Annie Zamero: ‘Royal Revolutions’

5th – 16th November 2019

Gallery 1

©Annie Zamero

Dafydd Jones: ‘Past and Present’

5th – 16th November 2019

Gallery 2

Michael Beatson-Clark; Richard Harris-Smith; Chris beatson-Clark. Beagle Ball.

Annie Zamero: ‘Royal Revolutions’

Annie Zamero paints satirical portraits of contemporary public figures using satire to uncover aspects of her chosen subjects that they would rather not reveal as part of their public persona, and the results are often contentious by nature. Some have been featured in the Evening Standard’s Diary page, which describes Zamero as a ‘controversial artist’. She embraces this description, noting that controversy sparks interest and starts a conversation. 

©Annie Zamero

Humour is an important element in the work and Zamero has a sense of the ridiculous and strives for a convergence of gravitas and the cartoon. Satire can also be serious. Each painting is set in an art historical context giving it a contemporary relevance. She is particularly interested in the Baroque period for its sense of drama, and more recently the Rococo period for its flamboyance. The public figures are selected because of their personal power; they are often iconic figures. 

©Annie Zamero

Annie Zamero’s methodology involves photographing herself or others dressed in the costume of the chosen character; this increases a sense of personal involvement and helps to identify with the subject, enhancing the facility for character and expression. It also involves adopting the physical pose of the subject which is a technique proposed by Cecil Collins and which the artist learnt from his protégé, Ruth Eisenhardt, who continued his teachings after his death. Her influences are German Expressionists, George Condo, John Currin for “creating” people (using contemporary magazine photos in an art historical context), Rembrandt for character and costume and Mauritzio Cattelan for the political cartoon as fine art. Also of contextual relevance is Alison Jackson for satirising public figures.

©Annie Zamero

Artist Biography:

Annie Zamero is of Eastern European/Germanic descent, and is a self taught artist who graduated from Manchester University in BSc Physiology/Pharmacology, but since childhood was always painting and drawing to help make sense of the world. One of her earliest childhood memories was of her mother being straight jacketed, during a family visit to a countryside mental asylum, where her mother was a frequent patient. Humour became an important way to cope with difficulty, and has featured in her satirical series of paintings.

Zamero founded The Magma Group of artists in 2011. She has exhibited in London, New York, Liverpool, Paris, Athens and Arizona and has been selected for the Liverpool Biennial (2016 and 2010) and the European Capital of Culture Festival (2008). Zamero appears in a number of published books on Stuckism, and in numerous exhibition catalogues with essays by Edward Lucie-Smith, Paul Carey-Kent, Anna McNay and Dr Chris Barlow. 

Dafydd Jones: ‘Past and Present’

Dafydd Jones is recognised as one of the world’s leading social photographers, which over the years has given him unique access to an extraordinary range of social events – from exclusive parties, to the races, to fashion shows, film festivals and debutantes balls.

His keen eye, and an instinct for the absurd, has allowed him to capture the behaviour of people who are either unaware of or indifferent to the camera.

Past and Present explores a variety of social situations, from the mundane to the exalted, and features celebrities, artists,  models and even the occasional princess – all glued to their phones.

Screen Time by Dafydd Jones published by Circa

Dafydd Jones has focused on one of the most dominant elements of the social life of our times how the smartphone has taken us all over. It is a timely and rather sobering look at this phenomenon, done with his usual eloquence as a photographer’. Martin Parr

Screen Time by Dafydd Jones published by Circa

Almost everyone uses a smartphone, and most of us are addicted. In this book, photographer Dafydd Jones shows us just how pervasive our screen addiction has become. In almost every social situation, he shows how the smartphone has killed conversation and changed the way we look at the world.

‘In the eighties and nineties’, says Jones, ‘when I photographed young people at parties or balls, I’d find them chatting each other up, or smooching in corners. Now I see them sneaking looks on their iPhones, checking on their Instagram feeds, or whatever it is they’re hooked on. They hardly talk to each other, or make eye contact at all. And it’s not just a generational thing – it afflicts the oldies too. Who knows what impact it’s having in the bedroom. It’s probably a race to see what will wipe out humanity first – global climate change or screen-induced sexual indifference.’

Screen Time by Dafydd Jones published by Circa