Lazinc is proud to present The Suggestionists, a solo exhibition by renowned artist, designer and co-founder of Gorillaz, Jamie Hewlett. Opening this month, it marks the gallery’s first show with Hewlett, and will present three multi-media bodies of work.
The collections shine a light on the conscious and unconscious, the everyday and the fantastical, all framed by Hewlett’s unique sense of wit. The psychogeographic works are a playful and dreamlike subversive reaction to cultural iconography and visions. Tarot, the first collection of works, is an homage to the world of tarotica. Inspired by a book on the legendary Tarot de Marseille deck by Chilean-French art filmmaker Alejandro Jodorowsky, Hewlett has created 22 larger-than-life tarot cards. Taking three years to complete, the artist painstakingly hand-painted each one in watercolor, gouache and India ink. He has transformed the originals into dreamy and absurd scenes. Disinterested characters in L’Amoureux (The Lovers) are engaged in a half-hearted romantic dilemma, while a monkey can be seen groping a man in Le Mat (The Fool).
The second collection, Honey, sees Hewlett’s take on the sexual exploitation of 60s and 70s movies. Revolving around the fictional character of HONEY a series of light boxes evoke a seedy kind of adult cinema lobby. Hewlett draws deeply from the lexicon of B-movie language to create posters that are audacious, saucy and, at the same time, deeply authentic – right down to the affectionately rude credits.
The final and most ethereal collection is Pines, a series of stark and evocative black and white drawings that take the viewer into an enchanted woodland. With a fairytale darkness, pine trees fill the frame, playing with light and dark in a meticulous fashion to an almost photo-realistic degree. It brings together the wild and mystical essence that runs throughout The Suggestionists.
Now living and working in Paris, Jamie Hewlett first rose to prominence as a graphic art rebel and post punk phenomenon with his comic Tank Girl, which gained a cult following and was made into a movie in 1995. Work for magazines, advertising and television followed suit, as did of course, co-founding Gorillaz alongside Damon Albarn in 1998. In 2007, the pair collaborated with Chen Shi-Zheng on the opera Monkey: Journey to the West, which premiered at the Manchester International Festival, UK and Lincoln Center, NYC. A retrospective book of his work was released by Taschen in 2017. The Suggestionists follows Hewlett’s debut at the Saatchi Gallery in 2015 and later at the Woodward Gallery, New York in 2016.
Best known as the creator of both the cult comic book Tank Girl and Gorillaz, the most successful virtual band ever, artist and designer Jamie Hewlett has undoubtedly forged a distinctive visual style over the past few decades, while also securing a unique place in British pop culture with his mischievous wit and irreverence.
The 1980s saw his commercial breakthrough with the arrival of Tank Girl, the tough anti-heroine he created for Deadline Magazine. In 2000, Hewlett’s stardom rose meteorically with the conception of Gorillaz, co-created with Damon Albarn. The band has gone on to sell millions of records and win a slew of awards worldwide, of which included the Design Museum’s Designer of the Year Award in 2006 for Hewlett’s work in particular.
Recent projects include Monkey: Journey to the West, a Chinese opera designed by Hewlett and composed by Damon Albarn, and BAFTA award-winning opening titles for the BBC’s coverage of the 2008 Beijing Olympics. In 2015, Hewlett also held his first solo art exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, where he exhibited Tarot, Honey and Pines to introduce his work as an artist. “I am simply moving forward and doing what feels right,” Jamie says of his new projects. “Each project you embark on deserves a different approach and discipline.” A monograph of Hewlett’s life’s work so far was published by Taschen in 2017.