12 September 1980 |
Bournemouth, Dorset, England
|Training||Poole College, Painting and Printmaking, Bretton Hall College|
|Movement||Pop Art, Contemporary Art|
|Works||A Pounding Outside Poundland, HappyCloud, Kurt Lied, This land... Was built for you and me|
|Patrons||Philip Niarchos, David Roberts, Langen Foundation|
Stuart Semple (born 1980) is a contemporary British artist and curator, based in London and Dorset. Semple's practice addresses ideas sparked by immersion in popular culture and combines contemporary figurative painting with pop art.
Life and career
Semple was born in Bournemouth, Dorset. He has a sister called Victoria. He studied Advanced Art and Design at Poole, and Painting and Printmaking at Bretton Hall College in Yorkshire. He opened the new North Light centre for Art and Design at Bournemouth & Poole College in January 2012.
In 2000 Semple almost died following an allergic reaction. The experience motivated him to dedicate time to painting. In 2004, art dealer Anthony d'Offay flew his portfolio to New York. In 2005 Semple was appointed to the Design and Artist's Copyright Society creators’ council. Semple has spoken at The ICA, The Institute of Ideas, CultureLabel, Amnesty and Jerwood Visual Arts. In 2011 he presented for the BBC's Art & Design series
In 2014, The Independent reported that Semple is facing legal action from several former gallery and studio assistants who claim that they have not been paid. Semple stated that a major gallery had failed to pay him for a show which had been reported to be very successful.
Semple took the persona of "Nancyboy" after his near death experience and produced over 3000 works of art between 2000 and 2003 that were sold via eBay each night at a set time creating an early online community. In 2002 he had his first major London show at the A&D Gallery. It was called Stolen Language – the art of Nancyboy. It incorporated fragments and images that he identified with within popular culture and remixed into a personal narrative consisting of large paintings, screen prints, sculptures, t-shirts and panels. 10 final "nancyboys" were created in 2009 and auctioned once again via eBay with all proceeds donated to the UK charity Mind.
Semple created a memorial artwork RIP YBA with debris collected from the 2004 Momart warehouse fire. Semple packaged them in 8 plastic boxes under the title Burn Baby Burn. The boxes had slogans in pink lettering, including "RIP YBA", which referred to the Young British Artists, by whom much of the destroyed work had been created. Semple stated that amongst the debris collected there were fragments of Tracey Emin's artwork, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963–1995 ("the tent").
In 2005 Semple produced an exhibition of his works in an abandoned warehouse in London, England, called Post Pop Paradise. Also that year he included a painting into the Saatchi Gallery which included the words "British Painting Still Rocks" as reaction to Charles Saatchi's comments that the YBA artists would be nothing more than a footnote in the history of art.
In 2006 Semple's exhibition "Epiphany" at Martin Summers Fine Art in London questioned the role of religion in modern life in a series of in-your-face paintings that alluded to popular culture, graphic media, advertising and social issues.
In 2007 Semple exhibited "Fake Plastic Love", an exhibition of billboard scale paintings housed within a blacked out environment of East London's Truman Brewery. In 2009 He held his first New York solo exhibition "Everlasting Nothing Less" at Anna Kustera Gallery involving large scale paintings and sculpture. "The Happy House", exhibited in London 2010 with Morton Metropolis built on themes explored in earlier collections, but for the first time touched on more personal than cultural issues. His self-portrait 'A Pounding Outside Poundland' captures the moment of an assault.
In 2011 Stuart Semple was made an Ambassador for mental health charity Mind. He initiated the Creative Therapies fund within the organisation which was launched by Stephen Fry and Lord Melvyn Bragg with the exhibition & auction "Mindful" that included works from Jake & Dinos Chapman, Matt Collishaw, Tracey Emin, Mona Hatoum, Sarah Lucas and Sebastian Horsley.
Semple recently created a whole body of work and short film for his solo booth at London's art Art13  with all proceeds in aid of the Mind Creative Therapies fund which subsequently started funding projects through the UK.
Semple supported MTV Re:Define exhibition at The Goss-Michael Foundation in 2011 with auction proceeds donated to MTV Staying Alive Foundation which enables inspirational youngsters to fight HIV and AIDS in their local communities. He has also supported the Africa Foundation via Art for Africa with Sotheby's, Macmillan De'Longhi Art Auction at Bonhams and the medical foundation Freedom From Torture's art auction. In 2011 Semple was featured on postcards for the Anaphylaxis campaign and created artworks for the Freedom of Expression Campaign for Amnesty International. Semple featured his work "Nimrod" in the AKA Peace exhibition curated by Jake Chapman with The ICA in 2012 for Peace One Day.
