The dust has just settled after the manic and slightly over indulgent Christmas period, so to cure those January blues that are beginning to set in we thought it was prime time to cast a whistful eye back over last twelve months and relive some of our art highlights of 2014.
Although it seems like her work has been in the gallery for a long time due to its immense popularity, it was only this time last year when we first got in prints from the queen of satire Magda Archer.
Her witty blend of kitsch imagery contrasting with biting text has been a major hit at artrepublic. Several of Archers editions quickly sold out over the course of 2014 with her colourful and amusing work always drawing a smile and raising spirits in the gallery. Brighton based rock God Nick Cave even picked up a framed My Life is Crap back in September further assuring her appeal.
February 2014 saw an original Banksy painting, well known to Brighton locals, sell for an eye watering £345,000 at auction in America. The painting was of one of his best known images, showing two uniformed policemen sharing a passionate kiss. The coppers were spray painted back in 2004 by the elusive artist on the side of the Prince Albert pub on Trafalgar Street; a stones throw from our gallery
The original was replaced with a replica that had been encased in Perspex. The sale of the piece reignited the debate as to whether people should be allowed to sell on street art painted on walls in the public domain and if it was acceptable for walls to be removed for profit. Many street art followers see these types of sales as sacrilegious and a front to the integrity of the art form.
As the seasons changed arguably one of the most playful and joyous prints of the year was realised by the ever-youthful Sir Peter Blake. The limited edition silkscreen was made to celebrate the 75th anniversary of the iconic childrens comic book The Beano.
The print focuses on characters from The Bash Street Kids comic strip and sets them against the backdrop of the imposing Dundee High School. The school was situated directly opposite the Beanos offices in the city and helps form the perfect juxtaposition of reality and fiction.
Spring also saw the opening of the highly anticipated Tate Modern show Henri Matisse: The Cut Outs. The exhibited examined the final decades of the French painters career when he resorted to cutting out and collaging coloured paper, as he was too frail to stand at an easel to paint.
The show was incredibly well received by the public and critics alike, going on to draw a record number of 562,622 visitors eclipsing the previous record holder Damien Hirsts 2012 retrospective.
May brought with it some long awaited sunshine and the annual instalment of the carnival of culture that is the Brighton Festival. The month also saw artrepublics debut street art event the Urban Artfest that was held as part of the Fringe Festival. Over the course of one day we drew together some of the biggest names in UK Street, Urban and Contemporary art including: Aroe, Pure Evil, David Walker, Zeus, RYCA, Copyright, Gemma Compton, Cassette Lord and Carne Griffiths.
The artists were each allocated a wall in the Circus Street venue and were given free reign to express themselves, creating artwork live in front the public. We also had exclusive limited editions prints on offer from the artists and interactive workshops allowing children to participate in some fun image making. The day was a roaring success and plans are already formulating for this years event.
Summer of 2014 also brought the football World Cup to Brazil, along with the inevitable disappointment from the English national team. A more positive thing to come from the fiesta of football was RYCA aka Ryan Callanans brilliant Acid Cup™.
The replica trophy the artist made was transformed with one of Callanans signature acid house smiley faces and produced in small edition that quickly sold out from our sister gallery ink_d.
Autumn saw a big splash in the gallery when Dave White released his incredible Apex VIII™ 16 colour silkscreen print. The majestic predator was printed onto heavyweight 400gsm fine art paper and came with a spectacular white diamond dust background.
Earlier in the year Dave White had his first solo show held in Los Angeles. The exhibition titled Apex saw the Liverpudlian painter examine the power and grace of the great white shark in a number of oil paintings.
Autumn also saw the release of what will undoubtedly go down as the best art film of 2014 Mr Turner. The award winning film was directly by Mike Leigh and starred Timothy Spall as cantankerous, snorting master painter JMW Turner.
The film was met with rave reviews from critics and even sparked talk of a possible Oscar for Spall. Alongside the film Tate Britain held an exhibition celebrating the late period of the artists life.
One of the biggest highlights for the end of last year has to have been the frenzy of excitement surround street artist Ben Eines latest print edition Revolution. Both online and the gallery went into overdrive as followers of the typographic artist came out in droves to purchase the newest 12 colour hand pulled silkscreen, with a number of the colour ways selling out immediately.
So there we have it a very brief summary of our art highlight for the past year. With 2015 now underway we cant wait to see what will unfold with print releases, exhibitions, events, and sparkling new artrepublic website launching, plus much more. Be sure to watch this space to keep clued up with everything thats going on in the art world and we can't wait to see you in the gallery soon.