Jonathan YeoShop prints
British artist Jonathan Yeo, born in London in 1970, where he still lives and works, is widely considered one of the world’s leading figurative artists. Entirely self-taught, his career, which spans over 20 years, has seen him create sometimes provocative images of many of the most politically and culturally influential people of our time. His sitters include the Noble Prize Winner Malala Yousafzai, former Prime Ministers Tony Blair and David Cameron, artists Grayson Perry and Damien Hirst, as well as other leading figures from the worlds of music, fashion, comedy and film, such as Dennis Hopper, Idris Elba, Jude Law, Kevin Spacey, Helena Bonham Carter and Cara Delevingne. His unauthorized portrait of George W. Bush in 2007, made from cuttings of pornographic magazines, bought him international notoriety and led to a series of works that used the explicit material to make carefully constructed satirical collages of figures ranging from the moral crusader Mary Whitehouse, to the brilliantly corrupt Silvio Berlusconi. Plastic surgery has also been the subject of Yeo’s brush and his series of paintings showing patients before and after cosmetic procedures continue his exploration and fascination with contemporary notions of beauty and identity. In recent years he has been the subject of several major museum retrospectives including one at the National Portrait Gallery, London, in 2013 and more recently at the Museum of National History in Denmark in March 2016, where he unveiled a series of work of Cara Delevingne, which looked at how social media has changed how we read and construct images of ourselves and others. Earlier in 2016, Yeo's portrait of the actor Kevin Spacey in the role of President Francis J. Underwood, from the Netflix series House of Cards, was unveiled at the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, DC, with Spacey unveiling the painting in character as the fictional President. Yeo’s ongoing innovations in theme and narrative and his engagement with society continue to challenge the genre of portraiture and reinvigorate it for the modern era.