From Absent Friends to This is Home: Your Culture Guide to May

Do - Howard Hodgkin: Absent Friends | National Portrait Gallery. Absent Friends is the first exhibition of portraits by Howard Hodgkin (1932-2017), one of Britain’s greatest artists. Hodgkin’s paintings are characterised by rich colour, complex illusionistic space and sensuous brushwork. The role of memory, the expression of emotion, and the exploration of relationships between people and places are all fixations. The exhibition surveys Hodgkin’s development of a personal visual language of portraiture, which challenges conventional forms of representation. Until 18th June 2017. 

Howard Hodgkin  -  Going for a Walk with Andrew.

Howard Hodgkin - Going for a Walk with Andrew.

See - Loewe Exhibition | Liberty. To coincide with London Craft Week, Liberty will host a pop-up showcasing LOEWE: This is Home, direct from Salone de Mobile, Milan’s International Furniture Fair. Curated by LOEWE’s creative director Jonathan Anderson, the exhibition will house a category spanning collection of inimitably designed products, each obscuring the lines between decorative and functional. Coalescing inspiration from various art disciplines, the display offers an exploration of novel forms for the interior, articulated through a mix of materials, hands, techniques and cultural references. 2nd - 21st May 2017.  

Eat – Clarette | Marylebone, London - The heiress of the renowned Chateaux Margaux estate has just opened Clarette, the ultra-chic three-storey wine bar in Marylebone. The wine list in predominantly French, though there are wines from around the world so there is certainly something for everyone. There is also a selection of sharing plates available to complement the wines. 44 Blandford Street, London, W1U 7HS. 

Read - Ibiza Bohemia | Assouline. From roaring nightlife to peaceful yoga retreats, Ibiza’s hippie-chic atmosphere is its hallmark. This quintessential Mediterranean hot spot has served as an escape for artists, creatives, and musicians alike for decades. It is a place to reinvent oneself, to walk the fine line between civilization and wilderness, and to discover bliss. Ibiza Bohemia explores the island’s scenic Balearic cliffs, its legendary cast of characters, and the archetypal interiors that define its signature style.

Visit - London Craft Week | London. This annual event showcases exceptional craftsmanship through a journey-of-discovery programme featuring hidden workshops and unknown makers alongside celebrated masters, famous studios, galleries, shops and luxury brands. 3-7 May 2017. Full programme at: http://www.londoncraftweek.com

From The Rise of Modernism to Venetian Chic: Your Culture Guide to March

Visit: Degas to Picasso, The Rise of Modernism - Ashmolean Oxford: The exhibition presents over 100 works from a private collection that has never been seen in Britain before. The exhibition plots a course from Romantic artists such as Ingres, Gericault and Delacroix via the dramatic artistic transformations of Van Gogh and Cézanne, to the radical experiments in Cubism by innovators such as Picasso and Braque. Until May 7th 2017. 

Read: Venetian Chic, Assouline. Francesca Bortolotto Posait knows her way around Venice. Join her to visit artist's studios, elegant Ventian friends and palaces' secrets. To have her as a guide is to experience firsthand her affection for the private side of the mythic city whose daily visitors outnumber its population. Photographer Robyn Lea makes this book a revelation of the Venice of dreams. 

Eat: L'Antica Pizzeria, Stoke Newington. The world's best pizzeria has landed in London. The family run restaurant opened in Naples in 1870 and it is widely recognised as the city's best by the locals. 125 Stoke Newington Church St, Stoke Newington, London N16 0UH. 

Do: Wolfgang Tillmanns, Tate Modern. From intimate still-lifes and portraits, to images that address vital political issues, explore the photographs of this Turner Prize winning and groundbreaking artist. Until 11th June 2017, Tate Modern. 

See: Hamlet, Almedia Theatre. This well-known tragedy will be directed by Robert Ick and have stunning set design by Hildegard Bechtler. Andrew Scott will take on the title role of Hamlet in the Almedia theatre's new production. Until 8th April 2017. 

Are we to paint what's on the face, what's inside the face, or what's behind it? — Pablo Picasso

This year the National Portrait Gallery will display more than 80 portraits by Picasso that feature those he knew and loved. The portraits feature his wife Olga Picasso, friend and modernist Jean Cocteau and composer Igor Stravinsky.  The exhibition follows his journey from early realism to cubism, neoclassicism and surrealism, including the famous Woman in Hat (Olga). The exhibition will be the first major presentation of Picasso’s portraiture in 20 years.  

