“90 percent of painting is half mental.” JQ
Julian Alexander Quaye’s current works illustrate his love of ironic juxtaposition, and his interest in Victorian and Edwardian colours, with his series of human-form animal portraits. A typical example of his work is ‘The Aviator’: a penguin in early period pilot’s uniform at the North Pole. Or to put it another way, a bird that can’t fly dressed in flying kit and standing at the wrong end of the world.
Within three months of exhibiting for the first time he was picked up to be included in a contemporary urban auction alongside Damian Hirst and Banksy by Dreweatts in summer 2012.
Quaye is a commercial artist with over 25 years experience. He began as a graphic designer in the 80s, producing screen-printed designs for clothing. By the 90s he was specialising in custom freehand airbrushing; anything from motorcycles and crash helmets to murals and backdrops. Always keen to develop his skills further, he studied the arts of trompe l’oeil, marbling, graining, colour washing and traditional sign-writing. His mixed-media artwork, sign-painting and murals incorporate many of these techniques to unique and distinctive effect.
When asked about his influences in creating his animal series of paintings, Quaye cites the wit of surrealist Rene Magritte with the animal drawing styles of Beatrix Potter, Walt Disney and Warner Brothers, encapsulated in a portrait in the manner of American realist painter Edward Hopper but with a liberal dose of kitsch. Quite a recipe.
All the paintings form characters for the narrative for an illustrated book in the future. ‘It will be Steam Punk meets Beatrix Potter’ says Quaye.
August 2015 Group exhibition The Magnificent Seven Urban in Ibiza, Ibiza
October 2014 Artist Guest of Honour Bristol Con, Bristol
August 2014 Group exhibition Tailored Anarchy Urban in Ibiza, Ibiza
August 2014 Group exhibition Tit for Tat It's All 2 Much Gallery, Bristol
November 2013 Group exhibition Christmas Classic Rock Show It's All 2 Much Gallery, Bristol
August 2013 Solo exhibition The Aviator Harvey's Wine Cellars, Bristol
July 2013 Joint exhibition The Aviator It's All 2 Much Gallery, Bristol
June 2013 Group exhibition Urban Art Show It's All 2 Much Gallery, Bristol
April 2013 Group exhibition Affordable Art Fair, Bristol
July 2012 Group exhibition The Bat It's All 2 Much Gallery, Bristol
December 2012 Auction Urban and Contemporary Art Auction, London
November 2012 Group exhibition Christmas Bazaar It's All 2 Much Gallery, Bristol
May 2012 Group exhibition It's there in Black and White It's All 2 Much Gallery, Bristol
March 2012 Group exhibition Millie Gleeson & James Morton It's All 2 Much Gallery, Bristol