It was this photograph that first gave our director Gemma Peppé the idea for our upcoming Urban Art vs Street Photography themed Secret Auction being held at The Other Art Fair Bristol later this month. The image is by an internationally revered street photographer and features the work of equally internationally renowned street artist, Cosmo Sarson. Two luminaries unintentionally collaborate and compliment one another to tell a story on Bacon Street in Shoreditch.
The image features Cosmo's version of Caravaggio's David with the Head of Goliath, where David takes a selfie. Who better to hijack with a counter-cultural statement than Caravaggio? The 16th Century artist is remembered, of course, as the rebellious, hot-tempered punk of art history and is here featured almost as a third party to the artistic alliance. Neo-classic translates to a revival of the classical style, which Cosmo does, introducing a new audience to traditional subjects with an urban twist.
Gemma told us what it was about the image that struck her-
"The area is all getting redeveloped, especially that particular street. A lot of that market won’t be there in a couple of months. The image shows the stark mix of old East end and new with its hipsters and urban art. The old guy in his flat cap, braces and shiny trousers is oblivious to the street art. And the art takes the social commentary further with Cosmo Sarson’s selfie satire of Caravaggio’s "David and Goliath”. The David and Goliath theme strikes a chord in that area; old East End can’t fight the invasion of the new, high rents, big corporations and high street brands"
Cosmo also has a history with our host city Bristol, a place where the walls read like a showcase of some of the best street art in the world. It was his giant twenty-eight foot mural of a break-dancing Jesus, opposite Banksy’s ‘Mild Mild West’, that brought Cosmo to international acclaim. The work exemplifies his tendency to portray iconic figures and subvert any established concepts we have to them with deft comic flare.
Cosmo's work enters our consciousness in ways beyond what we see of his on the streets. His list of clients ranges from Coca Cola to Panasonic, and you can find his work in blockbuster films like Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers Age of Ultron and James Bond’s Spectre. In 2015 he had a solo show at Pure Evil Gallery in London and has shown at Art Basel Miami. It is therefore with great excitement that we can confirm his work, as well as the photograph that set it all off, will be exhibited at The Other Art Fair Bristol and available to buy at our Secret Auction at 1.30pm on Sunday July 29th 2018.
But, can you spot which work is his?