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JJ Adams Spring Collection 2022: Art Bombs and Brilliance

We are delighted to announce that JJ Adams’ Spring Collection 2022 is here!
At the Artmarket Gallery, we’ve long championed and celebrated JJ Adams’ astounding artworks. With an undeniable edge of cool and a good measure of knowing artistic scepticism, JJ Adams interrogates the worlds of pop culture and fine art alike. 

The results are images like no other, with celebrity idols transformed into tattooed revolutionaries and cultural landmarks adorned with graffiti, rave lasers and the occasional ominous police presence.
 
To celebrate the launch of JJ Adams latest collection, we’re taking a look at some of his most recent artworks. So, are you ready for an art world revolution?
 

Rock Star Rogue


“Anyone can learn to draw or paint, but it’s how you use that knowledge.” – JJ Adams


 
JJ Adams’ art is created using a painstaking digital and mixed media process. Speaking of his methods, the artist has described how he loves fusing and mixing mediums – taking samples from digital works and photographs, mixing his own colour palettes and combining his own textures and objects.
 
It’s this gradual process that makes the piece “come alive” for the artist. Indeed, in works such as Rockstar Rogue (a playful take on Vogue cover art), the supermodel Kate Moss stares arrestingly out at the viewer.
 
JJ Adams meticulously adds-to and adapts “traditional” photographs of the model, seamlessly blending pink and blue hues into her hair and make-up. Tattoos are just visible on Kate Moss’ hands and sleeves, fashionably holding up a punk-studded leather jacket.
 
In these artworks, the boundaries between “reality” and “art” start to blur. Did Kate Moss always have a beauty mark above her lip? What about her delicate gold ring? The more small details that emerge – the more we’re forced to question previously familiar and straightforward images.
 

Big Ben and Art Bombs

 
“It should be about the image, the idea or the message.” – JJ Adams
 
JJ Adams often hides larger messages in his art. In these pieces, it’s up to the viewer to explore the artwork, to gradually discover details in their own time and build their own meanings. Whilst some artworks wear their message on their sleeve, (for instance Art Bomb proudly declaring “Make Art Not War”), others are slightly more intractable.
 
Take Big Bender as an example. It’s a work that the more you look, the more you discover.


 
The London landmark is adorned in a commercial HP Sauce projection. Possibly referencing the fight between community and capitalist interest, a “Tories” Tesco banner is just visible above the HP logo.
 
At the bottom of the composition, Big Ben is marked as a “Polling Station” with a banner depicting another JJ Adams artwork right at the bottom-left. Showing Mary Poppins in a surgical mask, this Stay Home, Save Lives piece was created at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.
 
Moving up the landmark, Mickey Mouse, anarchist symbols, “No Future” graffiti, “Vote Labour” banners, rave lasers, suited men, diving boards (complete with a diving swimmer) and police helicopters are all visible. What could it all mean? It’s up to you to discover…
 

Spoonful of Sugar

 
“The key for me is not to take myself or my work too seriously.” – JJ Adams
 
Described as the Frank Zappa of the UK art scene, JJ Adams takes icons and images we all know and love – adding his own unique creative vision. Hailing from Cape Town and South West England, the artist is rapidly becoming one of the country’s most discussed and most collectible contemporary artists.
 
Indeed, his bold and confident style has seen him featured in Vogue and GQ magazine, as well as working with luxury clients such as Rolls Royce and Bang & Olufsen. 

The artist is well aware of the links between print publications, publicity and pop culture. His work frequently deals with magazine cover art, featuring JJ Adams’ iconic creations front and centre.


 
“Special Issues” such as the Spoonful of Sugar TV Guide subvert our preconceived ideas of well-loved movie figures and characters. Julie Andrews (or Mary Poppins) winks knowingly at the viewer, holding her finger to her mouth. This reveals knuckle-tats declaring “KIDS SUCK”, complete with a jauntily perched robin and an oyster card hidden in her bonnet.
 
JJ Adams has similarly created imaginative covers for other illustrious publications such as TIME and LIFE Magazine. To give just two examples, A Liz in Wonderland and Time Traveller’s Return, feature Queen Elizabeth II, “Alien vs Predator” and even a surprise appearance from Boba Fett as their controversial cover stars.
 

Campbell's Punk Soup

 
Speaking of his artistic influences, JJ Adams has discussed his admiration for Pop Artists such as Roy Lichtenstein, Sir Peter Blake and Andy Warhol. Indeed, one of JJ Adams’ latest artworks directly references Andy Warhol and his Campbell’s Soup Cans.
 
Andy Warhol notoriously appropriated well-known images from consumer culture and mass media. Just like JJ Adams’ art, many of these works take inspiration from celebrity photography (most famously Marilyn Monroe) and consumer goods. 

First exhibited in 1962, Warhol’s Campbell’s Soup Cans canvases were displayed on multiple shelves, like produce in a grocery store aisle. Each canvas referred to a different soup flavour, their carefully hand painted nature belying the mass-produced advertisements inspiring their creation.


 
JJ Adams has built on this iconic theme, bringing it into the British cultural zeitgeist by referencing the Punks and Mods gangs of the 1970 and 80s. 

Whilst Campbell’s Punk Soup is laden “full of anarchy”, adorned with the famed Sex Pistols rallying cry of “God Save the Queen” and punk slogans aplenty – the Mod Soup comes in “Cream of Lambretta” flavour that’s proudly “talkin ‘bout my generation”. 

Just as Warhol argued art shouldn’t be “only for the select few”, JJ Adams humorously references pop culture moments responsible for creating art and society as we know it today.

The Artmarket Gallery proudly stocks an unparalleled collection of JJ Adams artworks. Browse his instantly recognizable creations and find an artwork you love, that will enrich your life and your walls.