Yeo’s series of portraits made from pornographic magazines was a sudden departure by Yeo from paint into collage as the portraits subverts the viewer’s expectations by using cut up graphic imagery as the medium instead of paint on canvas. These works could be seen as performance pieces in the sense that there is an act of recognition and transformation in what the viewer sees, as they get closer to the work, which initially appears to be a well-constructed, straightforward painting.
The first of these unorthodox portraits, ‘Bush’, was made in 2007 in response to a formal commission to paint the then President of the United States, George W. Bush, which fell through. Yeo’s initial disappointment led to him making this playful, but explicit, collage satirizing the assumed moral superiority of the extreme right in American politics.
|Artist Description||Jonathan Yeo is the London-based contemporary portraitist responsible for paintings of Nicole Kidman, Dennis Hopper, Prince Philip, Erin O'Connor, Tony Blair, and David Cameron among others, most recently a portrait of Damien Hirst apparently in a glass tank. Although portraiture is sometimes thought of as a conservative medium, Yeo has shown himself to be in pursuit of a subversive agenda, as in his unauthorised 2007 portrait of George W Bush, created from cuttings of pornographic magazines, which brought him worldwide notoriety. He used a similar method in an unauthorised portrait of Paris Hilton, while his portraits of British politicians have displayed a level of critique unwelcome to the subjects. Born in 1970, Yeo is entirely self-taught, a process that took place during a lengthy and painful period of recovery from Hodgkin's Disease. As he himself points out, he was determined to become a painter at a time when figurative, representational art was deeply out of fashion, but makes a powerful case for the ability of the portraitist to challenge his or her subjects. An exhibition of his work is currently on show at the National Portrait Gallery.|
|Inscriptions||Signed & numbered by the artist on the front|
|Short Technique||32 colour screenprint|
|Sheet Size||70 x 102.5 cm|
|Sheet Size (Inches)||40⅛ x 27½ in|
|Image Size (inches)||No|
32 colour screen print, published in 2007.
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|Price on Application||Yes|
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