Monday, April 01, 2019

Brexit, Banksy and Cold War Steve

This morning I've spent some time looking at artistic commentary on contemporary life - with 
  • Cold War Steve and 'McFadden's Cold War'
  • Banksy vs Bristol Museum revisited - with Devolved Parliament

Cold War Steve and 'McFadden's Cold War' 

Cold War Steve has been acclaimed as the 'Brexit Bruegel' and 'a modern-day Hogarth'. (Thames and Hudson)

'Ship of Fools' (after Hieronymous Bosch) - collage artwork by Coldwar Steve [sold out]

His Twitter feed @Coldwar_Steve is one of the most ironic and funniest comments on Brexit (and we've surely got the bit where we have to laugh rather than cry - whichever side we voted for) and I cannot for the life of me work out why I haven't come across either his website or twitter feed before now

Coldwar Steve, also known as Cold War Steve, is the nom de plume of Christopher Spencer, a British collage artist and satirist. He is the creator of the Twitter feed McFadden's Cold War. The work features photomontages of celebrities with Eastenders actor Steve McFadden as his character of Phil Mitchell. The work typically shows a grim, dystopian location in England, populated by British media figures and politicians, with McFadden being the constant, usually looking on in disgust at the scene he is viewing. His work has been described as having "captured the mood of Brexit Britain" and likened to earlier British political satirists Hogarth and Gillray. (Wikipedia)

Cold War Steve is the pseudonym of Christopher Spencer who is a collage artist - and extremely good one. He even does it live with cameras filming him!

It's especially poignant that he dedicated himself to his collages as a way of keeping himself busy so as to deal with his mental health issues and the fallout from Brexit.

Seems to me he's becoming the Banksy for the Brexit Years - and like Banksy he has moved into 'selling product'.

To start with he sold Christmas cards and prints to help Mind, the mental health charity who helped him when he had his own MH challenges in 2016.
Politicians may have appeared incapable of understanding Brexit this year, but one man has seen through the mess with remarkably clear eyes. Christopher Spencer’s bleak yet hilarious images, posted on Twitter through the account @Coldwar_Steve, have helped him gain a reputation as one of the most perceptive artists of the moment.
Now he's into prints and books. If you go to his website you can choose to:
  • order a limited edition (200 x A3) print sent to you for £200 (including free postage) - "personally stamped by Cold War Steve" 
  • download a high quality print format TIFF image which you can take to your local print shop to be reproduced. 

The offer from 'Cold War Steve'
Plus if you go to bookshops or Amazon you can buy Cold War Steve Presents... The Festival of Brexit (my associate link)

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED: Interview: Cold War Steve's Festival of Brexit - which allows you to look at his twitterfeed images in book form.

The book was published earlier this month by Thames and Hudson. However be aware that the book is small (16.2 x 2 x 17.7 cm) and could have done with being a whole lot bigger. (Surely the title A Bigger Better Brexit is just yearning to be filled with new content? )

On the other hand you can pop it in your pocket and grin on the tube or bus!
Having smiled my way through the twitterfeed, my copy is now on order!


Banksy vs Bristol Museum revisited

In the meantime, our #1 (for the time being) satirical commentary artist is back in the Bristol Museum
With his Devolved Parliament back on show - 10 years after his first exhibition there.
It was first exhibited in the museum during the 2009 exhibition. The show attracted over 300,000 people and was one of the top ten most visited exhibitions anywhere in the world that year.
The label says
'Banksy, born 1974. Devolved Parliament.
Oil paint and digital print, 2009.
Generously loaned from a private collection.'
Devolved Parliament
I made this ten years ago.Bristol museum have just put it back on display to mark Brexit day.

“Laugh now, but one day no-one will be in charge.” Banksy - on Instagram

I've never seen this video of the exhibition ten years ago before. So, if you like me missed it too, enjoy!


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