This book is a unique view inside the work of one of London's most
private yet sort after pop artists.
As a portrait painter, Ben Levy's ideas often come from the media, and specifically
our ever-growing captivation and endless appetite for celebrity culture.
His portraits are diverse. Supermodels are shown in simple attractive editorial styles. Iconic rock stars, immediately recognisable, satisfy that ultimate commercial desire. Biafran starving children display exploitative global brands. And an honest display of political figures show up the unattractive and faux-heroic light within which they envisage themselves.
His recent body of work focuses on classic celebrity icons, bastardised to create a seething vulgarity. Not only is his work executed with an extreme degree of technique and precision, capturing the identity and spirit of his subject, but the crossover with the political agenda creates a wonderful unease. It could be a pastiche of celebrity culture re-hashed, but never allows for this with such a discomfort resting in the narrative.
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