If you ever leave me I’ll come with you

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James McQueen: If You Ever Leave Me I’ll Come With You
15 November 2023 -7 January 2024
Halcyon Gallery
148 New Bond Street

If you ever leave me I’ll come with youlatest single exhibition From pop artist james mcqueen opens to the public Halcyon Gallery In mayfair On November 15, a new collection of artwork will be displayed using vintage Penguin book covers as a starting point for the bold and the satirical. pictures,

The titles and sentiments on the book’s cover are evocative, playful, and sometimes scandalous. working under a pseudonym, mcqueen Introduces an autobiographical dimension into the work with his trademark monkey, using this mischievous character as a kind of personal insignia.

McQueen remains an enigma art world, Has been painting under a pseudonym since 2017. He explains: “Being behind the mask helps me enjoy the creative process without worrying about praise or recognition. I enjoy what I do and don’t want that to change or be changed through judgment. I want my art to speak for itself.”

james mcqueen
Courtesy Halcyon Gallery

Despite his anonymity, McQueen’s paintings are intensely personal, expressive and revealing. At the heart of McQueen’s work is the classic Penguin Books cover design of 1935. McQueen has adopted this design as the fundamental template in almost all of his work, offering a vast range of possibilities despite its strict parameters. In creating his art, McQueen applies copious amounts of paint through multiple layers, which are then sanded down once dry, creating a rough aesthetic that evokes the wear and tear of old books. . Surfaces are often covered with varnish to add additional richness and vibrancy. McQueen’s early interest in Penguin books was inspired by his grandfather who had a large collection. McQueen recalls, “He would often read them to me, but I was more interested in the way they looked.”

Exploring pop art themes and abstraction, McQueen’s intricate application of paint elevates his art beyond the imitation of an indifferent object toward an art that is rich and expressive. He represents the books not as they were when first published, but as they are today: stained and faded with comments and torn edges. McQueen’s unique techniques depict aging and decay as books pass from one owner to another, including fingerprints, rings from tea mugs, missing corners, dislocated spines, and readers’ handwriting.

McQueen says: “I want to create that brokenness, that authenticity. It’s easy to do something neat. It’s easier to do something with straight lines. It’s very difficult to make something look old and tired.”

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These down-to-earth touches contrast clearly and humorously with the bold and provocative titles that characterize his work, such as Too Cool to Give a Fuck, Oh Bollocks, and Give Me Solutions Not Fucking Problems. “Collectors choose these pieces because the quote resonates with them,” McQueen says. “It’s something they can look at every day, as if it’s a book on their shelf.”

Along with books from his grandfather’s collection, McQueen is inspired by decades of artistic traditions, including Pop Art and Abstract Expressionism, embodied by the likes of Ed Ruscha, Damien Hirst, Banksy, Warhol, and Harland Miller. Have given. By redrawing elements from other works and combining them with his own images and his own unique style, McQueen creates original works of art.

James McQueen: If You Ever Leave Me I'll Come With YouJames McQueen: If You Ever Leave Me I'll Come With You
Selected short, life stories by James McQueen

Over the past year, McQueen has created some of the most experimental, complex and diverse paintings in his entire oeuvre, and this exhibition highlights his new, ground-breaking work, breaking new ground in the range of possibilities that can be achieved through the penguin cover motif. Throws light on techniques. , This exhibition is the latest in the emerging story of this unique artist.

James McQueen, If You Ever Leave Me I’m Coming With You runs from 15 November 2023 to 7 January 2024 at Halcyon Gallery, 148 New Bond Street, London W1S 2RL.

©2023 James McQueen, Halcyon Gallery

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