Huge display of British punk art to commemorate the Queen’s Jubilee
British punk artist Mark Sloper has launched a commemorative collection of special works to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The artist known as Illuminati Neon has created the £2million works which will be the greatest artistic tribute to the 70-year reign of Her Royal Highness The Queen.
Mark became world famous after HRH The Queen saw her painting and asked for her punk portrait to be changed as she didn’t like the tattoo on her neck. The artist who exhibits regularly at London’s Saatchi Gallery created the famous image of Her Majesty with blue hair, a nose ring and the inking of the love heart. The monarch, 95, found the artwork “hilarious”, but asked that the tattoo of her husband Philip’s name be changed to show his royal crest.
For the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, Mark produced forty specially designed original ‘Queens’ and an exclusive run of 500 limited editions. The UK’s largest high street gallery group, Castle Fine Art, has agreed to proudly display an original neon queen in forty of their shop windows over Platinum Weekend to mark the unique event.
And there will be a special VIP launch at St Christopher’s Place Castle Fine Art Gallery, London, with Sex Pistol legend Paul Cook, The Stranglers Hugh Cornwell, Adam Ant, Dave Barbe and Andy Warren, John Terry, Chris Sullivan, Philip Salom, Boy George, Anthea Turner, Charley Boorman, Lord Ed Vaizey and Lady Martha Sitwell.
Mark’s much-requested hand-decorated canvases are influenced by English artist and anarchist Jamie Reid, whose controversial ‘God Save the Queen’ album cover for the Sex Pistols was based on the Silver Jubilee portrait by Cecil Beaton. Its collections of original paintings feature controversial images of the Royal Family, Princess Diana, The Queen, The Joker and other iconic rock and roll designs.
Mark said: ‘It’s the platinum jubilee, 70 years of HRH, and in real punk irony, what we thought was the establishment of ‘the royals, the politicians, the rich old rock stars’ that we don’t did not like much, 40 years later, we have come to love! In the same vein as Danny Boyle using the Sex Pistols to open the Olympics, I have lords and ladies buying my royal punk art.
“My punk art queens are beautifully constructed with sparkling jewellery, newspaper headlines and the fabulous HRH Elizabeth II who looks gorgeous and majestic but of course still retains a little punky attitude.
“It’s my homage to punk – not just how we look, but how we think and treat others. A bit of Shepherd’s Bush ghetto punk lights up walls around the world. I love the old-fashioned English ceremony and respect for our lovely queen. Punk rockers like the Sex Pistols have been misinterpreted as anti-royalists, but I celebrate the monarchy and love the queen. Lead Britannia! The queen was reinvented by me, and I still have my head.
“The Royals themselves see the humorous side of my art and now they themselves are becoming collectors, if I made this beautiful art in the 1970s I might not have had a head. The wheel is turning and now, at Castle Fine Art in chic St Christophers Place, we are launching my new Queen range to the delight of art collectors everywhere.
Mark added: “The headliner of the collection is a small edition of Queens in platinum with over 4000 gemstones embedded in the crown. Taking weeks to build, paint and produce, these are my final tributes to our glorious monarch. May she reign over us for a long time, happy and glorious. Let’s all celebrate 70 years of SAR.
Mark’s work is collected by celebrities such as Sir Elton John, Sting, Boy George, Danny Dyer, Anthea Turner, John Terry and Sex Pistol drummer Paul Cook. Actor Danny Dyer said: “Nice mark_illuminati punk nut art. Look it up people, it’s a real geezer.
TV presenter Anthea Turner said: ‘I love art and galleries, especially when it’s a friend of mine exhibiting, I really love their work. When I watch Mark’s punk queen at home, it always makes me smile.
And Paul Cook, the Sex Pistols legend, said: “For someone so tough and horrible, I can’t understand how he makes such beautiful art. Steve Jones in LA and I have punk queens in our homes. He ripped all his ideas from the Sex Pistols and owes us a big commission now!
When British punk rock took over London’s cultural scene in the 1970s, the world turned up the volume and listened. Led by bands like The Clash, Siouxsie and the Banshees, Sex Pistols and The Damned, this breathtaking fusion of anarchy and expression defined a generation. His working-class angst spoke to a young Mark, and after a chance encounter with new wave musician Adam Ant at just 11 years old led him to tour with the band, Mark became drawn to the underworld. -punk culture, eventually becoming close friends with some of the movement’s pioneers and troubadours, including the Sex Pistols and the Stranglers.
A career in videography called for him, and Mark went on to work as a cameraman and cinematographer for bands like Police and Frankie Goes to Hollywood before joining the BBC. During his illustrious film career, Mark has directed and produced documentaries on Billy Fury, The Beatles, John Lennon, David Bowie, Sid Vicious, The Sex Pistols and more. These legendary figures, along with his friend and fellow neon artist Chris Bracey, inspired Mark to create the Illuminati Neon brand.
Featuring punk-inspired imagery adorned with neon lights, vintage memorabilia and song lyrics, his original artwork has captured the attention of the art world and is currently represented by Castle Galleries.
Hand-painted in oils and acrylics in his studio in Shepherd’s Bush, London, his fluorescent creations are every bit as anarchic as their namesake. The mouth-blown glass neon is formed using an age-old technique, echoing the exhilarating blend of modern and classic that shaped the punk rock aesthetic.
Mark, who became an artist late in life at 45, added: “Each piece tells a story about this era of transformation: my experience, the people who made it and became my friends, and the honorary punks who personified its anarchy, chaos and rock ‘n’ roll long before the movement had a name.