking. Upon closer inspection viewers will note the absolute meticulous detail in Moebius’ work. Each and every brush stroke is perfect, every line and wrinkle in the skin has depth and every single hair is in its place. Bowie’s ‘heterochromia iridum’, of which he exhibits complete heterochromia, is perfectly displayed in Moebius’ painting. His blue eye is incredibly striking, gazing into the viewers soul, and contrasts beautifully against his brown eye and the sepia tone of the painting.

Moebius’ use of pink bubblegum in his paintings is significantly personal to him. Growing up East of the Berlin wall Moebius was deprived of many items and ‘luxuries’, including bubblegum in his formative years. After the Fall of the Berlin Wall Moebius discovered bubblegum and treasured it, and it became a huge part of his expression through art.

 ‘L’anima Della Terra’ 2017 by Simafra is quite simply a work of sheer beauty and depth. Like something plucked straight from a dream, its segments of watery blue glass material and the contrasting delicate placement of shimmering gold leaf that shimmers conjure a fabric of unworldly quality across the canvas. The beautiful map of blue and gold is encased by a border of rock, stone and a cement-like material, conveying the message that what may not seem so beautiful and attractive on the outside can contain something unimaginably magical on the inside. L’anima Della Terra means ‘The soul of the Earth’ and nothing could describe this piece of art more aptly.

Downstairs in the gallery, there is a small lounge area, with a welcoming plush carpet that leads to the room where more of David Yarrow’s photographs are held on display. The room is set up with sofas and soft chairs for viewers to sit back and relax as they marvel at the size and beauty of Yarrow’s gorgeous scenes of nature. Scented candles dotted around the room add to the relaxing ambiance and it is easy to let the mind wander off to the diverse landscapes presented in the pictures, whether it is to the hot plains of Africa or to the icy expanses of the North Pole.

Visitors to the Maddox Gallery, Westbourne Grove are taken on a magnificent journey that starts with a warm welcome at the door and finishes in a hidden den of black and white dreams in the downstairs lounge but not before traversing a world of colour splashed across a sensational collection of modern and contemporary artworks along the way.

Autumn Contemporary is on show at Maddox Gallery, Westbourne Grove until 31st January 2018.  More information may be found here.