THE TRANSGLOBAL ART OF MARK WIGAN WILLIAMS
16th March to 3rd April 2017
Art Exhibition Preview Thursday 16th March 6pm to 8pm
BORN IN NANTWICH CHESHIRE MARK WIGAN WILLIAMS HAS BECOME ONE OF THE UK’S MOST INFLUENTIAL GRAPHIC ARTISTS. HE PIONEERED URBAN ART IN LONDON, NEW YORK AND TOKYO IN THE 1980’S AND 90’S. HE CREATES SOCIAL AND CULTURAL HIEROGLYPHS FOR OUR TIME AND DRAWS INSPIRATION FROM SUB CULTURES AND STREETSTYLE FROM AROUND THE WORLD.
The exhibition features videos and photography of live painting performances, exhibitions and projects undertaken over the past 30 years in Europe, USA and Asia and recent paintings, sculptures, merchandise and prints. The exhibition will also showcase his latest Illustrated book A Village Lads Career (the reading between the lines to be left to the imagination) inspired by a seafaring ancestors nineteenth century globetrotting journal which documents his travels from Knutsford to Liverpool’s Salt House docks and off across the world to China, Japan and Australia.
Wigan’s approach is interdisciplinary crossing ﬁne art, illustration and urban art and his proliﬁc output includes regular international gallery exhibitions, live painting performances, set designs for theatre and television productions, animation, textiles, public art and music graphics.
He has lectured at art schools around the world, leading the degree programme in Illustration at Camberwell College of Arts and has written six books on Illustration published by Bloomsbury.
Most recently his vibrant artwork has featured on a collection of boots, shoes, backpacks and t shirts for Dr Martens. The acclaimed DrMartens X MarkWigan Collection has been enthusiastically received all over the world. During the exhibition Wigan will be giving a talk about his artwork and latest projects, this is a good opportunity to meet this Chester artist and hear about his forthcoming exhibitions in London and at The Museum of Club Culture in Hull (UK City of Culture 2017) and Shanghai where he will be exhibiting his latest collaborative fashion project in the summer.
If a picture tells a thousand words Wigan’s drawings are worth an entire library of professorial works on pop culture, early works from 1985 are now revealed as astonishingly accurate maps, showing the development of the attitudes that deﬁned sub cultures.-
The Independent Newspaper
Paris had Toulouse Lautrec, London’s got Wigan an artist whose poser packed drawings immortalise the murky menagerie of late night hipsterdom.-
His work sits at the intersections of music, performance, commercial and visual culture, something that his new collaboration with Doc Martens explores further, decorating iconic DM models with allover archive graphics from original ’80s Wigan artworks.-Highsnobiety
Wigan’s work revitalises more stoic forms of social realism with a neon -bright parade of semi ﬁctitious cult classics, snap crackle and popping their way through the heated hordes of club land.-
London Weekend Television The Six O’clock Show
Wigan is the court chronicler to the transient vanities of our age .A typical picture depicts adherents of every cult under the moon jostling cheek by haircut for lebensraum in the bowels of any club. Its anthropology a go go –
The New Musical Express
If you’ve recently found yourself outside a Dr. Martens store in London, Bristol or Manchester, staring intrigued and amazed at the illustrated characters clinging to the windows, you’ll know Mark Wigan’s work.
A seminal ﬁgure amongst the art scene of the 1980’s (Andy Warhol and Jean- Michel Basquiat were acquaintances), Wigan’s hand painted, busy scenes are the latest subcultural artwork to be tapped by the bootmaker. Clash Magazine
British footwear label Dr Martens has tapped one of the UK’s most established graphic artists, Mark Wigan for a collaborative collection as part of its campaign #standforsomething.
The resulting collection, which includes accessories as well as footwear, features Wigan’s unique style which consists of a blend of social and cultural hieroglyphs, vivid landscapes and schematic ﬁgures inspired by the youth and sub cultures of the UK. –
Wigan has been transcribing the bizarre habits and mutant creatures of London’s sub culture into complex and beautiful graphic patterns since the mid 1980s, his colourful dancing shapes are both decoration and information ,mapping out a hidden landscape and yielding secret signs to the initiated.
The Metro Newspaper
Imagine what the thoughts of your strangest friend look like. Mark Wigans are clearly stranger. Radioactive hieroglyphs, electronic incubuses and hybrid creatures appear in his technicolour dreams. Absorbing the inﬂuence of New York Pop Art his paintings show a chaotic vision of London life as human ants swarm through his cartoon mind maps. –
His playful, tribal inﬂuence can be seen in every club mural, ﬂyer and t shirt in the capital – The Metro Newspaper
If you cant see yourself in one of Wigans illustrations you’re deﬁnitely not really trendy – Time Out
Wigans work captures perfectly every nuance and characteristic of London’s numerous nightclub subcults, are more of a diary than pure commentary and having organised several warehouse parties himself as well as working as a writer and illustrator for i-D magazine, he knows what he is drawing about –
His tireless self -promotion has blurred the already hazy relationship between celebrity and art, though it should be obvious by now that, like Leigh Bowery, Wigan is very much his own creation, as are his idiosyncratic paintings –
The Face Magazine
Wigan represents the initiator, the cultural indicator, the creative artist and original thinker. Above all his work is concerned with the communication of ideas, using the language of contemporary culture and media as a vehicle, with no separation or distinction in status between the medium of art, fashion, advertising, technology or design.-