Altered States | Saatchi Gallery


London, UK – On September 29th the Saatchi Gallery will open a new exhibition, Altered States in the Prints & Originals Gallery. Curated by Olly Walker, the exhibition showcases works by eight urban contemporary artists based in the UK.
The eight artists featured in Altered States are: D.A.N.T.E., David Shillinglaw, Florence Blanchard, Kid Acne, Lily Mixe, Skeleton Cardboard, Sr.X and Victoria Villasana.

By its nature art concerns transition and transformation. Ideas and emotions transform from impulses to physical images. Substances are transformed when rendered on surfaces, liquids become solids and colours merge. Similarly, artists find themselves living within a society that is constantly changing and presenting them with new challenges and opportunities.
The UK is home to a community of diverse artists. Some were borne in the UK and others were drawn to it; but all continue to explore artistic ideas as the nation evolves. Altered States showcases the output of a selection of British-based urban contemporary artists working today.
Brief Biographies of the Artists

D.A.N.T.E. was born in Glastonbury, Somerset, UK and currently lives & works in London. Inspired by Basquiat and Haring, the artist creates free-flowing and expressive works reflecting upon contemporary urban life.

David Shillinglaw is an artist whose work includes a variety of disciplines, ranging from small drawings and hand-made books, paintings on canvas, and large-scale wall murals and installation. The artist graduated from Central Saint Martins, London in 2002 and has exhibited internationally. He lives and works in London.

Florence Blanchard is a French painter, muralist and screen-printer based in the UK. Blanchard spent 10 years in New York where she graduated with a PHD from New York University. Her training as a scientist, as well as her earlier experiences writing graffiti under the moniker Ema, inform her abstract creations.

Kid Acne is an artist, illustrator, print-maker and emcee. A retrospective of his work was exhibited at Museums Sheffield in 2011 and his work has featured in numerous publications. The artist has exhibited internationally and his work has been utilised by leading brands. The artists lives and works in Sheffield, UK.

Lily Mixe is an artist originating from Paris who is currently based in London. The artist creates detailed and carefully rendered works on found objects. Her works illustrate a love of nature and a deep concern for the environment that surrounds the artist and us all.

Skeleton Cardboard studied Graphic Design at Camberwell College of Art. The artist was particularly inspired by a trip to Mexico City and later left paintings of skeletons on scraps of cardboard for people to discover on the streets of London. The artists lives and works in east London.Sr. X is a Spanish street artist now based in London. The artist continues to produce works on the street and in his studio using techniques including stencils, collage, oil and acrylic painting.

Victoria Villasana has spent her life living in either Mexico or London. Both cultures have inspired her work. Her trademark pieces are portraits embellished with yarn. The artist often pasted these up on the streets of London.

About the Curator

Olly Walker, the founder of Ollystudio, has cultivated a reputation for curating strong shows and artistic collaborations for a range of clients. In addition to the curation of a number of high profile gallery shows in London and Berlin, Olly has collaborated with brands such as Levi’s Vintage Clothing, Converse, Orange and artists like Vhils, JR, Nick Walker, Paul Insect, Ben Turnbull, Mode 2, Ben Eine, D-Face, WK Interact and Alexander McQueen. Ollystudio has designed books for some of the best artists in the world and worked with influential galleries such as Saatchi Gallery, Urban Nation and Lazarides.

About the Saatchi Gallery
The Saatchi Gallery was founded in 1985 with the aim of bringing contemporary art to as wide an audience as possible and make it accessible by providing an innovative platform for emerging artists to show their work. Over the last five years the Saatchi Gallery has hosted ten out of the top 15 most visited exhibitions in London, according to The Art Newspaper’s survey of international museum attendance, and is also ranked amongst the world’s top five most liked museums on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Google+. Entry to all the Saatchi Gallery’s exhibitions is free.
For further press information and images contact:
Lily Greensmith [email protected] +44 (0)207 811 3091
Paul Foster [email protected] +44 (0)207 811 3078

Between the Sheets

What: Between the Sheets
Where: Underbelly, Southbank London
Who: Fabulous burlesque in a fabulous venue
When: Running until September 29, 2017
Why: 75 minutes of unforgettable scantily clad performers
London’s most famous burlesque entertainer – Miss Polly Rae – is hosting a new show at London’s Underbelly Festival on the Southbank. It’s ‘Between the Sheets,’ and between you and me it’s fabulous!

