With Miami Basel concluding for another year, there was no shortage of Lazarides artists popping up throughout the fair both inside and out. Fellow French street artists JR and Andres collaborated on various pieces around town, whilst JR was busy promoting his new film and book release with Jose Parla: The Wrinkles of The City Havana Cuba, which documents their murals created whilst they visited Cuba earlier this year. Invader was also busy applying his infamous street style to the beaches of Miami, as well as Ron English, Logan Hicks and Lazarides veteran Jonathan Yeo showing within the fair itself. For those of you who weren't lucky enough to escape the bitter British cold, enjoy the snaps and think of something warm!
Jonathan Yeo taught himself to paint in his early twenties and carved out a career in the nineties painting pop stars, royalty and Russian mafia. He became a big noise in portraiture, receiving commissions from the likes of Erin O'Connor, David Walliams, Grayson Perry, Tony Blair and Nicole Kidman. In the noughties Yeo kept up his notoriety by flouting the rules. In 2001 he unveiled a triptych of Blair, Hague and Kennedy whose varying sizes acted as popularity barometers. In 2002 his photorealist paintings for Theo Fennell were pulled from US magazines for their graphic nudity. The next year he caused uproar at the Royal Society of Portrait Painters by dropping the curtain on a full frontal Ivan Massow.
In 2007, after toing and froing with the Dubya Bush camp over a portrait of their leader, Yeo decided to take matters into his own hands and masterminded "Bush Porn" – a collage of the President of the United States made from pieces of hard-core porn. Bush's furrowed brow is a mishmash of writhing naked flesh while his ear is a ripped-up finger-flick to the laws of the land (showing a sexual act reportedly illegal in the state of Texas). From this, came Blue Period, a show of pornographic images of celebrities, artists and nudes. Yeo gained wide-spread recognition for a controversial portrait of Tony Blair with a blood-red poppy in 2007 and commissions from the world's glitterati continue to flood in.
Opinions on the route Yeo follows are divided. The National Portrait Gallery describes Yeo's work as a combination of "photographic realism and a painterly touch". Dennis Hopper describes it as "timeless and exquisite". The US Republican party calls it "extremely distasteful".
Last night Lazarides Rathbone opened our doors to friends, family and fans eager to get a look at Jonathan Yeo's highly anticipated solo show, You're Only Young Twice. It was a fantastic evening full of praise for the new body of work, proving why Yeo is still one of Britain's most important artists. The show will be running throughout December and into the New Year, open to the public from today.
After various trips around Ireland Conor Harrington is back in London working hard on his brand new pieces for The Minotaur opening at The Old Vic Tunnels on the 10th October, alongside other Lazarides artists: Antony Micallef, Jonathan Yeo, Doug Foster, Stanley Donwood and many more.
A selection of originals and prints by Antony Micallef, Conor Harrington, Ian Francis, Jonathan Yeo, JR, Mode 2, Paul Insect, Stanley Donwood, Vhils and Zevs donned the walls of Lazarides' sister venture Post No Bills in Venice Beach, California. Those of us back in London at the launch of Boxi's new exhibition were certainly jealous of this candid affair. Luckily, there is never any shortage on the art/ fun metre at any event stamped with Lazarides approval.
The UK's best known portrait painter, Jonathan Yeo, and the world's most notorious dealer of emerging artists, Steve Lazarides open a huge pop-up gallery in Beverly Hills, Los Angeles and fill it with art made from cut up pornographic images for the Porn in the USA exhibition. Hi-jinx ensue.