Love is the Answer: After Nyne Meets Deborah Azzopardi

“The Cynthia Corbett Gallery’s annual Summer Exhibition will launch on 25 June in the heart of London’s St James’ with a special focus on British Pop Artist Deborah Azzopardi. Vintage and new works by Azzopardi will be shown alongside pieces by Gallery artists including painter Andy Burgess, photographer Tom Leighton and sculptor Nicolas Saint Grégoire.

Deborah Azzopardi is known internationally for her distinctive, playful and colourful pop art images that celebrate the drama and joy of everyday situations. She will launch a series of new works at the exhibition and will show, for the first time, the original paintings selected for a special edition of postcards for HABITAT – the Dating card series. It is the popularity of such published images that has contributed to Azzopardi’s global success and resulted in her originals being sought-after by serious international collectors.

Take us back in time – when did you discover your passion for art?

It’s always been there. I think all artists know, it’s just a case of whether they can or have the courage to follow their dream.

Why did you choose to work in the ‘pop-art’ style?

It wasn’t a conscious decision, it chose me. I don’t really think about it, it’s a style that feels natural to me and it’s what comes out when I express myself artistically. It’s fun, lively, bright and interesting. It’s direct and there’s no messing about.

We know that pop art presented a challenge to traditions of fine art wh­­­en it firstly emerged during the mid-to late 1950’s. Do you think this is still what it represents now or has it become more of an ordinary, mainstream form of art? What did you think was the tipping point?

The world has changed so much since then and we know so much more. As a result, we’re more awake and more able to enjoy art and the diversity of what’s out there. Collectors are buying art that they want to buy, not art that they feel they should buy. I think that people are more able to simply enjoy art and it’s much more available than it was in the mid to late 50s.

Where do you usually find inspiration?

In everything. I am inspired every single second of every single day. I keep my eyes and ears wide open and don’t miss a thing.

Tell us a little about your work with the Amy Winehouse Foundation.

I was approached by Mitch and Janis Winehouse three years ago to create a portrait of Amy, with a view to a portion of the proceeds going to The Amy Winehouse Foundation. I completed the portrait, ‘Love is the Answer’ in 2016.

I really believe that love is the answer to everything. It’s important to share the love. If you can truly love and be compassionate, it’s the answer to so much. Genuine support, kindness and empathy make a difference.

This title and text went with the image because it seemed suitable for Amy and for her family and fans. It felt respectful.

And with Disney…you have such an amazingly diverse portfolio of partners! Tell us about the role of Disney in your career?

I was a Disney licensee holder very early on in my career. It was a huge amount of fun and the experience gave me great confidence from a business perspective.

Tell us about your upcoming exhibition with The Cynthia Corbett Gallery.

There will be a focus on my work in the gallery’s forthcoming Summer Exhibition. I will be showing new works alongside vintage pieces.

There will be a focus on my work in the gallery’s forthcoming Summer Exhibition. I will be showing new works alongside vintage pieces.

These vintage pieces are from my personal collection and have never been shown in public or made available for sale. They include a series of paintings reproduced by Habitat as a set of five postcards called the Dating pack.

Which artists are currently exciting you?

Klari Reis’s work always excites me – she’s one of Cynthia Corbett’s other gallery artists. I’m also very excited about the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A.

What advice would you give your younger self?

Carry on, carry on, carry on. Keep going and don’t stop! Sleep a bit more while you can. Otherwise, I would do everything the same.

Finally, why should people come and see your latest  exhibition?

Why not? It’s a chance to see and buy some of my original vintage paintings – works that have never been shown before – and of course see some of my latest works for the first time.

Deborah Azzopardi’s work will be part of The Cynthia Corbett Gallery Summer Exhibition, which runs from 25 June to 7 July at the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery in St James’s, London. The exhibition is part of Mayfair Art Weekend www.thecynthiacorbettgallery.com

Read the interview in the After Nyne Magazine.

 

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AZZOPARDI is a centrefold!

Pop goes the easel!

Francine Wolfisz chats to north London-based artist Deborah Azzopardi, who shot to fame with her pop art prints for Ikea, about her new series focusing on men

Deborah Azzopardi 2016

“Not all guys can shower and come out looking beautiful in their Levis. Those are the men I wanted to capture – the real men,” giggles artist Deborah Azzopardi.

Her distinctive images – large-scale, vibrant, voyeuristic and, above all, humorous – celebrate the drama of everyday life. But, for the first time in her 30-year career, Azzopardi has moved her focus onto men.

A series of new acrylic paintings, which have just gone on display at The Cynthia Corbett Gallery in Cork Street, London, attempt to uncover all the foibles of the male sex, from changing clothes to tying up their shoelaces and practising golf in the bedroom.