Polly Rae, along with a cavalcade of other naughty acts, performs a variety of skits while scantily clad in a show that’s fun, and dare we say it, titillating. There’s so much on offer in the show for both men and women as Rae’s performers delight the late night audiences with the ability to do a variety of stunts while simultaneously taking their clothes off.

 Come and watch the amazing duo of Duo Visage (Beau Sargent and Sam Smith) combine their spectacular artistry, along with their perfectly lithe bodies, as they do spectacular stunts on the stage in a venue where every seat in the house is good. Then there is Tom Cunningham and Myles Brown, two very good-looking men who take off all of their clothes in one very cute skit while in another scene they most memorably perform a romantic and sensual dance with each other that’s both erotic and emotional and very memorable. We are then treated to the very funny Lilly Snatchdragon who provides comic relief in between the flesh-baring performers. But it’s Kitty Kitty Bang Bang who impresses us the most with her fire eating skills along with her splashing around in a very large cocktail glass semi-filled with water. Did I also mention that she’s scantily clad while doing this? And the gorgeous Beau Rocks rounds out the cast of ‘Between the Sheets,’ and rounds out just simply describes her and her amazing body and personality.

Playing for a limited time only, ‘Between the Sheets’ will literally thrill you out of your seat with a spectacular show which takes place in one of London’s best venues. Kudos to Miss Polly Rae for bringing this sort of burlesque show back to London in a visually stunning and hilarious romp. It’s a night out that you will truly not forget.
There are three more shows left of ‘Between the Sheets’ – all on Fridays:
August 25th, September 8th, and September 29th.
For tickets, please go to:
Photo provided by Kapranos PR

Mahmoud Al Rifai

By Martina Palladino

Mahmoud was born in Amman, Jordan, in 1977, and is currently living and working in Amman. He got his BA in French literature and language from the University of Jordan, in 2001.

He started his professional career as an artist during his studies. Mahmoud was responsible for illustrating the Arabic language books used for teaching. He then started to work as a 2D artist and animator for many animation studios. Mahmoud published his cartoons in daily newspapers and on various cartoons sites. He is also a main member in the Jordanian Cartoonist League.

In 2004, Mahmoud starting working for ‘Rubicon Group Holding,’ a global transmedia company who specializes in animated-themed entertainment. This company has a large presence in Jordan, as well as in the Middle East. During his work there, he was allocated as an animator for the “Pink Panther and Pals” series, as well as other famous MGM animated shows.

Today, is working as an art director and storyboard artist for several animations shows and TVC.


The more it tells you, the less you know

The secret of his stunning imagery, the more it tells you the less you know, this is the work of René Connage-Durant, photography’s best-kept secret. This self-taught artist has tailored his craft which has taken the industry by storm, consistently producing high-quality content. René has combined his background as a forensic investigator with photography. His work produces a fusion consisting of fantasy and mystery, telling a story with one shot, one frame, one picture. You marvel at what you see, but the true marvel is what you don’t see.
Model: Maurisa Selene Coleman & Kitty Noofah
Hair and Makeup:
Kitty Noofah
Maurisa S Coleman is a British-Trinidadian Model, Actress and Entrepreneur. Her Corporate career spans across 6 years in hotel management and Chartered financial management, leading to her becoming the proud CEO and founder of MaurisaColemanInc and Black Panther Productions. Lovingly called the First Lady of the Catwalk, Maurisa is best known for her flair and elegance on catwalks worldwide. 2016 saw her take on billboards, national press and the cinema screens as the main feature in Channel 4’s Humans promotional material. Named the face of Notting Hill Carnival, she stunned the audience with her Tribal Dance for ‘Savage Beauty’ this year at Bacchanalia’s costume launch and is highly sought after by the best in fashion design and photography for her professionalism and pure ability to make everything she wears come to life.
Photographer: Rene Connage Durant
Hair and Makeup: Kitty Noofah


Inspired by The Beatles Seminal Album ‘Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band’marking its 50th Anniversary this Year

The Book Club, 100 – 106 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4RH

Exhibition runs, 7th September until 5th November 2017


Launching at The Book Club in Shoreditch on 7th September 2017, ‘Reverberation’ is a new and unique body of work created by legendary Photographer-Director Dean Chalkley and Creative Director Ciaran O’Shea from studio Discordo.

A series of large images inspired by The Beatles seminal album ‘Sgt.Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band’will be presented at the venue-come-arts-space, with many of the subjects contained within ‘Reverberation’ being friends and associates of Chalkley and O’Shea. This dynamic and exciting exhibition has developed ‘with a little help from their friends’.

