Exhibit #1 – Graphic Bar, London

On Sunday 13th November we took over Graphic Bar in Soho, London, with our first ever urban art showcase!

After months of late night planning at our “headquarters”, frequent meetings in London with various artists and companies – often followed with several celebratory drinks – the highly anticipated Exhibit #1 event arrived and to say we were overwhelmed with the attendance is an understatement!

Over 160 people attended (give or take ten, once Megan found a clicker to record numbers!) to look at the work, have a few drinks, chat to the artists, us and other spectators – the community vibe was alive! Clearly it was buzzing enough for the legendary DJ Tim Westwood to even drop in and have a look, as he was passing on his way back from the gym!

But the biggest names we have to thank for Exhibit #1 are our UAM artists: Bruce Parker, Carl Cashman and International Nobody. They were there early to set up with us at Graphic Bar, putting the finishing touches to their work, chatting to everyone who came – we couldn’t have asked to work with better artists for our first show! For those who weren’t able to attend, you can check out their “On the Wall” interviews on the previous blog entries.

Positioned in the centre of the gallery, Bruce put his black and white spin on our competition, creating an exclusive one off graphic live at the event. His work sparked a huge interest, with just under half of those attending Exhibit #1 entering the competition! Look out for the winner announcement this Sunday.

So what’s next… for those who have been asking yes we are planning for Exhibit #2 more details will follow in the new year, but if you’re interested in being part of the next big showcase then email us! As some of you may have seen we had several film crews at the event so keep your eyes peeled as we’ll be releasing a few of these over the next week or so, along with our promo video!

Lastly, a big thanks to all those that attended or supported us with the launch of Exhibit #1. Remember you make the movement, so lets keep it growing.

On the Wall: Bruce Parker

Brucey - Pop War

Brucey - Wall

Brucey - Table

One of our first artists to get involved with UAM is Newcastle born Bruce Parker.

Bruce’s work is a chaotic, euphoric, light-hearted, nostalgic trip littered with familiar characters, brands and products past and present. We sat down with Bruce to have a chat about his work…

How would you describe your work?
My work is a monochrome explosion of line and composition. I like to think my work is just like life, so much going on you can’t see it all with just one look.

What is your favourite medium to work in?
I produce almost all of work using paint markers, and there is no limit to the surface I work on.

How did you develop/find your own style?
My current style began to take place on my second year of College, I produced a range of biro drawings in my current style however the line work was poor and the content was boring. I then experimented with many other styles throughout the rest of the course and when I completed my final year of study I went back to these drawings and recreated them with paint markers and since then I have continued development the content of each piece so that it has meaning and connects with the viewer.

When did you realise that art was your future?
I think it has always been my future, I’ve always loved to draw and I think it’s what I have always done best. But the time when I realised I could make a career from it was just a few months after graduating when I was invited to take part in a group show in California. Which was my aim although I never expected it to happen so soon.

What/who are your biggest influences?
Well many of themes of my work are inspired by pop culture, advertising, movies etc. However the artists who have the biggest influence on my work are Attaboy, Joe Ledbetter. When I first discovered the work of Attaboy and Joe Ledbetter it was like a wake up call and when I first began to develop my line work and it became the most important component of my work.

A lot of my inspiration comes from American artists such as Greg “CRAOLA” Simkins, Lola Gil, Ron English, Alex Pardee and many more.

How has the internet and social media sites such as facebook helped you as an artist?
Social media has been a huge help both for finding opportunities and inspiration.

Facebook and Twitter have proved to be a great way to create worldwide links with galleries and companies, all of the opportunities I have had to exhibit abroad have been born on social network sites.

The industry is very competitive, so what have you done to promote yourself?
Early on I produced lots of self initiated work such as the “LoLvo” and “Cold Chillin” which allowed me to experiment and develop my own style whilst also producing work that instantly grabbed the attention of the right people. I also did lots of unpaid work simply for the experience and the chance to build my portfolio at an industry standard, as well as showing my dedication and enthusiasm for my work.

Where would you like to see yourself in five years time?
Well ideally I would like to win a Champions League medal or an Oscar, but realistically, my aim is to be exhibiting regularly in worldwide galleries, and it would also be nice to pick up some big contracts to create artwork for global brands, musicians etc.

If the world were your canvas what would you most like to create?
I would love to create a house of Brucey with walls, floors, ceiling, windows, furniture everything covered in my drawings just total black and white madness.

And finally…

What advice would you give to artists looking to break into the scene and develop a name for themselves?
Don’t aim to start at the bottom and work your way up, aim to go straight to the top and I’m sure you’ll start higher than the bottom.

One worders…

Pen or can? Pen
Wall or wood? Wood
Computer or pad? Pad

You can see Bruce’s work and talk to the man himself at our show on Sunday 13th November at Graphic bar London.

See Brucey’s work here