mixed media on canvas, 51 x 61 inches (130 x 155 cm)
Basquiat's Studio (Crosby Street/New York, 1983)
acrylic on paper, 18 x 24 inches (46 x 61 cm)
Cy Twombly's Studio (Gaeta/Italy, 2008) SOLD
gouache on board, 18.5 x 18.5 inches (47 x 47 cm)
"Jeff Koons' Studio (New York, 1994)"
mixed media on canvas, 66" x 66" (168 x 168 cm)
“Miró’s Studio, (Mallorca/Spain, 1977)”
gouache on board 19 x 19 inches (49 x 49 cm)
“Alexander Calder’s Studio (Saché/France, 1967)”
gouache on board, 19.8” x 19.25” (50 x 49 cm)
"Calder’s Home (Saché, France, 1963)"
mixed media on canvas, 68” x 68” (173 x 173cm) ￼￼
"Giacometti’s Studio (Paris, 1960)”
gouache on board, 19.5” x 19.5” (50 x 50 cm)
Picasso's Studio (Cannes, 1955)
watercolour + pierre noir on paper, 11 x 14 inches (28 x 36 cm)
"Matisse's Studio (Vence, 1948)"
mixed media on canvas, 60” x 60” (152 x 152 cm)
“Matisse’s Studio (Collioure, 1905)"
mixed media on canvas, 66” x 66” (168 x 168 cm)
Gauguin's Studio (Marquesas, 1903)
mixed media on canvas, 62 x 72 inches (158 x 183 cm)
Current Group show "Songs to the Goddess" at Serena Morton, London. contact email@example.com
343 Ladbroke Grove, London W10
In the mythology of some Amazonian tribes the souce of the river is a woman and all life comes from her.
"Tranquility," Limited Edition Silk Screen print on paper
printed by Coriander Press, London.
This can be ordered from firstname.lastname@example.org
or purchased here on the PRINT page of this website.
"Woman," 2016 acrylic on canvas, 44” x 54” (112 x137 cm)
“Flow,” 2010 acrylic on paper, 42 x 52 in (107 x 132 cm) SOLD
"Soulmate," 2015 acrylic on canvas, 55 x 66 in (140 x 168 cm)
In 2010 when I exhibited the Amazon painting on the floor I surrounded it with large paintings of that "first woman" asleep in nature.
in my studio painting "Spirit" and "Origin"
2018 Museum Show Paris
From February-December 2018 there is an exhibition of Damian's work at the Musée en Herbe in Paris. Below is a small sample of the artworks on view. Visitors will experience 30 different artist studios from the 19th Century to the present day as well as paintings and sculptures made by those artists. The exhibition will feature a vast installation which recreates the ground floor rooms of Picasso's Villa La Californie in Cannes. Visitors can walk from room to room to see the hundreds of artworks that Picasso was creating in April, 1956.
Jonas Wood's Studio (Los Angeles, 2016)
acrylic on board, 18 x 27 in ($6 x 59 cm)
Keith Haring's Studio (New York, 1988)
mixed media on canvas, 62 x 72 inches
"Basquiat’s Studio, (Crosby Street/New York, 1983),”
gouache on board, 16 x 22.5 in (41 x 57 cm)
"Hockney's Studio While Painting Paper Pools"
2016, acrylic on canvas, 66" x 66" (168 x 168 cm) ￼
"Yayoi Kusama’s Studio (Tokyo, 2012)”
gouache on board, 15 x 22.5 in
“Ai Wei Wei’s Studio (Beijing, 2006)"
2015, gouache on board, 19” x 26” (49 x 66 cm)
“Anish Kapoor’s Studio (London, 1979)”
2015, gouache on board, 17” x 22.5” (43 x 55 cm)
Warhol's Studio (New York, 1964)
acrylic on canvas, 62 x72 inches (158 x 183 cm)
“Cy Twombly’s Studio (Gaeta/Italy, 2007)”
2016 gouache on board, 19.5” x 26.75” (49 x 67.8 cm)
Joan Mitchell's Studio (Vetheuil, 1975)
gouache on board, 18 x 27 in (46 x 59 cm)
“Lucian Freud's Studio (London, 2002)"
2015, gouache on board, 19.25" x 24" (49 x 61 cm)
“Willem De Kooning’s Studio (New York, 1952)”
2016 gouache on board, 19” x 28” (48 x 71 cm)
“Picasso’s Villa La Californie (Cannes, 1956)”
2008, mixed media on linen, 66” x 132” (168 x 236 cm)
This is a detail from the centerpiece of the show. 8 paintings join together to describe the ground floor rooms which Picasso was using as art studios. Visitors will be able to walk from room to room to view the hundreds of artworks that he was creating in April, 1956. The entire painting is a still life in which Picasso has placed or created every element.