Chalkley and O’Shea have created a collection of work that does not stop at a safe or retrospective interpretation. Instead the show is a progressive, and at times abstract, reflection of the album, exploring the thirteen celebrated album tracks from a renewed and personal perspective, from ‘Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds’ to ‘She’s Leaving Home’.

The work employs a range of different approaches; whether in colour or monochrome, pure photography, amalgamations of print, text, painting or collage, these adroit and unexpected routes to image-making reveal the dexterity of the show.

Considered by critics and music lovers to be one of the greatest records ever made and a major cultural moment not only for this country but globally, at 50 years from inception the reverberation of this tremendous work continues to resonate and inspire.

Dean said: ‘Although I’d heard the album probably hundreds of times it was like I’d never really listened to it, this triggered something inside of my head that catapulted my imagination and the need to enjoy it in a whole different way.’

More on Dean Chalkley and Ciaran O’Shea

Dean Chalkley first met Ciaran O’Shea in 2006 when shooting ‘Southend’s Underground’; a series that focused on the scene around Junk Club.  This also lead to their first collaboration, in the form of a moving image piece ‘South Alluvial’. Since 2006 Chalkley and O’Shea have worked on many projects from advertising campaigns to artwork for bands such as The Horrors and thegroundbreaking exhibition Return of the Rudeboy in 2013.Chalkley was the first artist to present an exhibition at The Book Club back in 2010  ‘The New Faces’ was a great success and firmly established the space as a place where art, culture and good times can all be enjoyed.

More on SuperCulture

SuperCulture is an arts and culture collective running accessible and inspiring exhibitions and events. Tthis September Mothership Group are uniting our cultural programme of events across our Shoreditch venues – Queen of Hoxton, Hoxton Square Bar and Kitchen, The Book Club and Patterns in Brighton.

In September we’re launching this brand alongside the announcement of SuperCulture three month artist residencies with Dean Chalkley, alongside cultural residents Gal Dem, Vagina Museum and Guerilla Science, aiming to breathe life back into Shoreditch as a centre of new and exciting events in London around the arts and expanding our reach and offer within the Brighton cultural landscape. SuperCulture stands for intelligent, irreverent, playful and powerful arts and culture development, supported by Mothership Group to keep it fair and accessible.

More on The Book Club

The Book Club offers a cultural revolution to the East End’s social scene, turning the conventional arts institution on its head, fusing boozing with brain power every night of the week through a thought-provoking programme of ‘thinking and drinking’ SuperCulture events and an eclectic music programme. Previous event series’ featured in national press include Sara Pascoe’s Literary Salon,Idiots’ Dinner and Artist Lock In.

Ian Rayer-Smith to exhibit at D Contemporary Gallery, Mayfair

Winner of this year’s “It’s Art Call” competition, Manchester-based artist Ian Rayer-Smith presents a solo exhibition of new paintings and sculptures at D Contemporary Gallery, Mayfair, from 31 August to 9 September.
Strongly influenced by the work of the abstract expressionists and the romantic light of the old masters, Ian Rayer-Smith’s paintings effortlessly fuse abstraction, the figurative and the surreal.

Using classical references, he manipulates and transforms them until they lose their initial context and produce new meaning, ultimately revealing the physicality and sensory nature of the materials.

“I like my paintings to carry an emotional charge, not only in its subject matter but also through the energy and visceral nature of the materials I use. Soft and amorphous, they accentuate the tactile feel of nature, avoiding any sense of repetition so as to constantly offer something new” says Rayer-Smith.

“It’s Art Call” is a new art prize launched in 2016 by D Contemporary in collaboration with The Cult House, offering emerging artists a chance to exhibit at the Mayfair gallery. 

Press release by Olivier Joly


By Semra Eren-Nijhar 

Talented fashion designer and artist Esengül Şaşı brings the costumes of the Turkish Republic Revolution to life with this unique exhibition to mirror the modernization which was the sociopolitical and cultural enlightenment of Turkey.

In her work we can see the influence of the reforms which were introduced and embraced by the nation.The words by the founder of the Turkish Republic Mustafa Kemal Atatürk “If women do not share in the social life of the nation, we shall never attain to our full development’ influenced Esengül’s work and it is not surprising that Esengül captures women at the center of her work as women rights were one of the biggest steps in modernizing and empowering women in Turkey.

This exhibition comes to life at the same time when 8 March is celebrated all around the world as ‘World Women’s Day’.

The exhibition is composed in six sections on the themes ‘Turkish Republic Revolution’, ‘The Turkish Language Reform’, ‘The Hat Reform’, ‘The Dress Reform’, ‘A Nation without Art’ and ‘Sabiha Gökçen – The first Turkish female pilot and the world’s first female fighter jet pilot’.

