Martyrs Exhibition Catalogue

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Raised in Northern Ireland during the Troubles, Warren King sought to escape the violent conflict of the time by embracing artistic pursuits. His cousin, a tutor at Queens University Belfast, helped to nurture his creative skills, which blossomed further after relocating to England to pursue Graphic Design at Medway Art School in Kent. After becoming a full-time visual artist in 2016, King was shortlisted twice for the Emerge and New Emergence art prizes and in July 2021 was one of the recipients of the Turner Open Call Prize for his painting 'Woman With A New Hat'. The beginning of 2022 saw an influx of international acclaim, with a series of portraits featured in the group exhibition 'Post Mortem - Art Of The After Death' in Denver, Colorado which was swiftly followed by a solo exhibition at the Pringle Of Scotland clothing store in Mayfair, London.

King's work has also provided inspiration to musicians and graced multiple album covers by record label Sonic Cathedral. His paintings have also attracted recognition from literary figures, with his piece 'Divine Light' appears in the book Quotes - Inspirational Quotations/ Creative Responses and an upcoming double-page spread for the 2022 publication of Contemporary Art Collectors, a publication which features 100 of the world’s top emerging artists. 'Martyrs' is a collection of Warren King’s latest body of work, which explores modern notions of faith and sacrifice through abstract portraits of Christian saints and martyrs. The concept arose from the artist's fascination with those who despite enduring savage torture, remained stoic and refused to renounce their religious beliefs.


Acrylic paint on canvas 130cm x 150cm £5,000 This piece is based upon the story of Saint Lucia, patron saint of the blind. Saint Lucia (or 'Lucy' as she is also known) was a Christian martyr who died in Italy in 304 AD. Legend declares that she plucked out her own eyes to avoid marriage to a pagan suitor, although some versions of Lucia's story describe how they were forcibly removed under torture. The piece features a heavily stylised eye, used by the artist to convey the idea of the 'inner eye', which many believe can transcend physical sight.


Acrylic and spray paint on canvas 120cm x 150cm £4,800 Artemis is the ancient Greek goddess of nature, wild animals and child care. In this piece, the artist strives to depict strength and vitality, combined with femininity, suggesting the subject of the piece is a protector of the environment and a 'mother nature' figure.


Acrylic and spray paint on canvas 130cm x 150cm £5,000 Saint Eulalia was martyred in Spain in 304AD for her refusal to make sacrifices to the Roman gods. The punishment for her rebellion was extreme, with executioners reportedly attacking her body with iron hooks and lit torches. Here, the artist aimed to depict Eulalia as a strong woman with a stoical and defiant attitude in the face of suffering.


Acrylic and spray paint on canvas 130cm x 150cm £5,000 The Yakuza are a Japanese crime syndicate known for their intricate, symbolic tattoos and strict hierarchical structure. Warren King's fascination with the use of body art and other adornments as a form of self expression prompted this piece to be created, with the artist choosing to represent the yakuza member’s signature ink in a more abstract way, creating texture and movement by using scraper tools to manipulate the paint across the canvas.


Acrylic and spray paint on clayboard 46cm x 61cm 55cm x 75cm framed and mounted £1,500 Here the artist juxtaposes a shadowy, silhouette in profile against an intense, sunshine yellow background, mimicking the affects on the eyes of photokeratitis or 'snowblindness'.


Acrylic and spray paint on clayboard 46cm x 61cm 55cm x 75cm framed and mounted £1,500 Saint Marianne was the patron saint of outcasts, known best for caring for those with leprecy until her death in 1918. In this piece, the artist contrasts a striking orange and black textured figure with a smooth, turquoise background, echoing the volcanic activity and blue seas of Hawaii where Marianne carried out her work.


Acrylic and spray paint on clayboard 46cm x 61cm unframed £1,500 In creating his recent piece 'Diamond Skull' Warren King contrasts a confident swipe of electric blue with warmer pink and mustard tones. Multiple thick layers of acrylic and spray paint are used to create a richly textured and tactile surface.


Acrylic and spray paint on clayboard 46cm x 61cm unframed £1,500 Warren King utilises his signature palette of intense, vibrant colours in his 'Skull' series of paintings. Worked directly on to clayboard, this surface allows a contrast of finishes from the even, matte blue background to the glossy veneer and textured nature of the layered sections of the piece.


Acrylic and spray paint on clayboard 46cm x 61cm unframed £1,500 Bloom is a joyful and expressive piece, with a bold, vivid palette. As observed in other recent works, here the artist has experimented with an acrylic medium, an additive which splits the paint, altering the appearance and creating a honeycomb texture in certain sections.


Acrylic and spray paint on clayboard 46cm x 61cm unframed £1,500 'Starblind' is a prime example of Warren King's trademark style; clear, distinct sections of colour are combined with more improvised and serendipitous details- creating balance between discipline and disarray.


Acrylic and spray paint on canvas 50cm x 60cm £1,500 'Melting' displays a more minimalistic approach from Warren King. The artist intentionally utilises a more limited colour palette, with fewer brushstrokes against a matte, lilac background for maximum effect.


Acrylic and spray paint on canvas 75cm x 100cm £3,000 Snowman is an autobiographical representation of a situation the artist found himself in whilst travelling around a dubious area of Florida. After playing pool in a dive bar, the revelling continued in a local trailer park, where many illicit substances were consumed. This painting is an attempt by the artist to represent his appearance after imbibing throughout the night.


Acrylic and spray paint on clayboard 46cm x 61cm 55cm x 75cm framed and mounted £1,500 The myth of the ancient Greek goddess of wisdom Athena’s birth appealed to the artist's love of horror movies and legends. After swallowing his pregnant wife to avoid the actualisation of a prophecy, Zeus began to suffer headaches. When he could no longer endure the pain, the god Hephaestus struck his head with an axe and Athena sprang fully formed from his skull. Here, the artist depicts the figure of Athena in canary yellow, against a royal blue backdrop.


Acrylic and spray paint on canvas 75cm x 100cm £2,500 The Green Woman is a mythical figure who often features in the tarot deck. Described as having worn a garland of flowers, she represents the femininity of nature and earth. Here, the artist Warren King depicts her as a silent, all powerful figure set against a deep, noir background.


Acrylic and spray paint on canvas 90cm x 120cm unframed £3,500 Supposedly born blind in 7th century France, Odilia’s sight was miraculously restored to her during her baptism when she was 12. The artist used silicone oil and pouring medium to create multiple divisions within the wet paint, called cells. This represents the complexity of the brain and the ability to adapt, heightening the other senses response to stimuli to compensate for blindness.


Acrylic and spray paint on canvas 90cm x 120cm unframed £3,500 This painting was inspired by the sci-fi film 'Under The Skin', in which actor Scarlett Johansson portrays an alien visiting earth. Here, the artist tries to suggest the appearance of a creature that has travelled many light years to arrive here and how they might look, in some ways, like us, under the skin.


Acrylic and spray paint on canvas 120cm x 150cm unframed £4,500 'Becoming' represents a character in the process of both a physical and spiritual transition. The head is deliberately indistinct and almost foetus-like, with fibrous swirls of colour in the centre of the portrait like loose strands of DNA.

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