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Warhol, Basquiat, Boy George, Greta Thunberg: artist captures her heroes in paint





ICONIC, showing at Arlington Arts until April 24, brings together, for the first time, Julie Bennett’s paintings of her heroes from the music and art worlds.

The subjects of this series include David Bowie, Boy George, Frida Kahlo and Patti Smith.

Julie Bennett with her Kurt Cobain portrait
Julie Bennett with her Kurt Cobain portrait

London-based Bennett’s works explore her connection to these personalities. Her portraits are more than homage; they express a longing for something unattainable.

Bennett, driven by a lifelong obsession with music and art, spent her teenage years working at a record shop and later, after graduation as a graphic designer, for top UK music and celebrity magazines.

Warhol by Julie Bennett
Warhol by Julie Bennett

Mid-career, she transitioned to painting, propelled by a desire to convey emotions beyond the limitations of the digital screen and wanting to embrace the unpredictability of paint and the absence of a delete key. Seeking a deeper connection with her artistic expression, she pursued a painting degree at Camberwell College of Art.

Drawn to portraiture from the beginning, Bennett developed a style of bold, unapologetically confident portraits that celebrated her subjects through the immediacy of her paint handling. The transient, emotional state of the individual is captured through dripping wet, broad-brush marks, resulting in an appearance of works fresh out of the studio.

George by Julie Bennett
George by Julie Bennett

Bennett's encounters with her icons inform her work, whether through those she has met and come to know, or through those she has studied in-depth while designing magazine covers or researching their bodies of work.

She hopes her works will encourage viewers to contemplate their own relationships with celebrities and their function in society.

Greta by Julie Bennett
Greta by Julie Bennett

Having exhibited widely in group shows, including at Mall Galleries and the V&A Museum, Bennett had a six-week residency at London’s Bankside Hotel, culminating in a solo exhibition. Her work has been published in Stylist, Classic Rock, The Sunday Times, Independent and The Guardian. Additionally, Bennett produced six short films on painting for BBC Bitesize. Her works are held in numerous private collections in the UK and internationally.

The exhibition is free to view: Pre-book: https://arlington-arts.com/julie-bennett-iconic/

Works are individually priced. Contact the box office to reserve or purchase a work.

Unframed prints are available for immediate purchase.

Basquiat by Julie Bennett
Basquiat by Julie Bennett

Paintings can be collected at the end of the exhibition, on April 24.



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