Picasso,  Woman in a Hat (Olga)

Picasso, Woman in a Hat (Olga)

 

Picasso Portraits, National Portrait Gallery, October 6th 2016 – February 5, 2017

From Great Escapes to Floating Dreams: Your Culture Guide to September

Visit – Abstract Expressionism, Royal Academy. Experience the colour, scale and energy of America’s greatest art movement in this autumn’s must-see exhibition at the Royal Academy. Highlights include Pollock, Rothko and de Kooning. The perfect transition into the winter months. Opens September 24th 2016

Clyfford Still, PH-950 (detail), 1950

Clyfford Still, PH-950 (detail), 1950

Eat – 100 Islington – A shoot off of 100 Hoxton, you can’t go wrong with these delicious Pan-Asian and Middle Eastern small plates. 

Read – Slim Aarons: Great Escapes. Perfect for back to school season, this gorgeous hardcover journal features ten inspirational photographs of spectacular holiday spots from the infamous Slim Aarons from the 1950’s, ‘60’s and ‘70’s. 

Slim Aarons: Great Escapes

Slim Aarons: Great Escapes

Watch – Absolutely Fashion: Inside British Vogue, September 8th on BBC2. We can’t wait to catch a glimpse into the making of the Centenary Issue of British Vogue. 

Go – London Design Festival. Feel inspired across all of London as the Design Festival runs from September 17th to 25th. From pop-up shops to major design shows there will be fantastic events all over the city. Don’t miss Mathieu Lehanneur’s marble installation at the V & A. 

Ik-Joong Kant: Floating Dreams installation 2016

Ik-Joong Kant: Floating Dreams installation 2016

See – Floating Dreams by Ik-Joong Kant – Don’t miss the chance to see this major installation by Ik-Joong Kant, one of South Korea’s prominent multimedia artists. Floating Dreams is a large-scale installation positioned in the centre of the River Thames by Millennium Bridge. Constructed from 500 drawings and illuminated from within, the three-storey-high structure acts as a memorial to the millions displaced and divided during the Korean War.

Handpicked Food For Soul: June Culture Guide

Spending your summer 2016 in London? Before heading overseas for true outdoor adventures, follow our handpicked ABC of the month's go-to destinations, hidden gems, flavours and entertainment for the ultimately satisfying culture boost in the city. 

Yayoi Kusama at the Victoria Miro Gallery

Yayoi Kusama at the Victoria Miro Gallery

Go – With the Summer upon us, Hyde Park will soon become the place to see and be seen. Don’t miss this year’s futuristic Serpentine Pavilion. This year we will see work by Danish architect Bjarke Ingels who has designed the pavilion to resemble an unzipped wall.

SeeYayoi Kusama’s retrospective comes to the Victoria Miro Gallery in North London. Get lost in the surreal sea of pumpkins, polka-dots and magical mirror room. Until July 30th.  

Yayoi Kusama at the Victoria Miro Gallery

Yayoi Kusama at the Victoria Miro Gallery

Visit – Be sure to swing by The Switch House, the new staggering 10 story building at the Tate Modern. Opens on 17th June. 

EatOstuni.  Our favorite Italian haunt in Queen’s Park launches their sister venue on June 13th in Hampstead Road, the perfect treat after a long walk around the Heath. Don’t leave without trying the slow-cooked octopus. 

Read - Anne Sijmonsbergen’s debut cookbook Eivissa (Ibiza), packed full of inspiring Mediterranean recipes for every season, start on a hot summer evening and recreate the white island delicacies in your own home. 

'The Ibiza Cookbook' by Anne Sijmonsbergen

'The Ibiza Cookbook' by Anne Sijmonsbergen

Artattack: C for Charlotte Posner Pop Dolls

Meet Miss Charlotte Posner — London’s contemporary bespoke illustrator whose glam Pop Dolls have conquered the city’s galleries and conceptual shopping spaces. Whether it’s a proud row of sophisticated fashion Pop Doll icons, or elegant eye candy for the foodies, the funky hand-painted illustrations, mimicking commodity culture, branding and fashion’s exuberance in a stylish and satirical way, are simply a joyous celebration of the (otherwise) mundane everyday objects. All around us. 

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Recently: C. Posner brought the era of fun, customised illustration back at Daisy Green Food, Seymour Street, on May 11th, and even three splashes of sticky prosecco accidentally poured over couldn’t stop us from admiring the majestic Pop Doll artwork, paired in perfect harmony with the trendy Peonica London summer collection handbags (above). 

C Posner Art

C Posner Art

At Savant, we always love personal stories the most. Tell me more about your artistic background and key influences. How did your journey of becoming an illustrator begin?

