London Tube art
These five tube drawings are part of an unfinished art project titled Tube. Each of the drawings is named after a brand of cigarettes; ‘Marlboro’, ‘Silk Cut’, ‘Chesterfield’, ‘Lucky Strike’ and ‘Death’*. The use of cigarette brands as titles hints at two of the main themes in the work: death and consumerism.
The drawings were initially a reaction to the London tube bombings of 2005. The work examines the fragility of life and the folly of our day-to-day consumerist concerns.
I chose to depict action figures and dolls because I wanted to deal with the issues of death and violence in a more coded way – so that other narrative issues aren’t overpowered by our natural reticence to violent images. These drawings are not meant to represent the real people or events – this work is a fictional abstraction.
These drawings were influenced by Francisco Goya’s The Disasters of War, Francis Bacon’s various triptychs, and the charcoal drawings/films of William Kentridge. There are also Pop influences such as the collages of Richard Hamilton and the fashion photography of David Lachapelle.
My experience as an artist extends into branding, graphic design, commercial art, wall design and video production, but I’m not normally obsessed with such dark themes. I have produced a lot of work that looks more formally at how to depict people, movement and time. I try to experiment with different media – photography, collage, montage, mixed with drawing and painting with much of my work being commercial.
*Death was a real brand of cigarettes from the 1990s.