A recent exhibition spotlighted some of the most exciting young artists based in Britain. The twist? It happened in Paris. Artists photographed by Isabella Sheherazade Sanai
It is no secret that, post Brexit, Paris has been taking giant canvas-sized bites out of London’s position as capital of the European art world. So we loved Galerie Marguo’s playful contribution to the cultural battle, which took place in May and June of this year. The elegant gallery put on a show of British-based artists at its space in the Marais. Those taking part included Jamiu Agboke, Freya Douglas-Morris, Li Hei Di and James Prapaithong, photographed here, and others including recent RCA graduate Georg Wilson. Curated by Henry Relph, the show was entitled “A New Sensation”, in an arch reference to the iconic 1997 show, “Sensation”, at London’s Royal Academy of Arts, which featured the influential collection of Charles Saatchi, and was a major moment in triggering London’s art boom.
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LUX asks: what does it mean to be a London based artist today?
“I love London deeply and it’s my home, but it doesn’t mean anything to me personally to be an artist in London. That’s just due to the nature of my work and practice. Also, it’s a financial obstacle course for most artists.”
“To be a London based artist today is to see the opportunities that the city can present, but also to accept the struggle that can go hand in hand, without giving up.”
“I was born in London and for the past 20 years I have lived and worked in Hackney. I am surrounded by people who look, listen, feel, make, share. I can access a multitude of creative sources, then retreat to my studio and work in a quiet setting. I need this contrast, to be surrounded by the inspiration and energy of a big city, and to paint in a room that is its antidote, calm and private. London is vast, giving room to the trials and errors of being an artist, but small enough to feel you belong.”
Li Hei Di
“I miss the sun. The lack of light makes me search for light in my paintings.”
Find out more: marguo.com
This article was first published in the Spring/Summer 2023 issue of LUX