The Disappearance of Hiero Black

I'm currently painting over two perfectly-painted pictures of Hiero. For as long as I can remember, I have been attempting to paint perfect realism; now I find myself tired of seeing everything in such sharp relief. It's challenging to destroy something that you have spent so long trying to achieve, but in fact quite cathartic.

They may just disappear entirely.

David Krane and the three layers of perspex

Recently I undertook a project in which I created a portrait of Silicon Valley investor David Krane. I decided to use this project as a way to push my glass work further.

Instead of using transparent glass, I used frosted perspex. On each layer I painted different areas in space, ie. shoulders on the back layer, collar and hair on next and the face on the front. As the photo I was working from had a shallow depth of field, this approach seemed to work extremely well.

I experimented with many aspects of this project, such as the spacing of the layers for optimum effect, and along the way I realised the unique value of rear lighting a painting.

Click any image to expand.

Goliath and his Layers

This shows the building up of layers that make the 3D face. It will be an arduous task working on these 11 layers individually but, even at this early stage, Goliath has real presence. Not sure whether I want to keep the layers separated, as they are, or sandwich the glass together as a single unit.  I will have plenty of time to consider this.



I have thought about attempting this project for many years. It's easy to procrastinate about something that in theory should be awesome but in practice will involve a ridiculous amount of work. There will be 10 sections of my face, each painted on a pane of glass. When placed together they will seem like a sculptural object but when separated they exist as 10 2D paintings.    

New Work on Glass

Although it takes an extremely long time to produce, the work I am now doing on glass excites me more than my other projects. Essentially, I am painting the same image twice but I am often surprised at how different the two paintings are. Once you have executed the first, the second is much more immediate.

Wylde Magazine

I have been really looking forward to this issue coming out. I love the design, layout and the sheer size of the magazine, it's a work of art in itself. David Newton interviewed me and it makes a very amusing read.

PEACE the Making of

The Fashtons (Fi and I) took on an album artwork project for the band Peace. Working with art director Matt de Jong and Q Prime management for Columbia records. My task was to create a mirror that the band could be photographed in front of. I had to figure out a way to make sure the photographer (Fi) was not in the shot, so I made a mirrored peace sign that had many angles. 

I then had to do a spot of wallpapering and painted many things yellow. 

It was shot on location at Dalston Pier. There were many light tests once we got into the studio to get the right composition. We were helped by Magdalena Siwicka who is a lighting expert.

It was finally time to shoot Peace.

Click the image below to view timelapse footage shot by Phil Smithies

Hiero in Stereo

I have made a box in exaggerated perspective and drew a grid on the inside. I then printed out tiny Hiero's which I placed at different depths within the box. Then I photographed the box in stereo, hoping that the grid inside the box would aid the stereoscopic effect. It did.

Hiero and the Happy Accident?

My first painting of Hiero was going quite well but on my final glaze it went a bit too dark. When stripping back the glaze I decided that I was liking the eroded effect. Now I am working back into the painting to find a happy balance.

Double Image

I have started playing with double portraits using glass as a way to layer one image over another.  This was inspired by looking into the double glazing on the Picadilly Line. This is my first experiment but I really want to try full body, life sized portraits. I have made a frame for this one, that's quite unusual for me.

PEACE 'Happy People'

Happy People was finally released today and we got our friends to send us pics of billboards up around town. Harry paid me a huge compliment in their article in NME, which was nice.

Mask Project Continues

I am working on my second mask in my collaboration with Rachel Freire. This time I am using a leather cast of Fiona's face to paint on. We are now talking about using gold leaf on them maybe?

Mask Completion

The first Death Mask is now complete, can't wait to get the second leather cast from Rachel Freire.

Paintings Evolution

The paintings are starting to take shape now. This is when the paintings are at their most exciting, so much potential, who knows what will happen. When they are finished they become immediately boring. I have started covering the finished paintings in muslin.

GQ Style - David Bailey Shoot

Yesterday we went to the launch party for the latest issue of GQ Style. David Bailey photographed me for the 'Young Idea' story that is featured in this magazine wearing Ada + Nik. It was real honour to be shot by him.

S . A . D at Torture Gardens

My painting schedule has been interrupted by the learning of guitar parts for the band S . A . D. We played at Torture Garden today, I witnessed things that I will never un-see.