"Diebenkorn's Studio (Ocean Park/Santa Monica"
2016, watercolor and gouache, 13.5" x 12"
“Georgia O’Keeffe’s Studio, New Mexico,”
2016, gouache on board, 18” x 27” (46 x 69 cm)
Dali's Studio (Cadaques, 1973)
gouache on board, 19 x 23 inches
Frida Kahlo's Studio (Coyoacan/Mexico, 1944)
acrylic on canvas, 66 x 72 inches (168 x 183 cm)
Matisse's Studio (Nice, 1941)
mixed media on canvas, 62 x 62 in (153 x 153 cm)
Picasso's Studio (Blvd Clichy/Paris, 1910)
gouache on board, 18 x 23 inches
Monet's Studio (Giverny, 1903)
acrylic on canvas, 62 x 72 inches (153 x 179 cm)
Cezanne's Studio (Aix en Provence, 1902)
gouache on board, 19 x 23 inches
STREET ART NYC + LONDON
From 1983-84, I painted graffiti in an abandoned building in New York City. Luckily my paintings were soon hanging beside the works of Basquiat and Haring in an exhibition called "Paris/New York" by the Robert Fraser Gallery.
"New York Rooftops I," spray paint, 8 x 14 ft, 1984, Damian Elwes
After college, I worked on a film in New York. It was the early 80s, and there was graffiti everywhere. You'd see a new Basquiat poem on a wall one day, and within week later other artists had added to it. Until then I had thought of painting as being rather static and dead, but this kind of painting was alive and metamorphosing every day.
"Boys," spray paint, 5 x 7 ft, Damian Elwes
One day on the film set, I had to keep a crowd at bay inside the entrance of the 34th Street subway station. Keith Haring appeared and started drawing on a poster and we struck up a conversation. I told him that his job looked a lot more fun than mine. He invited me to have a go, but I said that I didn't think I could paint over his work. Later, we went to a party together, and he encouraged me to buy some spray paint and find myself an empty wall.
"Abstract Graffiti," spray paint, 1984
I knew about a building on West 56th Street and 7th Avenue that was empty and condemned to be torn down. My boss had just moved out but I still had the keys. One weekend I bought spray paint and covered some walls in abstract graffiti. I passed out because I wasn't wearing a mask. Upon awakening, I blew my nose and colors came out. I looked around and saw that the room was filled with images from my imagination.
"New York Rooftops II," 8 x 16 ft, 1984, Damian Elwes
Over the next year I covered all the rooms with paintings and even painted the roof, but the city kept putting large locks on the door and signs saying, 'KEEP OUT GRAFFITI ARTIST.' Behind my empty building, the fire escape was only a couple of feet from the fire escape of the Hotel Wellington. I spied a dark room that was full of rolled carpets and furniture. I climbed up and found the window open. The bathroom had running water. That 7th floor room became the entrance to my studio.
English art dealer Robert Fraser came to New York looking for graffiti artists for an exhibition called "Paris/New York." I took his assistant to the Hotel Wellington on 7th Avenue. By then, the hotel staff thought that I lived there. I bought a newspaper, as I did every day, and the bellboy said, "Good morning Mr. Elwes." We took an elevator to the 7th floor. I opened the door to the room with a credit card and we stepped out of the window and climbed across to the fire escape of "my" building. Fraser liked my paintings and invited me to be a part of an exhibition with Basquiat and Haring.
"Fish," spray paint, Earls Court Road, London 1985 Damian Elwes
Robert wanted me to stay in London and do a solo show on Cork Street. He said, "You know that you are the only English graffiti artist?" He took me to meet Basquiat. We had a great connection, but I wanted to go to Paris and learn how to paint with a brush. Robert was still interested in a show and asked to see my Paris paintings in six months. Sadly, he became very ill and succumbed to Aids. He was one of the great art dealers, and I was amazed and grateful that he had shown such belief in me.
"Camden Town," 1985
I painted graffiti at night but police often followed me around. After painting "Fish" I decided to only paint on dilapidated or temporary walls.
"Derelict house near the Post Office Tower in London," spray paint, 1985, Damian Elwes
Back in London I started painting graffiti in the streets. I searched for interesting walls that could frame and be a part of potential paintings. My brothers and I had grown up in London in the sixties, and bomb sites (left over from the war) had been our playgrounds.
