Here at We Have Your Prints, we love to celebrate when any of the artists we work with reach a new milestone or achievement, and today we're excited to share that one of our incredible artists Mr. Controversial, has now signed an exclusive publishing deal with Wishbone Publishing Ltd, one of the most exciting publishers in the fine art world.
We got the chance to catch up with Mr. Controversial following the news, and are bringing you an exclusive interview with this ever growing artist, but first a little more about Mr. Controversial.
Who is Mr. Controversial ?
Mr. Controversial is a UK based artist who creates distinctive artwork which fuses 1950s imagery, traditional fine art and social media content to create art that explores how we currently live our lives in this new digital world.
His signature style and the way he communicates is dark, satirical, fearless, and controversial. Mr Controversial’s attitude to art is more akin to the Punk music revolution in the 1970’s. No formal training, making up his own rules, poking fun at the establishment and not worrying who gets offended. The Punk bands of the 70’s were controversial and kick-started a revolution of Do It Yourself attitude still being felt today especially in the art world.
He is Mr. Controversial by name and Mr. Controversial by Nature. He reworks imagery that evoke memories of dramatic film posters, he lures us into a world of Femme Fatales, Private Eyes, lost heroes and doomed heroines. This rolling drama is intertwined with phrases echoing modern life. Combining the two through fine art techniques and modern printing methods result in an impressive collection.
Having been fans of his work for a while now, we have have seen his growth already. We really believe Mr. Controversial is one of the biggest up and coming artists in the UK right now having exploded onto the art scene as recently as early 2020. It is his unique style and the ability to create a captivating story in one piece of art that has already earned him a loyal following of art collectors and fans. Get to know the artist a little better with us through the interview below.
Meet The Artist Interview
Q: What advice would you give to those who want to get into art but have no formal training?
A: This is something that is close to my heart as I started around 2 years ago with no formal training, understanding of the fine art world and no one to give me an intro. I have achieved everything so far with self belief, ambition, determination and grit.
When you are embarking on something totally new, you are competing against people who have more knowledge, experience and contacts than you. You have to believe in yourself and work 10x harder than them in order to catch up quickly and then surpass them. Fail fast, fail hard but keep pushing forward. Be prepared to fail, face resistance, encounter haters and watch people choke on their tea when you tell them you want to become a full time artist and actually earn a few bob from it. It will be rewarding though...
I love it when one of my collectors sends me a picture of my art framed on their wall telling me how happy they are. Something you've sweated over for months, wrestling concepts and variations in your mind while others sleep. To end up with a final piece that someone (other than your Mum) loves makes it all worth it. I have a collector who loves my stuff, and he owns a couple of Warhol's - Blew my mind!
Q: Have you been tempted to stray into modern imagery for your artwork?
A: I am in love with pulp imagery and have been for a good few years although I do have a love for 50's and 60's photography, I use this in my work also. When I am researching and thinking up new concepts, I sometimes end up pinching / screenshotting 70's, 80's and 90's imagery as reference points for new work but I always come back to pulp. I have come to accept that's my first love and that's my thang! I want to honour great pulp artists like Robert McGinnis and those guys, build on what they have created and introduce it to a new generation of art fans and collectors.
Q: You use oil paints on your art, was it a conscious decision to use a very traditional medium over something more modern like acrylics?
A: I quite like using oils although they can be a pain in the ass. They take ages to dry and get everywhere. However, my work is a play on vintage imagery and oils bring out the vintage pulp fiction feel. I also feel that oil painting gives the piece a luxury feel, something that has taken a long time to lovingly create.
Q: Who do you see as your target audience?
A: I am passionate about reaching a new generation of collectors. I think Fine Art, along with every other industry has been completely transformed by digital. It has bought traditional art business models crashing down and opened up a variety of ways to showcase and sell Fine Art. An industry that was considered closed-off and elitist is now available to anyone who has an Instagram account. Art is for everyone, there are people buying art that would never have purchased art before and there are people like me, creating art who have never created art before.
Q: Would you consider doing commissions with given images or phrases?
A: Yes, always up for commissions as long as it fits my tone and style. I normally work with my clients to create a concept from the initial idea they have and match this with a vintage image.
Q: Which artists do you have on your walls at home?
A: My walls are quite bare when it comes to art. I've been so busy since I started that I haven't even got a piece of my own work up, each time I have posted a snippet of a piece I intend to keep in my own house I get offers on it which are hard to refuse. I have promised my girlfriend that we will have some of my work up in the house by Christmas though...
My home office walls are plastered with old photos of people who inspire me; Eartha Kitt, Muhammad Ali, Steve Jobs, Dave Chappelle, Tarantino, Helmut Newton to name a few. Creatives and people who pushed boundaries in their own fields.
Q: If you could have one piece of art (money and space no object) what would you have and why?
A: Man... this is tough. but if money was no object it would have to be a Banksy; 'I fought the law...'. It's an incredible piece of storytelling, it's raw, poignant and speaks to rebels like me.
Q: What's around the corner for Mr. Controversial?
A: I picked up a paintbrush 2 years ago and I launched my Instagram a year later. 11 months on from that I am proud to say I have sold quite a few originals (two whole collections), sold out print editions, worked with galleries, built a close-knit following and now partnered with one of the most exciting Fine Art Publishers in the UK. In a short space of time, I've built a strong brand rooted in pulp imagery, thought provoking captions and a bit of pisstakery... Now I'm ready to take it to the next level. Glenn at Wishbone understands me and my mission to shake shit up in the art world, they've got heaps of experience and the infrastructure in place to take my brand further. We're so excited to launch my new collection and I cannot wait to see my work in galleries all over the UK and beyond!
What Do Wishbone Publishing Have To Say?
What does this mean for Mr. Controversial’s fans & collectors?
From late November 2020, Wishbone Publishing will handle all of Mr. Controversial’s future art releases via their network of affiliated galleries; however, if you wish to purchase his rare, sought after solo published originals which are hand-finished. We are proud to offer a range of these final limited edition prints you can shop for them here.
If you're looking for a serious exclusive, we also have a copy of his last solo published limited edition signed print of 'I am too Insane To Explain And You Are Too Normal To Understand'. This is a serious opportunity, so if you love it, make sure you don't miss it!
We thank him for his support, and wish him every success at remaining Controversial in the future.
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