Hector de Gregorio
Bestselling artist Hector de Gregorio has been described as ‘an unswervingly incendiary artist’, he is interested in seducing the viewer, and his deliciously dark photographic images certainly act as a visual lure. In his images nothing is sacred, containing as they do religious overtones and something beyond mere fetishism. De Gregorio graduated from London’s Royal College of Art in 2009, with a Master’s Degree in Printmaking, where he developed his labour-intensive way of working. Each image involves extensive research and costume making, photography, digital imaging and hand-finishing.
Hector de Gregorio photographs his friends, often in his studio against a blank wall, and dressed in elaborate costumes he has designed and made. He takes a number of photographs from the initial shoot, and stitches them together to distort the perspective of the finished image, and adding elements such as a parchment-coloured backdrop, Latin phrases, and other motifs, often with religious or mythical connotations. The finished images are then printed onto fine art paper or canvas, and overlaid with oils, waxes, gold leaf and varnish. Hector de Gregorio is interested in European art, and particularly the representation of ecstasy, whether this is the sensuality of the Renaissance painter Lippi, the realist style of Caravaggio, the macabre of Bosch or the metaphysical of Dali’s surrealist works. Other influences include his mother, who was a dressmaker and taught a young de Gregorio how to design and make clothes, and his Catholic upbringing, which seeded a further interest in religious and devotional art from all religions. All these elements combine in these portraits that have often been described as having a medieval feel, and therefore they are utterly familiar and rooted firmly in the past, yet are completely contemporary.
Hector de Gregorio has exhibited widely, with exhibitions in London, Berlin, Milan, New York, Miami and Chicago. His deliciously modern portraiture is held in the collections of Lady Victoria Conran, Mehmet Omer Koc and Theo Fennell. In November 2009 he won the prestigious annual Young Masters Art Prize for his inspiring contemporary portraiture.
Leeds born mixed media artist Palvinder Nangla looks at urban decay as a source of inspiration, using discarded and found objects which no longer have a place in our consumer society but all tell a story of their beginnings and their end. To give these objects a new purpose, Palvinder Nangla lifts them out of waste into the realm of preciousness, making this his distinctive signature. It is his belief that not enough importance is given to the smallest components of what we call reality. His work concerns the re-discovery of these elements – more importantly, their intrinsic value, which he finds to be very often overlooked.
Palvinder Nangla completed the MA program in Mixed Media Textiles at the Royal College of Art in 2007. His way of pushing embroidery and surface embellishment to the limits, whilst allowing communication to take place between the viewer and the piece, was recognized for its excellence when he received the Texprint Chairman’s Prize Award. In his textile based work, fabric becomes a canvas onto which visuals and textures lure the viewer in a world of fantasy and confrontational issues. His artwork sometimes tells a very personal story; sometimes it is socio-political, others just a pure aesthetic exercise for his own pleasure. Nangla produces what could be rightly called a diary of thoughts and emotions, going through a psychoanalytical unconscious mental process while consciously trying to make sense of this life. His mixed media pieces speak in the most detailed manner about what he feels needs expression in a given moment and requests emotional response from the viewer in a subtle and implicit manner.
Palvinder Nangla has been familiar to textiles and embroidery from a very young age. By the helpful hand of his grandmother who encouraged and supported his artisitic aspirations, he learned the art of embroidery. His British-Asian background is a great influence in his mixed-media work, celebrating multiculturalism and humanity as a whole. With the female figure as a bonding element, he threads cultural symbolism by celebrating feminity and the magical multifacetted elements in womenhood. Through his unique approach to artistic expression, Palvinder Nangla inspires people to have the courage to search and find.