The Wick - Discover Pauline Boty, The Only Blonde in the World, 1963

Discover Pauline Boty, The Only Blonde in the World, 1963

Along with her peers David Hockney and Peter Blake, Pauline Boty spearheaded a second wave of British Pop, capturing the rebellious energy of the Swinging Sixties through new techniques such as collage.

She brought a female perspective to the fledgling movement and addressed contemporary issues, including gender, identity and sexuality in her bold, vibrant Pop pieces.

This striking painting shows Marilyn Monroe — the ultimate sex symbol of the 1950s and early 1960s — pinned between two fields of abstract forms. Dare you say your instinctive, first response?

Largely forgotten in the decades after her death (Boty died of cancer, aged only 28), her work is now enjoying an uptick in interest. It’s gratifying that Britain’s first female Pop artist is finally getting the widespread recognition she deserves.
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The Wick - Discover Jennifer Packer, The Body Has Memory, 2018

Discover Jennifer Packer, The Body Has Memory, 2018

The art of Jennifer Packer, which includes portraits, interior scenes and flower paintings, has been addressing contemporary issues, from Black representation and systemic racism to the privilege of viewership, since she graduated from her MFA programme at Yale School of Art in 2012.

The Body Has Memory (2018) depicts a man in a hooded sweatshirt sitting alone on a sofa, with hands clasped, ankles crossed and solemn, downcast eyes. Its intimacy takes you completely by surprise, draws you in and stirs your soul.

For Packer, clothes and objects are more than decorative distraction. ‘I’m interested in signifiers and how they function historically,’ she has explained. ‘I want them to have an equal presence, a power.’
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The Wick - Discover Peter Doig, Island Painting (2000-2001)

Discover Peter Doig, Island Painting (2000-2001)

Known for canvases of striking and often haunting beauty, Peter Doig is an artist who captures the magic of place. His paintings explore the relationship between myth, memory and landscape, reflective perhaps of Doig’s own multi-national movement: born in Scotland and raised between Trinidad and Canada, he now divides his time between London, New York and Düsseldorf.

Canoes and kayaks often appear as central motifs in Doig’s work. They symbolise the recurring themes of voyage and exploration, as well as the transportive power of Doig’s canvases. ‘Island Painting’ (2000-2001) embodies this: as a solitary figure looking directly at us floats amid a wild, colourful landscape, the artist lulls us into an enchanting yet mysterious narrative.

The intrigue of his paintings is often beyond articulation. ‘I am trying to create something that is questionable,’ says Doig, ‘something that is difficult if not impossible to put into words.’
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The Wick - Discover Bathers at Asnières

Discover Bathers at Asnières

This languid summer scene has it all: hazy sunshine, men relaxing on the riverbank, boats and bathers. What could be more serene?

But look beyond the life-size figures and you’ll see signs of industrial activity: a railway bridge, for instance, and the puffing chimneys of the factories at Clichy. Like many of his artistic peers, Seurat was fascinated by Paris's rapidly changing landscape and set about capturing it in paint.

Executed in 1884, Bathers at Asnières was Seurat’s first major composition. Its formal design and statuesque figures nod to his classical training, while the complex interlacing of colours anticipates his embrace of Pointillism. It's one of the most escapist images in art history. So, go on, dive in!
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The Wick - Discover JR's Eiffel Tower

Discover JR’s Eiffel Tower

On 18 May the French street artist JR posted an image on Instagram of the Eiffel Tower as never seen before. Not surprisingly, fans and followers went crazy; the post has since racked up more than 120,000 likes, 2,500 comments and countless news headlines around the world. Why? Because the image shows his latest trompe-l’oeil installation: a black-and-white photographic collage that tricks the eye (when viewed from a certain vantage point on the Place du Trocadéro) into believing Paris’s most famous landmark is perched atop a deep ravine with a city far below.

Other images show visitors leaping across the gap, peering into the abyss, and teetering on the cliff's illusionary edges. Like many of JR’s large-scale public art projects, the Eiffel Tower installation was on view for just a few short weeks before it was destroyed by visitors. Thankfully, it’s been immortalised for evermore on social media. Search @Jr now to scroll and marvel. And then hit up his new solo show at London's Saatchi gallery. Nothing beats seeing his works up close.
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The Wick - Jenny Holzer, Protect Me From What I Want

Discover Jenny Holzer, Protect Me From What I Want

Jenny Holzer makes art that is impossible to ignore. Coming to prominence in the late 1970s, she is best known for her text-based works constructed from ‘truisms’ that confront issues such as racism, feminism, oppression and violence.

You’ll likely have seen her words emblazoned on stone benches, electronic signs, posters, T-shirts, even condoms. ‘I like placing content wherever people look,’ she once said.

In the early 1980s she presented a series of thought-provoking slogans, including Protect Me From What I Want and Abuse Of Power Comes As No Surprise, on the Spectacolor board in New York’s Times Square.

Wherever and whenever they appear, her texts challenge, agitate and prompt reflection on the fast-changing world around us. We need this now more than ever.
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The Wick - Discover Honor Titus, Down the Line, 2020

Discover Honor Titus, Down the Line, 2020

In the months since his breakout show at Henry Taylor’s Los Angeles studio, the former Cerebal Ballzy frontman Honor Titus has received a fresh flurry of attention. In January 2021 he opened a sold-out show at Timothy Taylor gallery in New York and, in October, he'll debut a series of highly-anticipated new paintings at Frieze London.

Inspired by Les Nabis, a group of French artists who favoured bold, flat patches of colour and decorative elements, Titus constructs minimal urban landscapes suffused with a sense of old-world romance. Painted during LA’s covid-19 lockdown, Down the Line conjures the simple joy of playing tennis and the ‘nostalgia for movement, for dancing, for embrace', as he puts it.
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The Wick - Slim Aarons, Poolside Gossip (1970)

Dream Slim Aarons, Poolside Gossip

Sparkling turquoise swimming pools. Candy-coloured parasols. Stylised women sipping champagne. These visual cues are so well known that you probably already know which photographer we’re talking about.

Born in 1916, society portraitist Slim Aarons gained celebrity photographing ‘attractive people doing attractive things in attractive places’. And no image says rarefied glamour more than Poolside Gossip, taken at the Kaufmann House in Palm Springs in 1970.

The shot depicts two fashionable women — the former model Helen Dzo Dzo and the lady of the house Nelda Linsk — reclining by a pool. A third strides towards them. In the background is the Kaufmann’s modernist Richard Neutra home and the San Jacinto mountains. This carefully curated vision of luxury is pure escapist joy — just when we need it most.
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The Wick - Tracey Emin, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995, 1995

Discover Tracey Emin, Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995, 1995

Tracey Emin shot to fame in the 1990s with such controversial works as My Bed and Everyone I Have Ever Slept With, a small tent appliqued with the names of the 102 people (not all of them sexual partners) she had ever shared a bed with.

The tent was first shown in Minky Manky, a 1995 exhibition at the South London Gallery that also included works by Sarah Lucas, Gilbert & George and Damien Hirst. Initially criticised, it is now regarded as one of Emin's seminal works.

In 2004, the tent was destroyed in a warehouse fire, along with more than 100 other works belonging to Charles Saatchi. Emin has refused to recreate the piece, explaining that ‘my work is very personal, so I can’t create that emotion again—it’s impossible.’
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