Mr Controversial is a 30-something London-based Artist who; transforms vintage imagery relegated to the past and brings it back to life with oil paint, silkscreen printing and relatable captions that tell comical, satirical and sometimes dark stories.
He plays with the concept of ‘The Familiar Surprise’. You’ve not seen this image before presented in this way but it reminds you of something familiar. He creates Imagery that elicits an emotional response and triggers a nostalgic or cultural memory packaged in satirical, relatable captions and quotes.
Drawing from his professional experience in the advertising industry working on campaigns for a variety of brands, his work is born out of a passion for crafting engaging visuals, and communication through design and marketing psychology; understanding the science behind the things we buy, buy into and /or share.
On a lighter note, he pokes fun at problems that arise from the digital age and personal frustrations of the social media-obsessed world we live in. Relatability, shareability and storytelling are the foundations of his own artwork and no longer Ad campaigns for brands.
Mr Controversial says; “Each piece should be instantly relatable to the viewer, as if you have stumbled upon something that hits the nail on the head of your own everyday life, making the ordinary extraordinary & hilariously absurd.
I want to create art that speaks to people on a personal level, (the inner you) as if I know something about them that nobody else does. If you don’t look at my art and think ‘OMG that’s so true’ or ‘That’s SO me, I can relate and if you aren’t blown away by the aesthetic in the imagery, oil paint. Diamond dust… then I haven’t bloody done my job!
When I’m not creating in the studio, I spend many hours in my favourite West London coffee shop sketching out ideas and playing with concepts. Many people come in and out throughout the day and I like to earwig in on conversations, deconstruct them, and almost psychoanalyse them. I then put them back together with a funny twist and use that as a basis for a piece of art, I create the imagery around the caption.
A lot of my work is based on conversations I’ve personally listened in on or things I’ve seen on social media posts or comments. I always try to find the funny angle, especially with stuff that’s often quite dark. I have a fearless approach to my work, whether that’s taking the piss out of gluten intolerance, social media influencers, online dating or our own insecurities that rattle around in our minds fuelled by advertising, consumerism and capitalism.
In a world where nothing is truly original, I can only create art that is authentic to me. I guess that’s what makes your art truly valuable. My work; My ideas, my worldview, my commentary on the world we live in. I believe great artists are commentators and a voice of the times in which they create, their work serves as a snapshot, a window into that specific time in history for future generations to make sense of when they look back."