RISE - On the Brink Arts CIC Fundraiser

27 FEBRUARY 2023 - 17 MARCH 2023
Clockwork Britain. Red edition
Clockwork Britain. Red edition
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6. Paul Insect

Clockwork Britain. Red version

Signed and numbered
4 colour print onto 300gsm Arches 88 paper
Edition 70



£300 - 450

This auction has now ended

RISE - On the Brink Arts CIC Fundraiser (6/17)


Paul Insect was born in South East England in 1971, he now lives and works in London

“There are two sides to people: the side you want everyone to see, and the side you would rather keep to yourself.”

Paul Insect’s bright, multi-textured collages feature cropped portraits, patterned color fields, benday dots, and decorative elements such as diamond dust and glitter. The U.K.-born and -based artist, who prefers to keep his true identity anonymous, first rose to prominence as part of the “insect” artist collective, which was active between 1996 and 2005. Insect’s next big break arrived in 2007, when Damien Hirst reportedly bought out the artist’s entire solo show before it even opened at London’s Lazarides Gallery. Hirst is not alone in his fandom—Insect has exhibited at a number of galleries in New York and London, and his work was included in Banksy’s 2015 pop-up exhibition “Dismaland” and  Roger Gastman’s 2018 traveling street art survey “Beyond the Streets.”

Paul Insect questions identity, both who we are and who we choose to be. His mixed-media works meld portraiture and abstraction with paint, print, collage and sculpture. Figures wear balaclava-like masks surrounded by energetic brushstrokes and bold graphic shapes. The compositions evoke Dada and Pop Art, and make clear nods to Insect’s roots as a graffiti artist. But behind the fun and playful facade is a more pernicious sentiment – the people are trapped inside the canvas, questioning themes of individual freedom and choice.
In his work, Insect critiques digital identity. Much like an Instagram feed, the figures gaze directly at the viewer – their sense of self bound to the approval of others. Also, the masks they wear both reveal and hide their faces, just as we choose what to share and hide online. This is echoed in Insect’s choice to keep his face and personal identity secret. As such, he blends our projected identities and lived identities – suggesting they are becoming ever-more difficult to separate.





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