"Explosion," spray paint, 1985, Damian Elwes
I painted graffiti at night but police often followed me around. This was an empty building on the corner of the Kings Road opposite Safeway. No one ever knew that I was painting graffiti on the streets because it was safer to just keep quiet about it.
This painting describes a source of the Amazon River that exists at the top of an active volcano in southern Colombia.
(This is one of four vast nature installations that I have created. Those installations trace the cycle of water from river source, to cloud forest, to rain forest, to coral reef. I am very concerned about the degradation of the natural world and this has been my response.)
"Source of the Amazon," 280 x 300 inches (711.2 x 762 cm)
Here is one of the four panels on the wall of my studio. (70 x 300 inches)
( It has also been exhibited as a giant floor painting (280 x 300 inches) in Los Angeles and London. Visitors find themselves walking over hundreds of exotic, flowering plants while searching for the source of the river.)
In Colombia, we would wake each day at 5am and have coffee on our balcony, gazing at the rainforest which extended all around us. At that early hour one could see a snow-covered volcano in the distance, protruding from the canopy.
One January, my friend and I drove a jeep as far as we could up the volcano. We put on plastic suits and rubber boots and climbed the rest of the way through a cloud forest. It was like nothing else I had ever experienced on earth. There was no ground. We crawled through tunnels in the foliage. Sometimes we were deep below the surfasce and saw strange grubs and caterpillars living there.
Eventually we reached a plateau just below the crater. There we found a source of the Amazon River. It was summer and all the plants were flowering. I had ropes and tent pegs and we made a grid around the source, dividing the area in twelve large rectangles. Over the next eighteen months I painted each rectangle until I had a vast painting of the exact landscape.
This colorful, rain-drenched ecosystem seemed like it could exist at the bottom of the sea. Every few years, the volcano explodes and molten lava kills all life on this plateau. But the rain is constant, the river continues to come up from the ground, and life begins again. It is in a constant cycle of life and death and rebirth. It is the kind of ecosystem that existed millions of years before humanity and one that should exist millions of years from now.
Cloud Forest 1, 50 x 50 in
I painted that place because it demonstrates to me that as we degrade the natural world we are making more and more for ourselves to survive. Even after a nuclear holocaust other forms of life will likely proliferate again beginning at the vents at the bottom of the sea and at the high-altitude sources of rivers.
"Source of the Amazon," 280 x 300 inches (711.2 x 762 cm)
Here is another of the panels on the wall of my studio. (70 x 300 inches)
PICASSO'S Villa Las Californie
Eight paintings connect to describe the ground floor of Picasso's Villa La Californie in Cannes. A visitor entering the front door of Picasso's home in April, 1956 would be be confronted by this view of the three large rooms facing the garden that were being used as studios.
Picasso was producing an extraordinary amount of art at this moment in his life, and he allowed several photographers to come and record this. Among them were Edward Quinn and David Duncan Douglas (who gave his blessing to this project). I spread out the photographs that were taken of all the details and put them together like a jigsaw puzzle before beginning this painting.
"Picasso's Villa," the painting Studio, 66 x 132 in (168 x 336 cm)
"In this installation, Elwes deals with the most prodigious artist of our time during one of his most intense phases of creativity. In the mid-fifties, Picasso had just fallen in love with his last wife Jaqueline. His great rival Matisse had recently died, and he had no one to compete with. Luckily, Jaqueline's face reminded him of one of the women in Delacroix's masterpiece, 'Women of Algiers,' and thus began a series ofpaintings in which Picasso pitted his talents against those of the old master. Suddenly, the whole ground floor of his villa was filled to the brim with portraits of Jaqueline interspersed with representations of himself as bull, owl, goat and satyr. Elwes' work describes a period after April, 1956 when Picasso had just completed several paintings of his own studio, a rare occurrence. He then made an amazing painting of his muse in his studio. In that painting, Jaqueline is looking at a blank canvas on an easel. It is a meditation on the making of art."
extract from an essay by Fred Hoffman (Curator of the Basquiat retrospectives at MOCA and the Brooklyn Museum)
"Picasso's Villa," The Grand Salon, 66 x 132 in (168 x 336 cm)
Each month, the Madoura Pottery would deliver several crates of ceramics, and this is where most of them were unpacked and painted. Sydney Picasso spent several hours examining the installation and told me many stories about the details. On the right above the sofa, there is a bullfight painting made by Claude Picasso for his father with the inscription, "pour mon papa cheri." Above that is a painting of a bowl of cherries which was a secret portrait of Claude's mother, Francoise Gilot. On the the sofa rests a kite which Picasso made for Paloma and Claude. In the center of the room, Picasso is taking apart the children's stroller in order to create a sculpture.
