Spring Contemporary at the Maddox Gallery, Maddox Street
Once again a magnificent variety of artworks by various artists are on display at the Maddox Gallery for its Spring Contemporary exhibition. It’s flagship gallery, from where it takes its name from, in Maddox Street is currently playing host to stunning works by a number of artists including; Mr Brainwash; Simafra; The Connor Brothers; Mike Dargas; Harland Miller; Lauren Baker; David Yarrow; and Mila Alexandra.
Before even entering the gallery visitors, or even passers by, are immediately entranced by the grand display of flowers surrounding and snaking up the gallery in shades of bright reds and pinks, giving the monotonous streets of London a sizzling burst of colour. This enchanting scene truly bewitches, like a sirens call, inviting people in off the street to marvel at the wonders that lie within.
The Connor Brothers are two British artists James Golding and Mark Snelle, who came to prominence in 2012, and for several years remained anonymous by creating and using a fictional biography. Their identities were finally revealed in 2014. Best known for their Pulp Fiction series The Connor Brothers are also known for their playful hoaxes; they created a fictional museum in 2014 - The Hanbury Collection, which fused together both truth and fiction, rendering it impossible for viewers to work out which exhibits were real and which were not.
“Those Who Say It Cannot Be Done” is a powerful and inspiring work of art and is the central piece of work at the front of the gallery, it is the piece that people see while outside that aids in luring in visitors the gallery. On display downstairs are, “Tell Me Beautiful Untrue Things”, “All She Wanted To Be Was Someone’s Most Precious”, and “Vice Versa” which are situated alongside one another. Dark mirrors fill the wall beside the works, which create the illusion that the paintings are a powerful, towering army.
The Connor Brothers work explores the boundaries between truth and fiction, raising questions about how we construct meanings from experience.
Lauren Baker is a contemporary British artist who explores the fragility of life, energy-fields, the after-life and other dimensions. Her primary medium is neon light which expresses energies and life mantras and her aim is to raise the atmosphere of love and connection in the world. Baker’s creative process is to listen to sound frequencies while in a meditative state to digitally paint auras and energy. She then incorporates diamond dust, neon and kinetic elements to create bewitching, ethereal works of art. “Fucking Epic (Electric Blue)” is a beautiful panglossian statement, that not only lights up the room with its message but with its bright blue neon aura. It is so attractive due to it being straight to the point and open about its intentions.
Baker is a strong advocate for animals and their conservation, her passion for both art and animals gives her a platform to use her art to raise money and awareness for the cause. An Ambassador for ‘Save Wild Tigers’, Baker created “The Crystal Tigress” in 2014, which was sold for £30,000 at the tiger conservation charity auction for Save Wild Tigers.
Baker’s works are an intriguing beauty that captivate and evoke deep spiritual feelings and energies for those that view them.
German born Mark Dargas is a visual artist and painter whose hyperrealistic oil paintings have earned him well deserved global admiration. He was only discovered a few years ago on Instagram, however he had already dedicated much of his life to his craft.
Playing with elements of hyperrealism and photography, experimenting with motifs and techniques, Dargas was searching for a material that could cover a decent surface area, and yet remain transparent enough so as not to hide the art beneath; he discovered honey.
Towering over viewers at a grand height just shy of eight foot “Amara” is without a doubt a visual showstopper. Dargas’ works are so realistic, you can almost taste the honey.
Finding inspiration especially in women, Dargas captures a raw and natural beauty in each of his subjects which he portrays exquisitely throughout his works.
The ‘Healing Beauty’ series, which includes “Amara”, focuses on femininity, beauty, and fragility. Throughout the series of works women of all personalities were able to express their feelings that can be difficult to verbally explain, but are universally felt.
Seductive and powerful are the two best adjectives to describe the photorealistic portraits of Russian born painter Mila Alexander. In her search for attitude and allure, Alexander bypasses the typical vacant good looks in favour of more engaging and exotic models. Alexander draws inspiration from female beauty and sensuality, with Scandinavian model Sylvia Flote, who is known for her fragile yet sensual presence, featuring in several of her portraits.
Flotes fair creamy skin and vibrant red hair are striking details in “Gold Digger” and are incredibly captivating, enough to almost draw attention away from her attire, and beautifully detailed eyepatch, which is made up of Swarovski crystals, that sparkle as the viewers moves.
“No Angel” shows a powerful and sexually enticing woman whose piercing eyes, surrounded by a black latex playboy mask, stare straight out of the canvas and into the viewers own eyes. The effect is intimately intimidating. Featured a lot in Alexander’s works are the famous playboy bunny ears that were made famous by Hugh Hefner. The ears are often used to relay sexuality and power, which is fitting for Alexander as each of her works demonstrates feminine power and self awareness.
Each of Alexander’s portraits are beautifully intense, keeping viewers captivated by the fire that burns within each brush stroke.
The Spring Contemporary exhibition in Maddox Street is an enchanting collection of works that are must sees for any art lover.
“Spring Contemporary” is on display until April 24th at The Maddox Gallery in Maddox Street. More information can be found here.