“Paint & Politics” draws together for the first time in one exhibition space sixty of Kaya Mar’s world famous political artworks spanning five tumultuous years of UK and international political protest and commentary, from (amongst many others) the Chilcot and Leveson Inquiries, Occupy St Pauls, the Banking Crisis, the Eurozone Crisis, the rise and fall of Obama, the Conservative/LibDem Coalition and, of course, the rise of UKIP which promises to create friction and sparks in this May’s General Election.
A passionate observer of world politics, Kaya joins a long and distinguished line of political satirists and caricaturists whose overwhelming raison d'être across the centuries has been to hold the powerful and the rich up for public inspection and comment through their often hard-hitting art.
What sets Kaya Mar apart from other artists is that he frequently takes his large oil painted canvases out into the world outside his studio, joining public street protests or standing for hours outside Downing Street, the Treasury, party conferences or the High Court to make his opinion known, and it is this irresistible impulse of his to confront our political rulers on their own doorsteps which soon attracted the curious attention of press agency photographers and TV news teams covering the Westminster beat, catapulting him onto the global stage.
The artist explains “My art is satire. Satire is the truth with a bit of a joke. I’m not inventing anything, I just put on the canvas what the public see. My aim when I make a painting is first to make people smile, which breaks the ice, giving us some agreed common ground. Then people go on to think about the meaning of the painting. All of these paintings represent my own personal feelings and perspective on political events”, and of his subjects he says “I hold a mirror up to them. We all have a completely different perception of own selves. But when someone is telling you ‘You say you are this kind of person, but actually you are that’, you often don’t like that.”