ROSS MUIR: THE BRIDGE HOME
Maddox Gallery welcomes Ross Muir to its Westbourne Grove gallery for 'The Bridge Home', the Scottish artist’s second solo show. The exhibition reveals an artist at his provocative best with his reworkings of famous paintings that bridge the gap between historic art and contemporary life.
With a waiting list of collectors from around the world who appreciate Ross Muir’s brilliantly executed works of art, the exhibition promises to be a highlight of Maddox’s autumn exhibition schedule. From Tamara de Lempicka’s Art Deco masterpiece Autoportrait (Tamara in a Green Bugatti), revisited with Lempicka driving a Tesla, to Van Golf, Ross’s interpretation of a 1790 painting by the portraitist Lemuel Francis Abbott that is one of the earliest depictions of a sport that was born in Scotland, Ross has updated some of the most important works in the annals of art history with incredible precision and beauty. His ability to replicate the techniques of artists with vastly different painting styles is breathtaking, as are his ingenious tweaks to each artwork, which give an insight into the mind of an artist whose past experiences of visiting art galleries left him feeling like he didn’t belong. Whether it is Matisse’s Blue Nude dressed in Adidas, van Gogh’s The Gardener wearing a Ramones t-shirt or Picasso’s Les Demoiselles d’Avignon, customised with digital payment options, Ross’s paintings are instantly recognisable and relatable.
Ross grew up near Loch Lomond and has been very vocal about his struggles with addiction. “I don’t think you can get much darker than where I was at,” says the artist. “I had the debt, the drugs, the addiction. I had to unwind a massive knot.” Art keeps him grounded, with each new painting a vindication of his success in turning the negative into a positive. Art has also made Ross acutely aware of those around him who are less fortunate than himself. His belief that, with encouragement and support, it is possible to turn your life around led to his support of West London Zone.
A charity local to Maddox’s Westbourne Grove gallery that empowers children to build the relationships and skills they need to get on track socially, emotionally and academically, Ross recently hosted art classes with children as part of West London Zone’s art-based learning support programme. “It’s been great working with the charity and the kids,” says Ross. “When they’re creating and connecting with art, there is hope. Art changed my life, and it could for somebody else.” The art created by the children with Ross will be displayed in a special area of the gallery for the duration of “The Bridge Home”.
The fortune-telling machine on display at the exhibition, ‘Zoltar’, is typical of Ross’s wry sense of humour and spiritual nature. A strong believer that one’s fortune and luck can change at any time, he often talks about the magic that comes over him when he is painting – the momentum and excitement that drives him to create, whether he is inhabiting the troubled, many-layered mind of van Gogh or the frenetic flow of Jean-Michel Basquiat’s art. When the magic arrives, he paints with purpose and clarity.
A homecoming of sorts, 'The Bridge Home' reveals a widening of scope and ambition for the artist who was catapulted to fame when his portrait of van Gogh wearing an Adidas tracksuit went viral in 2018. Not only does the exhibition bridge the gap between the past and the present, contemporising the Old Masters for a new generation of art lovers, it captures the way in which art has provided a bridge to an infinitely more fulfilling life.
“Painting has got me back home, to how I can be and should be,” says Ross. “When I’m immersed in my art, I have a freedom that I never thought I’d be able to obtain again. Art is my saviour.”
THE ZOLTAR MACHINE
A childhood memory clear in the mind of Ross Muir, and many of us, is the recollection of watching BIG the movie, featuring Zoltar the fortune telling arcade game that magically came to life and granted the wish of a young Tom Hanks that he may wake up the next day as a fully grown adult. This film reminded Ross of a time when he was young and desperately wanted the same wish, with an unknown future ahead that felt almost too much to bear. Now Ross is BIG; he brings Zoltar to 'The Bridge Home' to remind us of the pressure of youth and our duty that we have as adults to provide support, inspiration and guidance.
HOW THE ZOLTAR RAFFLE WORKS
For £10, the Zoltar machine will tell your fortune and provide a unique Ross Muir token. Each token corresponds to a raffle entry and there is no limit to how many tokens you can purchase. After buying your token, please give your name and email to the consultant in the gallery. The raffle will be drawn on the 23rd October and the winners will be contacted by email. Should you win, you must be able to collect the artwork from our Maddox Street gallery (9 Maddox Street, W1S 2QE) between the 24th and 29th of October.
ABOUT WEST LONDON ZONE
West London Zone empowers children to build the relationships, self-belief and skills they need to get on track socially, emotionally, and academically, and to take on life positively. They exist to close the opportunity gap in West London - despite being one of the most affluent areas in the country, 1 in 5 children need help to access support and opportunities to fulfil their potential.
They do this by placing a dedicated Link Worker in a local school full-time to deliver and coordinate support along with the help of their specialist Delivery Partners and existing organisations within the community. This brings together the whole community to support each child and their family in a holistic two-year plan. With your support, West London Zone can continue to empower children to transform their lives in our neighbourhood, so all children here can reach their potential.