Graffiti artist and Madonna collaborator opens exhibition at Waterloo
Art and fashion lovers have just four weeks to snap up the debut collection of one of the UK’s most exciting artists as he showcases his works at Waterloo.
Mason Newman, the 24-year-old Birmingham-born street artist exploring the realms of celebrity, sex, wealth and mass consumerism through his own perspective and that of his character, Gyal, is launching his debut exhibition, Hi Friend, on February 3.
The show will run until February 29, at the former Eurostar Waterloo International terminal turn leisure centre – The Sidings.
Mason Newman said: “To have my debut exhibition here in The Sidings, Waterloo is cool.
“I’ve always said the internet is my version of “Shakespeare’s Globe theatre” and with this being a 20-minute walk away it feels like a weird manifestation.
“Hi Friend is my Romeo and Juliet.”
The artwork on show and available to buy includes 37 canvas pieces, 100 one-dollar bills and a limited merchandise collection, including debut homeware.
Newman navigates the themes of his work through the lens of his character Gyal, with an ever-present focus on the eyes.
The artist, who counts singer Madonna and clothing designer Ed Hardy as collaborative projects, is now set to transform three large spaces in The Sidings into his own vision.
Newman launched his first clothing brand at 16 after his grandfather gave him £200 to buy some caps to design. The business lasted two years before he launched Mason Newman Studios in 2018.
By the time he turned 23, Newman had already bloomed into a successful fashion designer, establishing himself as the creative director of the Queen of Pop’s fashion label, Material Girl.
In the same year, the artist unveiled his first-ever collaborative project, partnering with Ed Hardy for a limited-edition collection that merged both Newman and Hardy’s eye for tattoo styling into super-heavy graphics on clothing.
The result was a collection of 40 one-of-one Ed Hardy jackets, hand painted by Newman’s graffiti-inspired designs.
Just a stone’s throw away from the Leake Street arches – the city’s largest legal graffiti wall – Waterloo is an ideal spot to showcase Newman’s newest works.
On January 30, Newman painted a mural in the iconic arches, next to a piece by the legendary Blek Le Rat.
Blek le Rat, born Xavier Prou, is a French graffiti artist. He was one of the first graffiti artists in Paris, and has been described as the “Father of stencil graffiti”.
Leake Street has announced Newman’s piece will be protected to stand the test of time, becoming the second piece of work after Blek le Rat to receive such treatment in the graffiti tunnel.
The Sidings has been developed by commercial developer LCR, owned by the Department of Transport.
Sian Evans, asset management Director at LCR, said: “We’re both excited and honoured to host Mason Newman’s debut solo collection – his imagination and innovation clicks perfectly with what we aim to achieve at The Sidings.
“This marks another great collaboration between LCR and a trailblazing street artist. The Sidings’ proximity to Leake Street has become a perfect location to capture the energy.”
Pictured top: Mason Newman (Picture: Supplied by LCR)
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