In each section Esengül is not only showing the effect and the meaning of the reforms through her designs but also captures women as powerful massages and strong individuals for making and influencing the society.

The section ‘A Nation without Art’ points to the importance of art in society and also is the hallmark of the artist herself.

Art doesn’t have borders.

Art plays a big part in shaping the thinking of the society and art is the representation of the people, a range of human activities in creating visual artwork. Esengül as an artist used her imagination with her emotional power combined them with her technical skills and influenced her work with the history of her country of origin, Turkey.The result is the ‘Costumes of the Revolution’.

The sky is not the ultimate limit.

And not surprisingly her section on ‘Sabiha Gökçen – The first Turkish female pilot and the world’s first female fighter jet pilot’ shows that not only her own vision is beyond the sky but also the vision of all the women in society.

Exhibition until 6th of April 2017


Saudi Arabia’s First Under-Water Painter Mohamed Jameel Hasanain

By : Sevy Aysel

Mohamed Jameel Hasanain 2

Middle Eastern artist Mohamed Jameel Hasanain from Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, exhibited his underwater art creations at The Arabs Group Achievement Awards on the 18th December 2016 at the Millennium Gloucester Hotel. Mohamed Jameel Hasanain received an award of recognition and was applauded for his extraordinary underwater paintings. The artist constructs his paintings on a canvas underwater in the breath taking Red Sea and is the first artist to paint 100 feet deep (for 7 minutes, more would be dangerous).

Mohamed Jameel Hasanain 4

Mohamed Jameel Hasanain combined his love for scuba diving and art to create something rather spectacular that he describes as an “underwater dream”. Inspired by the beauty and magic of underwater life, surrounded by color, coral reefs and tropical fish, Mohammed Hasanain states he is ‘turning a fantasy into reality’.

Mohamed Jameel Hasanain 6

Mohammed’s paintings are inventive and original as he brings his imagination to life captivating a mesmerizing world under water. Why under water? Mohammed explains that he feels tranquility and happiness and simply “lives for this moment”. Arguably this is more than just art as he creates his paintings beneath the beautiful blue depths of the red sea demonstrating a visual perception that is a futuristic mix of fantasy and realism with a deeper meaning and feeling behind every painting.

Mohamed Jameel Hasanain 1

Fab UK’s Junior Editor, Sevy Aysel had the privilege of interviewing artist Mohamed Jameel Hasanian at London’s swanky Millennium Gloucester Hotel.

Sevy: Mohamed Jameel Hasanain, it’s an honour to meet you! What brings you to London?
Mohamed: I am living in Saudi Arabia but I am here in London because of my exhibit at the Arab Groups achievement awards, which was amazing.

S:  I see a trophy beside you; tell us about your award?
M: This award symbolises me being recognised as an Arabic artist for my underwater artwork.

S: Tell me about your underwater art concept?
M: I started this concept around 8 months ago. I wanted to create something different, something special and ‘fantasy like’. Looking into the future I wanted to create a new, futuristic form of art that incorporated my history and brought my imagination to life.

S: What inspires you?
M: I care about underwater life. The Red Sea in Saudi Arabia is extremely beautiful. I am inspired and struck by this beauty; the beautiful marines, the coral reef, the fish and the incredible underwater planet.

S: Describe your underwater style?
M: My underwater artistic style comes from my fantasy. I paint what surrounds me incorporating all natural colours that I see. In the Red Sea there are many colours underwater, especially from the corals; you see oranges, blues, yellows, whites and many more.

S:  What is the message behind your underwater art?
M: I have a message. My message is about the pureness of the Red Sea and underwater life. I want people to believe and imagine the purity of this concept. When you’re that deep underwater, it is very pure, very beautiful, and very pretty and there is no pollution

S: How do you ensure that everything is safe for the underwater environment?
M: I care about the fish; everything is very safe for the fish. I use special paints that are non-damaging to the environment. Nothing goes out; the paint goes directly onto my canvas and does not harm the environment; the paints are not toxic, I care very much about the habitat.

S: Tell me about your technique, do you use brushes?
M: I like to refer to it as mixed media; I use a mixture of materials and different tools: sometimes brushes, my fingers, a knife, sometimes directly from the colour tube.

S: How does painting under water make you feel?
M: I feel peaceful, I forget myself…Anybody who wants to try this, will experience something remarkably different. Everything is still and peaceful, there are no waves that deep underwater, you are at ease; you breathe very slowly. It is a different world.