In 2007 Stuart Semple co-curated and featured in the 'Black Market' at the Anna Kustera gallery in New York with Just Another Rich Kid. Showcasing their collaborative installation piece 'Team Dream Chaos' depicting a provocative teenage girl's bedroom. Semple has curated exhibitions "Mash Ups, post pop fragments and détournements" at The Kowalsky Gallery in 2008 for the Design and Artists Copyright Society and 'London Loves The Way Things Fall Apart' (2009) and "This Is England" (2011) for Galleria Aus18, Milan.
Semple's exploration of British cultural themes have also been seen in the exhibition "This Is England" (2010) initially held at The Aubin Gallery which he directs in association with Aubin Wills and Shorditch House featuring artists Sarah Maple, Nicky Carvell, David Hancock and Richard Galloway
In 2011 Semple curated the Mindful exhibition in 25,000 sqft Old Vic Tunnels featuring artists including Jake and Dinos Chapman, Tracey Emin, Mona Hatoum, Mat Collishaw, Sebastian Horsley, Sarah Lucas, Barney Bubbles, Liliane Lijn, Tessa Farmer and Semple himself. It coincided with a gala dinner at The Imperial War Museum hosted by Stephen Fry and Lord Melvyn Bragg to raise funds for the Mind creative therapies fund and explore the relationship between creativity and mental health.
Stuart recently sent over 2000 happy clouds up into the sky over London and Milan to raise the mood and was quoted; "I know at times like this it’s easy to make creativity a low priority, but I want to show on a very human level that an artistic idea might be able to do something important, even for a fleeting moment."
In 2007, when interviewed for Trebuchet Magazine Stuart describes how his early experience of pop influenced his approach to art "When I was growing up in the 80s these things (cultural icons) were – I don’t know if it’s quite right to say they were aspirational, but they certainly gave me my first feelings of something larger. But as you get older you get more jaded so now when you look back at these ‘nostalgic’ things, you have lost something. Here I’ve tried to look at them again in such as way as to rediscover that sense of feeling"
In an interview with Doug McClemont he purports to the mimetic industries of mass-production; which has been a running critique in Semple's work. He discussed the "idea of taking the mechanization out the pop stuff. Because I find a lot of it non-emotive." He also alluded more to his studio practice; "I used to paint alone when I had a tiny studio middle of nowhere. It had mice and was freezing. Now I have assistants who help me paint, because I'm doing massive, massive stuff, right now. It's not the same..."
Eric Bryant debated Stuart Semple and contemporary Pop Art in a seminal ARTnews feature 50 years after Richard Hamilton had defined the movement. "While earlier generations of Pop artists exhibited a similar love-hate relationship with consumer culture and glamour, this group takes on fear and violence." Semple's relationship with current culture, politics and imagery has put him at the forefront of the next generation of debate, where artists now tackle the current climate of fear; "his often disturbing, even sinister works also feature guns, pills, and frequent references to suicide."
- 2012 'Everlasting Nothing Less' Galleria Uno+Uno, Milan
- 2012 'It's Hard To Be a Saint In This City', The Space, Hong Kong
- 2010 'The Happy House' Morton Metropolis, London
- 2009 'Lipstick Vogue' CatStreet Gallery, Hong Kong
- 2009 'Everlasting Nothing Less' Anna Kustera, New York
- 2009 'Born To Run' Bari, Italy
- 2009 'Happy Cloud' London
- 2008 'Cult of Denim' Selfridges, London
- 2008 'Pop Disciple' Aus18, Milan
- 2007 'Fake Plastic Love' Truman Brewery & Martin Summers Fine Art, London
- 2006 'Epiphany' Martin Summers Fine Art, London
- 2005 'Post Pop Paradise' SKIT, London
- 2002 'Stolen Language – The Art of Nancyboy' A&D Gallery, London
- 2000 'Nancyboy Paintings' Pause, London
- David Roberts Foundation / London, UK
- Niarchos Foundation / Athens, GR
- Getty Collection / South Africa
- sammlung FIEDE / Aschaffenburg, D
- private collections
Notes and references
- Fairweather, Shona (2007). Aesthetica Magazine "Stuart Semple", "Aesthetica magazine", October 2007. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
- "Bretton Hall press section", University of Leeds, 18 July 2004. Retrieved from leeds.ac.uk, 21 April 2008.
