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.
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.
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.
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.
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.’
The Wick - Crest of a Wave, Maggi Hambling, 2009

Dream Crest of a Wave, Maggi Hambling

Suffolk born and bred, Maggi Hambling has long been inspired by the sea. Her works include the controversial sculpture, 'Scallop', which was installed on Aldeburgh beach in 2003, in tribute to Benjamin Britten, to the many sketches and oil paintings, from small and intimate to large soaring seascapes. 'Crest of a Wave', 2009 is from Hambling’s North Sea paintings series, which began in 2002 during a storm. Hambling looked up and out of the window and the water was 'crashing round the meadows', promoting a fascination with the subject. Hambling now draws the sea every morning, very early when it’s still dark and difficult to distinguish shapes. The works demonstrate Hambling’s commitment to the rhythm of the painting and, in 2009, 'Crest of a Wave' was auctioned in aid of the Suffolk Punch Trust.
The Wick - Waves Breaking against the Wind c.1840 Joseph Mallord William Turner 1775-1851 Accepted by the nation as part of the Turner Bequest 1856

Dream J.M.W. Turner

Few artists conjure the epicness of the ocean like Turner. His famous seascapes are filled with all the mystery, energy and grandeur of nature – from the violent to the sublime.

One of the most beloved English Romantic artists, his paintings of the sea often carry a metaphorical significance. Working against a backdrop of societal flux and innovation – from the rise and fall of Napolean to the advancement of steam and other modern technologies – the dynamism in canvases such as ‘Waves breaking against the wind’ captures the changes and turbulence that characterised life in the mid-nineteenth century.
The Wick - Discover Huroshi Sugimoto

Discover Huroshi Sugimoto

The Japanese photographer Hiroshi Sugimoto has dedicated much of his career to capturing earth’s most basic elements: water and air. ‘So very commonplace are these substances, they hardly attract attention,’ he says, ‘and yet they vouchsafe our very existence.’

He began his series of seascapes in 1980 and has since produced more than 200 black-and-white photographs of the horizon line where the sky meets the sea. In some, the landscape is rendered in exquisite detail; in others, including Ligurian Sea, Saviore, it’s rather blurred. They all, however, evoke a sense of timelessness. ‘Every time I view the sea, I feel a calming sense of security,’ says Sugimoto.
The Wick - Dream Henri Matisse

Dream Henri Matisse

In the late 1940s, too weak to paint, Henri Matisse pioneered a new art form that came to be known as ‘cut-outs’. These consisted of painted sheets of paper, which he cut into various forms, and then arranged into joyous compositions.

Celebrated for his innovative approach to form, line and colour, Matisse described the process of making these works as both ‘cutting directly into colour’ and ‘drawing with scissors.’

The distinctive imagery of Polynesia, the Sea was likely inspired by the artist’s trip to Tahiti 15 years earlier. ‘It’s curious that all these enchantments of the sky and sea hardly inspired me right off,’ Matisse told Brassaï in 1946.