S: How do you want your paintings to make people feel?
M: I feel very happy when I paint underwater. Therefore I want my underwater art to represent that feeling. I want my paintings to make people feel happiness.

S: Do you have an artistic background?
M: I always loved art as a child. I started drawing properly at the age of eight. When I was young, I also loved scuba diving. I used to go scuba diving and then sit on the beach afterwards, taking in all the beauty around me; then I would go home and draw. Artists always want to change their environments and get out of their studios. I wanted to paint in an open area. I decided to combine my two passions; painting and scuba diving and create something special underwater.

S: What are you doing currently?
M: I finished my underwater artwork around 10 months ago. I am now ready to show people my documentary and exhibit my art here in London!  I am here to speak about my techniques, my colours, my canvas and how I turned my ‘Red Sea dream’ into a reality. I also run art courses for special needs children. Teaching makes me happy, I love to inspire people.

S: In your documentary video you were kneeling down whilst painting, is it difficult to stay in position and create the affect you want?
M: I have to be careful when I move between my canvas and my equipment. It’s not easy to move fast; I have to be quiet and concentrate on my breathing technique and control my balance.

S: Who assisted you underwater in the making of your documentary?
M: I record myself painting underwater using my professional camera, flashlight and tripod. I have a team of 3 that accompany me underwater; the photographer, the captain and the serviceman who carries the equipment and positions the canvas. The captain keeps me informed of the time and the depth. On the way up I have safety stops to regulate my oxygen levels and breathing; but I do not require medical assistance as I am a professional scuba diver. I could finish a painting in 20 minutes but why rush, I enjoy being underwater. Each painting takes me around 1 hour – 1hour and 30 minutes to complete…

S: Where can we find your art work?
M: People can contact me directly via my Facebook, Instagram or Twitter account;

Twitter: @saudiunderwater Facebook: @Mohamed Jameel hasanain Instagram: MAD.JAM.ART


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Bubi is at The Saatchi Gallery



Preview: 14th September 2016
Booth 11.5
15.00 – 21.00


 15th – 18th September 2016
Duke Of York’s HQ, King’s Road, London SW3 4RY, The Saatchi Gallery


Karavil Contemporary presents a selection of Bubi’s works at Start Art Fair with a solo booth.

Bubi’s series ‘Cage’ and ‘Knittings’ provoke with an unflinching and visceral conviction in a time when this expectation of art has waned. Turkish Art historian Yalçın Sadak describes the artist as a ‘Style Anarchist’ while analyzing his more than 20 different periods, and transitions between these periods. Bubi’s works can be seen at Karavil Contemporary’s booth 11.5 at Start Art Fair from 15 – 18 September, 2016.

The selection comprises of three different series – ‘Knittings’, ‘Cages’ ,‘Relief Cages’, and also sculptures of the artist. The ‘Relief Cages’ series is the extension of the ‘Cages’ series that the artist has been producing since the 1970s, exploring Turkish Islamic historical reference to cages used to conceal and veil the realm of the private. The ‘Knittings’ series of the artist is inspired by the wish trees related with shamanic cultures, caput carpets and Turkish bath towels. Lastly, the artist’s most recent ‘Cage’ works, digital manipulations of portraits and photographs, and sculptures will be on display during the Fair.


Jeffry Mandel,Eli Karavil,Ayşe Hayon,Bubi,Assaf Homossany,

Mine Zapçı,Zeynep Kartal,Ayşe Karavil,  Anri Rodrig



START is a platform that shines a spotlight on emerging artists and new art scenes. Organized by Parallel Contemporary Art and Saatchi Gallery, START takes place across all three floors of Saatchi Gallery and aims to enable collectors, curators, and the greater public to discover new artistic talent. The third edition of START will take place from 15 to 18 September 2016.
START creates the best possible showcase for young galleries and new artists by providing an elegant environment with museum-quality spaces. In 2015, START featured 38 galleries from across 23 countries. Alongside the Fair, START also featured four high quality curatorial projects. Japanese collective, teamLab, presented their UK premiere to overwhelming critical acclaim by media and visitors alike. Chim↑Pom, winners of the 2015 Prudential Eye Awards, also their first solo exhibition in London to great critical success. A selection of works from ‘Singapore Eye’ focused on the most innovative contemporary art being made in Singapore. The fourth curatorial project, ‘This Is Tomorrow’, featured galleries from around the world presenting solo exhibitions of artists who represent the next generation of international artists or work with issues arising from today’s globalised landscape.