Banksy Beats Old Masters to Best British Art Work Top Spot

A new poll, conducted by telecoms giant Samsung, asked the British public to vote for their favourite artwork from a shortlist. Street artist Banksy took the top spot with his distinctive 2002 stencil piece, ‘Girl With A Balloon’.

Two thousand people were asked to make their choices from a list of well-known works which was compiled by arts journalists. These ran the gamut from Old Masters, including John Constable and Thomas Gainsborough, to popular contemporary art names such as David Hockney and Bridget Riley.

The styles of work ranged from traditional oil paintings, to sculpture and iconic record cover art. Peter Blake was placed number 8in the poll with his Sgt Pepper’s artwork for The Beatles, while Hipgnosis and George Hardie’s epochal prismatic design for Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon took 9th place. Jamie Reid also charted 20th with his legendary punk art for The Sex Pistols’ ‘Never Mind The Bollocks’ album.

Only one other piece of street art made the poll’s Top 20; the understated yet politically-charged piece ‘A Couple Hold Hands In The Street’ by Stik was named 17th most popular.

Also known as ‘Balloon Girl’ and ‘Girl With Balloon’, the fact that this mural came out on top proves that the public’s love affair with street art, and Banksy in particular, is far from over. Could this popularist approval destroy his credibility as an underground artist though? Somehow, we doubt it.

The full list reads as follows – what would top your list of Britain’s favourite artwork from these choices? Let us know over on our Facebook page.

1     Banksy; Balloon Girl
2     John Constable; The Hay Wain
3     Jack Vettriano; The Singing Butler
4     JMW Turner; The Fighting Temeraire
5     Antony Gormley; The Angel of the North
6     L S Lowry; Going to the Match
7     John William Waterhouse; The Lady of Shalott
8     Peter Blake; Sgt Pepper album cover
9     Hipgnosis and George Hardie; Dark Side of the Moon album cover
10    George Stubbs; Mares and Foals
11    Thomas Gainsborough; Mr and Mrs Andrews
12    John Everett Millais; Ophelia
13    Andy Goldsworthy; Balanced Rock Misty
14    David Hockney; A Bigger Splash
15    Bridget Riley; Movement in Squares
16    Anish Kapoor; ArcelorMittal Orbit
17    Stik; A Couple Hold Hands in the Street
18    Maggi Hambling; Scallop
19    Henry Moore; Reclining Figure
20   Jamie Reid; Never Mind the Bollocks album cover

If you are interested in buying or selling genuine authenticated Banksy prints or original art works, please contact the Theodorus Gallery team directly.

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorised on 26th July 2017 – 0 Comments
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Damien Hirst Wows With Venice Exhibition of New Project

Arguably the most famous British contemporary artist who is still working, Damien Hirst has been incredibly quiet of late. For the past 10 years he has been working on a new project which has now been unveiled to great acclaim at the Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana in Venice, Italy.

Damien Hirst Mickey MouseTreasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is, on the face of things, an archaeological exploration taking in iconic figures from mythology and pop culture. Statues of (painted copper) barnacle encrusted Disney characters Mickey Mouse and Goofy mingle with Medusa and a Cyclops.

Guardian writer Jonathan Jones reported how, at the start of the exhibition’s press viewing, curators provided the assembled journalists with details as to the theme’s background.

“In 2008 the wreck of a treasure ship called the Apistos (meaning “the Unbelievable”) was found on the seabed off east Africa. It sank about 2,000 years ago. Its unique cargo of global artefacts, assembled by a freed slave called Cif Amotan II, have spent two millennia undergoing a “sea change” straight out of Shakespeare’s Tempest, becoming wrapped in coloured corals and bizarre crustacean growths – until the archaeologists who found this sunken marvel asked Hirst to use his millions to help recover it,” he explains before adding: “If you believe that, you’ll believe anything.”

Damien Hirst Venice StatueDescribing his emotional reaction to seeing the works for the first time, Jones says: ‘I was disappointed for a moment. Photographs and films of the salvage project Hirst’s team carried out in the Indian Ocean make you hope for an underwater exhibition or a boat ride through a sunken world. Instead, the display at Punta della Dogana starts with a gargantuan fake Aztec sun stone that frankly looks like a prop from an Indiana Jones film. Is this going to be any more artistically rewarding than a trip to the Harry Potter studios to see the sorting hat? But Hirst’s wizardry proves to be the real thing.’

Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable plays with scale in ways unseen from Hirst since his 22 foot sculpture ‘Charity’ in 2002. The highpoint being a colossal sculpture entitled “Demon with Bowl (Exhibition Enlargement)” which stands an imposing three storeys high in the courtyard of the Venetian palace. You can watch a video of its installation below. This latest work also draws on some of his previous hallmarks – exhibiting objects in cases –  and another crucial element of his work: humour.

As he plunders the past, both ancient and recent, trying to create the rescue of an underwater world in a museum-like setting, Hirst’s wry wit and sense of fun still shine through. Though their mediums of choice are quite different, this often cheeky sense of the arch is something the notorious Brit artist shares with fellow Bristolian – at least as legend would have it – the street art icon Banksy.

As journalists herald Damien Hirst’s ‘return to form’ this echoes the sentiment of many visitors to the exhibition who have shared their views online.

Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable is on display at Palazzo Grassi and Punta della Dogana, Venice, until 3rd December 2017.

Posted in Exhibitions, Uncategorised on 17th April 2017 – 0 Comments
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