The north London-based artist, whose painting Sssshhh was reproduced by IKEA and became a global success, tells me she wanted to depict “all the funny things that men do” in her new artworks.

“Normally I just have a giggle at myself,” explains Azzopardi, who grew up in Golders Green. “I have done men before, but in different ways. This is a little deeper, although it doesn’t seem deep because it’s also playful.”

Speaking about her work, Late Again, which depicts a man struggling to get into his jeans, the 58-year-old says it takes a wry look at the differences between men and women.

“You look and you see the jeans and a shirt and a tie – and the shirt matches the socks. Is it planned or unplanned? Is he late and what is he getting dressed for? Guys are like that though. They seem very organised.

“I always say, ‘where’s my lipstick, where’s my hairbrush, where’s this or that?’ Men just tap their pockets – ‘there’s my wallet and there are my keys’.”

Azzopardi’s journey as an artist began in her 20s, when she became desperately ill with meningitis. Following her recovery, she decided to quit her job in retail and put her energies into her two passions – her family and her painting, despite not having formal training.

With their bright colours and cartoon-like imagery, many have compared her works to pioneering pop artists of the 1960s. Two years ago, when The Cynthia Corbett Gallery hosted her first solo show, art critic Estelle Lovatt proclaimed that “America has Lichtenstein, we have Azzopardi”, a statement that Azzopardi regards as “a wonderful compliment”. But she remains a little uneasy over categorising her work as pop art.

“I called my style pop art only because I needed a term that was easy for people to understand,” says the dedicated mother-of-three. “Now I’ve been painting for so long, I just think it’s my own style. I’m not sure it’s truly pop art as it used to be.”

At their largest, her works measure around 5ft by 3ft and can take around three months to complete on an easel that cleverly tilts in different directions. “I like the impact when they are large. I don’t like little things,” she reveals.

Deborah Azzopardi outside her studio. Photo by Cristina Schek

Deborah Azzopardi outside her studio. Photo by Cristina Schek

As for the inspirations behind her ideas, the talented 58-year-old tells me: “I have a lot of muses; they are just people that I know, friends and family.

“Everybody has something that’s lovely about them. All my muses are normal, everyday people. Models don’t interest me, because they are slim and I think all the bumps and curves make real people.”

She confesses to “painting all day, every day, in between phone calls and running about”, and works from one of the two studios at home.

“I’m very neat, very tidy and very organised. When people come in, they don’t believe I’m an artist, because the only mess is on me – my clothes, my hair, my skin. Every artist will say that they don’t have one item of clothing that doesn’t have paint on,” laughs Azzopardi.

Alongside her new paintings, the exhibition will also feature the original paintings she created for IKEA in 2005, which have never before been shown in public.

While the prints have sold in more than 50 countries, the originals are much sought-after by collectors and have commanded prices well into the tens of thousands of pounds. Their success is still something that takes the artist by surprise.

“Did I think they would be this popular? Not at all. I thought it was fun, just a fun thing to do,” reveals Azzopardi. “To think that the prints were selling for £9.99 and now someone can own the original is quite something. To have an original piece of art is wonderful; there’s nothing quite like it.”

Deborah Azzopardi’s works are on display until 9 July at The Cynthia Corbett Gallery, Royal Opera Arcade Gallery, Pall Mall, St James’s, London. Details: 020 8947 6782 or www.thecynthiacorbettgallery.com

Source: Jewish News

Celebrating 30 Years of POP with Deborah Azzopardi | Hive Magazine, 2015

Celebrating 30 Years of POP with Deborah Azzopardi, Hive Magazine, 2015

Deborah Azzopardi on 30 Years in Actrylic, Hive Magazine 2015

Deborah Azzopardi on 30 Years in Actrylic, Hive Magazine 2015

Deboraz Azzopardi - Monday Morning / Everlasting

Deboraz Azzopardi – Monday Morning / Everlasting

Deborah Azzopardi, Art Feature 'Hive' Magazine 2015

Deborah Azzopardi, Art Feature ‘Hive’ Magazine 2015

via Hive Magazine

 

 

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Deborah Azzopardi Interview | De Standaard, Belgium

 

“Sshh has sold millions of copies and is an Ikea Classic, that overwhelms its creator. The pop art image shows a woman with a red lacquered finger nail suggesting silence…

“It’s about fun, the same as all my work. It should make you smile”,  says the British contemporary pop artist Deborah Azzopardi.

SShh is now seen everywhere, from bathrooms to libraries, from homes to offices. I’ve seen six pieces hung side by side in an elevator, as ‘subtle’ hint for users to be quiet. I thought that was fun.”

The original Sshh is valued for  £500.000 and is in a vault. By contrast, at IKEA, you can have an Azzopardi for 9.99 euros.”

De Standaard

 

 

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