For those who fondly remember the Mr Men and Little Miss books of their childhood, a new body of work by Sebastian Chaumeton offers an interesting twist to the popular series. But instead of Mr Tickle and Little Miss Sunshine, the paintings bring us funny tributes to the art world, including Mr Bacon and Ms Emin.
Launching at London's Maddox Gallery this September, Little Palette is a solo exhibition by the emerging British artist featuring various paintings and sculptures that challenge what we think about art and its many genres. Through each piece, Chaumeton uses humour and intrigue to make us think about each artist on display. From Mr Hirst and Ms Martin to Mr Blake and Ms Riley, he wants us to consider how we discover that we like a particular artist and what perhaps makes us have specific tastes.
Chaumeton's inspiration comes from the artists he looks up to and their unique techniques, which he enjoys exploring and applying to his own work. Taking this approach not only offers an interesting contrast among the 20 pieces; it also displays a rare talent to be able to appropriate different painting practices, such as pointillism and abstractionism. What's more, it's his extraordinary use of bold, intelligent statements that makes the series so captivating and charming.
You could even say that the exhibition is a history lesson in art movements, as you wander through the space and enjoy each painting on display. For example, when we stop to look at Mr Banksy, not only do we think of this eminent artist who paved the way for street artists to come, but we also think of how another artist like Chaumeton reflects on the legacy of such an important figure in art history overall. "This is one of the greatest things about Chaumeton," says the gallery, "he educates through his work. Deep reflection on our learned tastes and, in some cases, art education and how those inform our preferences in aesthetics arises. A beautiful combination of intellect and proficient painterly technique, he is an important addition to our art scene radar."
Born in London in 1996, Sebastian Chaumeton grew up in an environment where his creativity was supported and nurtured by his parents. He knew for certain that he wanted to become a full-time artist upon enrolling at the Chelsea College of Art. So far, Sebastian has indulged his fascination with internet culture and reimagined recognisable cartoon characters to bring us thought-provoking humorous work. A click on his website will reveal a love of Web 1.0 and anything related to the '90s, including Microsoft's Clippy character – that friendly paperclip that was there to guide you around your computer – and the many icons we thirty and forty-somethings will remember only too well.
Sebastian has enjoyed three exhibitions so far, two with Maddox Gallery in London and one with Whitestone Gallery in Hong Kong. His debut solo exhibition, Fuzzy Futures, was held in 2019 at the end of his three-month residency with Maddox Gallery at Shepherd Market and marked the start of his artistic career.
His latest show, Little Palette, will open at Maddox Gallery on 1 September and run until 9 October 2022. To discover more about the artist, visit sebastianchaumeton.com.