Urban Vex 2009
From a suite of six etchings printed by Simon Lawson at Print, London and published by Flowers and the Royal Academy Schools, London in an edition of 30 with 3 artist proof sets.
“I saw the title for the portfolio as an abbreviation of urban vexation, elements of troubled, disturbed urban life. There is a scene of six characters: .
The Celebrity ("Celebrity Dilemma"), the fashion model ("Model Citizen"), corporate business executive ("Corporate Bling"), a transsexual ("Bender"),terrorist/freedom fighter ("Freedom Fighter"), the depressed urbanist ("Black Dog"). Most came directly from media news coverage of specific events, a methodology that I have used as source continuously since my work of 1962 within the British Pop Art movement, to currently. Celebrity Dilemma was concerning the proliferation of celebrities, who, in a race for more media exposure were posing nude. Model Citizen Fashion models gaining notoriety through their drug use. Not model citizens. Corporate Bling corporate corruption. Black Dog the depressed urbanist (the phrase Winston Churchill used for his bouts of depression). In Black Dog, the figure is holding his hand to his head, which is shaped as a gun. Black Dog and Model Citizen were based on previous paintings of the same name, exhibited at Flowers, Cork Street in October 2008.
The series was commissioned by Eileen Cooper, at that time head of the Print Department of the Royal Academy Schools, London, as part of a project to bring established artist's into the school to make prints for their collection. The portfolio was financed by the Royal Academy Schools and the Flowers Galleries. Printed excellently by Royal Academy Schools master printer Simon Lawson, at the Royal Academy Schools.
When I was an undergraduate at Yeovil School of Art in Somerset, the prevailing degree was the NDD (National Diploma in Design) and at the end of their 2nd year students had to declare their major and supplementary for study. My major was painting, lithography as supplementary. I took up printmaking again in the 1970's, mainly lithography, while teaching at the Print Making Department of the Royal College of Art in London. Then in the 1980's while living and teaching in Texas I made etchings and large lino cuts prints ( 5 ft x 2' 6" ).