- Hoggard, Liz, (2010)Evening Standard "I'm Afraid To Swallow", Evening Standard, 28 April 2010. Retrieved 1 May 2010.
- Jeffreys, Tom (2011) "Mental Health and Art as Therapy – an interview with Stuart Semple", Spoonfed, 6 September 2011. Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- Buck, Louisa (2004). Art Newspaper "Bending The Momart Wreckage", Art Newspaper, September 2004. Retrieved 24 May 2008.
- "jerwoodvisualarts.org". Retrieved 8 September 2011.
- "bbc.co.uk" 20 October 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- "Artist Stuart Semple in row with assistants who say they weren’t paid"
- A&D exhibition list, "aanddgallery.com". Retrieved 3 December 2011.
- Dafydd Jones archive, "dafjones.com". Retrieved 9 September 2011.
- Volt Magazine "Keep It Semple". Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- Mind.com Mind.com. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- Edwardes, Charlotte (2004). Daily Telegraph "New art rises from wreckage of warehouse," Daily Telegraph, 18 July 2004. Retrieved 2 July 2007.
- "Artist protests at Saatchi show", BBC online, 5 July 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2007.
- Reynolds, Nigel (2005). Daily Telegraph "Saatchi rumbles protest painting", Daily Telegraph, 6 July 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2007.
- "Artist protests at Saatchi show," The Times, 6 July 2005. Retrieved 2 July 2007.
- Leitch, Luke (2005). "Brit painter in protest at 'banned' Saatchi art", Evening Standard, 5 July 2005. Retrieved from highbeam.com, 2 July 2007.
- "What's On", "Art Newspaper", April 2006. Retrieved 17 December 2011.
- Gleadell, Colin (2006). "Market news: Mark Rothko, Tyeb Mehta and more...", Daily Telegraph, 4 April 2006. Retrieved 2 July 2007.
- Chambers, Christopher Hart (2009). "Stuart Semple: Everlasting Nothing Less" "[Flash Art". Retrieved 26 July 2011.
- Witherspoon, Jane (2010). "Stuart Semple collection inspired by 'mental' Britain", BBC, 5 May 2010. Retrieved from news.bbc.co.uk, 15 June 2010.
- Spero, Josh (2010). "Stuart Semple, Morton Metropolis" "[The Arts Desk". Retrieved 10 September 2011.
- "Mind news section", 8 September 2011. Retrieved on 8 September 2011.
-  "Mindful Exhibition"
- Gosling, Emily (2011) "Semple Minds", Design Week, 31 August 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2011.
- Khan, Karim (2013). Hunger.tv "THE INTERVIEW: STUART SEMPLE" 28 February 2013. Retrieved 10 June 2013.
- Mind.org.uk "The Creative Therapies Fund"
-  "ICA.org.uk"
- McClemont, Doug (2007). "Doug McClemont on The Black Market at Anna Kustera, New York", Saatchi Gallery, 25 July 2007. Retrieved from saatchi-gallery.co.uk, 12 November 2007.
- "The Kowalsky Gallery website"
- Coghlan, Niamh (2008)"Pop Art & Mass Culture""Aesthetica magazine", Sept 2008. Retrieved from aestheticamagazine.com, 14 November 2008,
- Kingston University. "London Loves" retrieved from Kingston University website, 11 April 2009.
- Davis, Laura (2010). Elle.com "Exciting New Gallery for Young British Artists", "Elle.com", 21 May 2010. Retrieved 15 June 2010.
- Kos Earle, Nico (2011). "Open Your Mind", Glass Magazine, 23 September 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011.
- Jeffreys, Tom (2011). "Mental Health and Art as Therapy", "Spoonfed.com", 6 September 2011. Retrieved 27 October 2011
- "Happy Clouds By Stuart Semple", "[Wallpaper Magazine]", 23 April 2009. Retrieved 26 May 2009.
- Burgess, Kaya (2009). "Storm clouds give way to smileys over London" The Times, 25 February 2009. Retrieved 3 March 2009.
- http://www.trebuchet-magazine.com/index.php/site/article/above_the_line_stuart_semple/ Trebuchet Magazine and Stuart Semple
- Bryant, Eric (2007). "Paint It Bleak", Art News, Dec 2007. Retrieved from stuartsemple.com, 6 January 2007,
- Taken from the official Stuart Semple website
- Anna Kustera Gallery. Anna Kustera official website retrieved 18 May 2009.
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