At the heart of David Studwell’s art is his love for music. Fascinated by the lives of the rich and famous and drawn in by the cult of the celebrity, David is deeply inspired by the musical icons of the 1960s and 70s.
David Studwell is best known for highlighting celebrity culture, capturing well-known figures either at the height of their fame or in moments of vulnerability, making us feel as if we are getting to know the people behind these world famous personas.
David has said of his work: “my motive is to explore celebrity, its dark side as well as what we see in magazines or on TV. That is why I create the mugshots -- to display the flaws celebrities have -- to prove they are only human like you or me. I also want to recreate the mood and glamour of those bygone eras, whilst putting my own unique contemporary stamp on each piece.”
It was only natural that David’s work be hung with pride and placed in one of the legendary music venues of London. Now a cocktail bar in Wardour Street, London, this venue was once The Marquee Club.
The historical establishment was once a hot spot for the rich and the famous. Now a secret speakeasy in the heart of Soho, The Den now transports you to the hey-days of Wardour Street and its music history. Paying tribute to the rock icons who once played there from the 60s until the 80s, this space is now decorated with David’s stunning artworks. David’s work taps into the rich musical tapestry of this venue with a view to preserving some of its rich musical history.
We spoke to David about his artworks featuring in the newly-opened bar: "I have recently decked out a cocktail bar in Soho, London with several of my prints. The cocktail bar is called 'The Den’ and previously was the infamous Marquee club, where Hendrix and The Rolling Stones played to name a few. It’s a very cool and interesting venue and the idea was to tap into the musical history of the building using my screen prints of rock stars such as Bowie and Jimi Hendrix."
Past bands that played in the venue include the likes of The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Jimi Hendrix and The Clash. One of the prints included in The Den’s new collection is of the legendary Joe Stummer, The Clash’s co-founder and vocalist. The photo that David’s limited edition print is based on was taken by Joseph Yewdal who lived and performed with Strummer in the ‘101-ers’, a precursor band to The Clash. This portrait shows Strummer backstage at the Royal College of Art moments before The Clash’s first ever gig.
David’s fantastic collection of six artworks can be seen on display at The Den in Soho for the foreseeable future. To discover more prints by David Studwell, discover his collection here. Are you in the mood for some music-inspired art? Discover hundreds of limited edition music prints here.