'Hello Sweetie' by C Posner

'Hello Sweetie' by C Posner

For as long as I can remember, I have always had a passion for expressing myself through creativity. My academic capabilities were not always my strongest asset and being artistic allowed me to strive and achieve in the one area that bought me happiness. From the age of 14, Mr. Jepson, my art teacher, taught me how to create using oil paint, which is where my love for art grew deeper. I spent 4 years studying at Chelsea Collage of Art and Design, which also included a semester at Emily Carr in Vancouver.

For the past 6 years I have worked on my paintings from Limehouse Art Foundation Studios in East London, competing in competitions and exhibiting my artwork nationally and internationally. I’ve had my work accepted for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, I participated at the Tate Modern. I also won a Saatchi drawing prize, and have been featured on the BBC Culture Show. Three years ago I decided to quit my part time job to become a full time artist. ‘If i don’t do it now i never will.’ I haven’t looked back since…

What trends and techniques are prevalent in your field of illustration today? 

The main technique I use for my illustrations is pen and ink drawing, starting my work by sketching first in pencil, I then use dip pen and black ink going over the rough sketch with solid neat lines. I then paint in the colour with acrylic or watercolour and touch up in pen again. I also use collage and jewels to accessorise the paintings. I want my paintings to be stylish, bold and easy to live with.

Three years ago I decided to quit my part-time job to become a full-time artist. “If i don’t do it now i never will,” ran through my mind. I haven’t looked back since…

How long does it take you to complete an illustration? Have you also experienced the so-called 'creative block' periods when you are unable to produce new art at all? How do you overcome such periods?

The process of creating my painting from start to finish depends on the size of the painting. They range from a day for the very small drawing or sketch to two-three weeks for the very large. I occasionally get the creative blocks, but I find that less thinking and more doing helps! Working on a few paintings at the same time keeps my imagination flowing and keep me interested in my work.

It seems like you get the inspiration from the most unexpected places - like the row of Magnum dolls, and many other commercial brand and figure led influences. How did you get into this niche? 

Everything around me is influential, I really stand by the quote, ‘you are what you surround yourself with’. All my artwork is based on current trends, life events and all my travels. 

The first ‘Pop Doll’ painting I ever created were the ice cream girls. I posted the dolls on social media and I received more ‘likes’ than I have ever had! From then on my ideas grew and little did I know I had my theme. From ‘foodie dolls’ to ‘designer dolls’, my work was slowly but surely taking off. I started to receive interest from brands, such as Magnum, Coke, Walls, Kellogg, Nails INK, and Magnum UK featured me on their summer campaign.

My vision for the future is to stick to the same theme, whilst growing my style and keeping my work fresh and interesting.

'Magnificent' by C Posner

'Magnificent' by C Posner

Why should we appreciate bespoke illustrations today? 

Making art is being totally in the present. It is a full process of taking your time, concentrating and using your imagination. Everything is becoming much more digital and easily accessible today. I believe that, ‘Good art is like a designer bag, you keep it and it never loses it value.’ My paintings are only increasing in value as my work has become more popular.

What's your opinion on promoting your work at concept store events, such as the Fofolles Popup on Kings Road, Chelsea, in perfect harmony with other ‘brands’, be it artists or fashion makers? Could it be that it creates a better connection with your art when exhibited in a conceptual space?

I think all exposure is great, having a pop-up store on the Kings Road was fantastic for brand awareness and getting my art seen by a young, trendy audience and surrounded by other luxury brands.

Why is it that many artists today decide to sell their work only through social media, and not in galleries anymore? In this case, what could be our potential loss as artists and consumers of art?

I believe the reason for this is that the rentals for gallery space in central London are financially prohibiting. I would agree that a gallery is the best place to exhibit you artwork because this is the only venue that encourages the speculative purchaser that buys on impulse.

'Saucy Ladies' by C Posner

'Saucy Ladies' by C Posner

Who are your favourite illustrators?

My favourite illustrators are Harry Clarke, Léon Samoilovitc Bakst and Richard Dadd.

Who would you expect to have their home decorated with your wonderful illustrations? 

I am extremely fortunate to have acquired such a wonderful audience of all ages. My clients leave it up to me to design what I feel, for commissions they give me the theme and idea and I go ahead and create. I like having the freedom to experiment with colour and style, to give the client the painting they want. My work is hanging all over the world - starting from London, Paris, New York to Brazil! Art is an international language and thereby appreciated all over the world.

Find the above and other bespoke, limited edition Pop Doll prints -

http://www.charlotteposner.com