"Picasso's Villa," The Dining Room, each painting 66 x 132 in (168 x 336 cm)
"These paintings are literally a feast for the eye and mind. Each of Elwes’ paintings is the result of copious research, from which he has assembled all extant documentation on any and every item which Picasso surrounded himself with. These include all the notebooks, sketches, African masks, works in production (such as paintings, prints, ceramics and sculpture), as well as gifts from friends, articles of clothing and even artworks by his own children. All of these 'things' have been included in Elwes’ work with the goal of accurately documenting the conditions in which the master worked."
(extract from an essay by Fred Hoffman)
The entire painting wraps around three walls. This image shows half of it.
"Picasso's Villa," Painting Studio I, 66 x 66 in (168 x 168 cm)
In the center is a mirrored door. To the right is a painting called "The Shadow." In that painting, Francoise Gilot is asleep on a sofa the day before she left Picasso. He entered the room, and his shadow fell over her body. On the left easel is a painting of his new wife sitting in the rocking chair looking at an empty canvas on the easel.
"Picasso's Villa," Painting Studio II, 66 x 66 in (168 x 168 cm)
This is the other side of the painting studio. On the mantlepiece, there are two bottles of absinthe and a sculpture of a boy's head that was in Picasso's Bateau Lavoir studio fifty years earlier. On the sculpture stand to the right, there is a red, toy bus made for his children. The chair in the center is now on display at the Picasso Museum in Paris. On the chair is a newspaper which Picasso used as his palette. The newspaper absorbed the oil from his colors allowing them to dry far more rapidly. This was how Picasso was able to produce so many paintings.
"Picasso's Villa," Grand Salon II, 66 x 66 in (168 x 168 cm)
On the easel to the left is a print of "Les Demoiselles d'Avignon." The work surrounding it seems to be influenced by that painting. Jacqueline, dressed as one of Delacroix's "Women of Algiers," appears in two paintings and in three ceramic plates on the floor. The other ceramics are of goats, owls, bulls and satyrs, creatures that Picasso identified with.
"Picasso's Villa," Grand Salon II, 66 x 66 in (168 x 168 cm)
There is a book of poems by Rimbaud on the table by the window. In the corner of the room is sculpture made out of pipes. Some artworks in this painting (like that sculpture in the corner and the kite on the sofa) have not survived the test of time.
"Picasso's Villa," Dining Room I, 66 x 66 in (168 x 168 cm)
On the chair to the left is a painting by Picasso of his studio. On the chair in the center is a painting of his wife in the studio looking at a painting of the studio on an easel.
"Picasso's Villa," Dining Room II, 66 x 66 in (168 x 168 cm)
On the shelf in the center of the wall, there is a bust of Dora Maar, an African sculpture, a bird cage and a gold clock that was a gift from Picasso's art dealer, Daniel Henry Kahnweiler.
"Picasso's Villa," Dining Room III, 66 x 66 in (168 x 168 cm)
Tiles that Picasso and his daughter Paloma have painted are displayed on the table. On the right wall is another little painting by Paloma of her step-mother, a bullfight announcement, a boomerang and the famous "Bull's Head" sculpture made from a bicycle seat and handlebars. Throughout this painting there are French newspapers from April, 1956 that can actually be read.
Some of my favorite paintings in the world are the bulls etched in the cave walls of Lascaux and Altamira.
"Bull I," mixed media on canvas, 72 x 101 in, (1.8 x 2.5m) 1992-93
Each year, I start a new bull painting with my children and their friends.
"Bull III," mixed media on canvas, 77 x 100 in (1.9 x 2.54m) 1994-2014
For me, painting a bull is also about facing fears because I was almost killed by a Spanish fighting bull when I was nine years old. The bull paintings usually take many years to complete.
"Bullfight," felt tip pens, 12 x 16 in, Damian Elwes
I made this artwork a few weeks after being gored during a Spanish fiesta.
"Bull XII," mixed media on canvas 71 x 90 inches (1.8 x 2.29 m) 2005-2014, Damian Elwes
My father and grandfather were both painters. Painting is something that has been handed down from generation to generation. When I make a bull painting, I feel a connection with the early cave painters.
I also feel for the bull and try to see the world through his eyes.
The bull paintings usually take many years to complete. I always keep one on the wall of my studio and each night I apply the left over paint from my palette.