Featured Artist: Shepard Fairey

Best known as the designer of the Barack Obama ‘Hope’ poster, created for the 2008 presidential campaign, American street artist and illustrator Shepard Fairey is one of the most influential artists of his generation. Fairey honed his skills in the skateboarding scene of the late 1980s before bringing his distinctive style to the walls of some of the world’s premier art museums. Although he is … Continue reading Featured Artist: Shepard Fairey

Painting the Assassination of JFK

The assassination of US President John F. Kennedy on 22 November 1963 had a profound effect on the history of the Cold War. At once suspicions abounded that the murder was the result of a conspiracy, a theory that is still held to by the majority of American citizens. The news that Kennedy’s suspected killer, Lee Harvey Oswald, was a communist who had defected to the Soviet … Continue reading Painting the Assassination of JFK

One Giant Leap for Canine

This weekend we remember a very brave little dog who had the questionable honour of becoming the first animal to orbit the Earth. On 3 November 1957 Laika (‘Barker’ in Russian) shot into space on board the Soviet spacecraft, Sputnik 2, in an experiment to test the feasibility of human spaceflight. When the stray mongrel was picked off the streets of Moscow her fate was … Continue reading One Giant Leap for Canine

Erró: Iceland’s Cold War Artist

The artist formerly known as Guðmundur Guðmundsson, who goes by the more pronounceable alias Erró, has been inspired by the Cold War throughout a long and varied career. Erró’s riotous canvases reflect his eclectic personal history, from his birth in 1932 in Iceland, to his travels across Europe and his current residency in Paris, Thailand and on the island of Formentera. Developing his artistic practice in … Continue reading Erró: Iceland’s Cold War Artist

Andy Warhol and the Cult of Mao

On 1 October 1949 Mao Zedong proclaimed the foundation of the People’s Republic of China, with himself as its sole leader. A highly-controversial figure, at turn venerated and castigated, Chairman Mao conspired in his own mythologisation by developing an all-encompassing cult of personality. In 1972 Andy Warhol produced a series of prints entitled Mao to coincide with US President Richard Nixon’s historic visit to China. Warhol … Continue reading Andy Warhol and the Cult of Mao

Featured Artist: Gerhard Richter

Gerhard Richter was born in Dresden in 1932, at the geographical and temporal epicentre of 20th-century politics. By the time he decided to pursue a career as a painter, he was living in Soviet-controlled East Germany and the only option open to him was to train as a socialist realist artist. After graduating from the Dresden Academy of Fine Arts, Richter began to resent the restrictions … Continue reading Featured Artist: Gerhard Richter