After he impressed Her Majesty earlier this year, it is an honour to give a royal welcome to our guest artist, Illuminati Neon (aka Mark Sloper). The contemporary artist – whose work is collected by Sir Elton John, Boy George and Sting – will be exhibiting his punk-inspired artworks at our St Christopher’s Place gallery until Tuesday 27th October.
In September, Mark was featured by the press when his punk portrait of Queen Elizabeth II received the royal approval from none other than the Queen herself! The matriarch is said to have enjoyed the artwork, but requested that her ‘Philip’ heart tattoo be changed to the royal crest – and Mark dutifully obliged.
Rainbow Queen (A1) £965
This regal piece re-imagines a young Queen Elizabeth II transformed by the punk subculture, including a nose ring and tattoo. A print variation hit the headlines in September 2020, when it was presented to the Queen. Her Majesty gave her royal approval but requested that the original ‘Philip’ tattoo be changed to her royal crest, which Illuminati Neon incorporated for this version.
Painted in acrylics and oils, this artwork depicts John Lennon from The Beatles. The neon typography was crafted using a centuries-old technique, whereby the glass is bent under a temperature of 500˚C and compressed gas within the powder-coated tubes is ignited to produce an organic glow. It also incorporates the circle-A anarchist symbol.
Mark says: “I never ‘imagined’ that I would ever immortalise a Beatle. They’re the opposite of punk, all goody-two-shoes with banal songs. The day John Lennon was murdered, I was plucking pheasants in the West Country and it had no effect on me. Years later, I was filming a video in the same room he and Yoko filmed ‘Imagine’ naked.”
London Calling £5,950
Mark sourced this vintage World War Two flag from an antique dealer on Portobello Road in London and preserved it with glazes before mounting the handblown neon lettering. The typography is taken from The Clash’s iconic song, ‘London Calling’.
Mark says: “Listen again, and you’ll hear Joe Strummer reference Lord Haw-Haw, who was commissioned by Hitler to break into the UK’s radio transmissions and broadcast Nazi propaganda. He would start each broadcast with “Germany calling.”
I Adore You £5,950
His neon typography was crafted using a centuries-old technique, whereby the glass is bent under a temperature of 500˚C and compressed gas within the powder-coated tubes is ignited to produce an organic glow. This piece also incorporates the circle-A anarchist symbol and was created to have the feel of vintage circus signage.
Mark says: “Punk messages underwrite the neon to create statements that make you smile, laugh and think.”
See Mark’s full Illuminati Neon Collection here
Castle Fine Art
8-10, The Exchange,
T: 0115 958 3883