Introducing Mr Controversial

Introducing Mr Controversial

Standing out from the crowd, his pieces will catch you by surprise in awe, shock and relatability. By poking fun at the typical millennial, his categorically hilarious one liners will steal your attention by mimicking of our twenty-first century digital age.

The core of the collection is the 1950s inspired vintage pulp fiction, finished with captivating, thought provoking captions concerning the digital age of dating, flamboyancy and our constant battle of emotions and sarcasm. Mr Controversial’s artwork is seriously hot and this collection is not to be missed.

Find out more about his style, the upcoming release and his take on the world.

Tell us, what’s the inspiration behind your work?

“I am really inspired by pulp imagery, vintage Hollywood and Instagram memes (not what your typical artist would say). I want to revive this vintage imagery and make it relatable by putting my own controversial twist on it in order resonate with a modern day art collector. I am always on the hunt for vintage photography, film posters, books and I can’t wait to get my hands on them so I can transform them into something completely new with a whole different message. I trawl the internet and car boot sales to find stuff from house clearances that are destined for recycling or landfill. I like to think I rescue this stuff and bring it back to life, giving it new meaning in a new world. Taking it from analogue to digital. I guess I’m also deeply inspired to bring old stuff back to life.

In a broader sense, I draw inspiration from my own life experience, the way social media has completely reimagined and impacted the way we live our lives and inspirational, bold characters from a range of different fields who have left their mark in the world. A few people who have made a significant impact on my world and creativity are: Robert Mcginnis, Andy Warhol, Jack Johnson (the first black heavyweight champ), Ali, Phil Knight (the founder of Nike), Eartha Kitt, Dave Chappelle and a few more. They inspire me because they were unapologetic in their approach and relentless in their work ethic. They achieved great things despite starting with so little and made an impact on the world.”

What’s the message behind your work? How do you want people to react to the ‘controversy’?

“I love that controversy makes people talk, the reason they talk is because they feel something about what they’ve just seen. Something so powerful that it evoked a reaction and forced them to think. I want people to do the same when they see my work, whether it’s subversive, contains a satirical or outrageous quote, includes a sexualised image… if I made them stop, think and feel something then I’m happy.”

Mr Controversial makes the mundane life extraordinary and hilariously absurd. Since the rise of social media, our lives have changed. Mr Controversial finds humour in the platforms that channel how we live our lives. He is relentless for who he offends, and is here to leave a mark on the art sphere. 

What’s the process, where do your ideas come from and then how are they taken from idea to art!

“I like to think of myself as a combination of a collage artist meets oil painter. My work is mixed media and I pull elements from loads of different places and mash them together.

I spend hours hunting down vintage memorabilia, photographs, film posters, books on the web or at car boot sales. From that old photo I spend many more hours wrestling with concepts, ways I can make it different, how I can put a controversial twist on it and how I can incorporate all the stuff that’s been swirling around in my mind over the past few months.

I eavesdrop on conversations, I read a lot and I browse through Instagram and chuckle at #MillennialProblems, Love Island, wannabe celebs, memes that make me think ‘FML that’s so true’. I sniff out content that has got a lot of engagement and deconstruct it to see why it was so compelling, potent and shareable. I take the best parts from this and incorporate it with the concept I have on the boil. I’ll then mock things up on Photoshop, print stuff off and oil paint the hell out of it. I create versions and versions of it till I find something I’m happy with.

When I’ve finished a piece I think ‘Wow, that’s cool’ then I store it away for a few months – never to be seen. When I do come across it again while digging for my car insurance renewal or something like that, I see if it still has an impact on me and if it does, I share it with my audience. Most of the time my followers snap it up before it’s advertised for sale which is great as it shows I’m on to something. I have a great bunch of collectors who own some incredible Warhol’s, Bradley Theodore’s, Connor Brothers’ pieces, Basquiat’s, who are really engaged with my brand and my art, so stuff rarely stays on the shelf. To be honest, I’m just glad people love my whacky ideas…”

What should we expect with your debut collection with Wishbone Publishing?

“I’ve been working on my second collection for the past few months now and I am so excited to have teamed up with Wishbone to really give it the amplification it deserves. 
It’s a blend of unique characters married with satirical quotes and my signature mixed media oil painting style. Some of it is ‘tongue in cheek’, suggestive and a bit bold, dark, edgy but as long as I made you stop and think for a few seconds I’m satisfied I’ve done my job as a creative – whether you like it or not. After the success of my first collection, I am so pleased to be rolling out my new collection with Wishbone. We’ve worked tirelessly together on everything from beautiful framing to print quality, collectability and limited editions…and it’s especially exciting to know that my work will be in the Artmarket Gallery!”

Why the anonymity?

“Initially I wanted to stay anonymous because “art” was something weird I did working alone for months, failing, learning, finding my style. My love for art forced me to become a bit of a recluse who barely shaved and only left the house for paint supplies and tea bags. Initially I didn’t want to put my name to it, I wanted the art to speak for itself, not be judged by who created it. I didn’t even want my co-workers or close friends to know. Since my work has been so well received since I launched this year I am proud to say I am an artist and this is my thing. I’ve decided to hold onto the anonymity because It makes me feel like (a rather s***e version of) Banksy.”

Which is your favourite piece from the new collection?

“I have a few. That’s really hard for me to say as I, like other creatives are so critical of their own work. My top three are ‘Sin or spend the night alone’, ‘If my mouth doesn’t say it’ and ‘Leave me alone’. I think they are really bold, powerful and feature strong females who don’t take any crap! Like me (well sort of, I’m male. The name kind of gives that away).”

Anywho, stay tuned for the release and thank you Artmarket readers!

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