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Contemporary artist Martin Varennes-Cooke merges fine art with a distinctly Pop Art aesthetic for a truly distinctive style. Working with charcoal and conte crayon, Varennes-Cooke's prints are richly textured, always saturated in extraordinary colours, and brimming with a vitality that often so escapes printed art.
'Smug Bird' depicts a small, red bird perched upon a brach, its long, spindly beak angled out, towards the viewer. Varennes-Cooke captures the creature's richly textured feathering using a fragmented daubing approach that recalls the work of early impressionism. Mixed with a strong, clashing colour palette of burnt orange and cherry red, sunshine yellow and azure blue, Smug Bird stands out as a gem of contemporary painting.
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He brings a Fine Art approach to a Pop Art aesthetic - after studying Fine Art he has continued to evolve his painting into a colourful, playful and illustrative style. His themes are influenced by a lot of street art, which can mix both human and animal forms in a unique way. Martin’s work predominantly features a signature feathered friend. Martin has recently turned to painting Landscapes and in particular the two places dear to him - the Lake District and Brighton. Trying to avoid a traditional approach and instead going for a Semi Abstract feel to the work, predominantly using bold colours and a palette knife which allows for more freedom and expression in the marks made. Martin has exhibited extensively in Brighton, and recently in group shows in London and Glasgow.
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