A successful artist who works solely in denim is championing the ailing British High Street with his latest creative endeavours.
Ian Berry, or Denimu, has cut, stitched and glued thousands of pairs of charity shop jeans to make his new collection of pictures, on display in London’s Catto Gallery as of 21 November 2013.
Denimu, whose largest work will carry a price tag of £40,000 and who has sold across the US, Europe and Australasia says: ‘I’m not someone that forces the meaning of my work onto others, but I will say I love to go into High Street stores, especially independent ones, and look and feel the items, rather than browse over the net.’
Two of the larger pieces in Denimu’s latest exhibition will be installations - ‘Berry’s News’ a local newsagent and ‘Ian’s Records’ a retro vinyl store. Among the album covers is Springsteen’s Born in the USA with its jean clad rear, and The Rolling Stones’ Sticky Fingers. On the newsstand are magazine covers featuring everyone from Barack Obama to Kate Moss.
‘So many people come up to me and say they don’t like art but they like what I do. Jeans are for everybody and art should be the same.’
Huddersfield born Ian, 29, was this summer voted one of the 30 most influential artists aged under thirty by Art Business News magazine.
A former advertising creative, he has already appeared on both national and regional television and in the national dailies and local press, and is ‘very excited’ about his latest show.
He even held back on a potential sale after one of his pieces caught a celebrity buyer’s eye at a US art fair in The Hamptons, because he wanted it to be shown at Catto. Jon Bon Jovi, he hopes, can wait!
This is Denimu’s second exhibition at Hampstead based Catto – the only UK venue he has shown at - and will feature up to 25 new and original pieces, all from recycled denim, with prices starting from approximately £2000 and a typical piece costing £6500.
They include many familiar London scenes - a packed summer afternoon on Primrose Hill, market day at Portobello Road and drinkers in the Holly Bush pub in Hampstead. These are contrasted with Ian’s other favourite city - New York, in a body of work called the American Jean that will feature scenes ranging from an American diner to shiny, metallic Subway cars.
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- Ian Berry, Blue, Denim on Denim, 90 x 200 cm
- Ian Berry, Subjects, Denim on Denim, 50 x 70 cm
- Ian Berry, Silvercup, Denim on Denim, 40 x 110 cm
- Ian Berry, Journey Home, Denim on Denim, 61 x 122 cm
- Ian Berry, Fifty Shades, Denim on Denim, 61 x 122 cm
- Ian Berry, Saturday Portobello, Denim on Denim, 61 x 122 cm