Super Model Spotted
Not usually renowned as a hotbed of artistic talent, Birmingham appears to be on the point of adding to its artistic heritage and surpassing such notable sons as, er Ozzy Osbourne and Nigel Mansell, with the emergence of the artist Paul Normansell.
Unlike the ex-Formula One Champion and self-promoting heavy metal enthusiast, Normansell appears to not be lacking in the talent department. His recent show at the Wanted Gallery, Notting Hill, sold out within days of opening. He first came to prominence when picked up by the artistic entrepreneur Fraser Kee Scott, the charismatic owner and curator of the A Gallery in London’s Wimbledon. Scott, who has made a name for himself in the art world for his ability to spot and nurture emerging talent, snapped Normansell up after noticing his work at his end of degree show. It wasn’t, however, until indie alt rockers, The Killers, chanced upon his iconic portrait of super model Kate Moss, that his rising star status went supernova.
The Las Vegas based quartet commissioned a series of individual portraits but were so enthused with the results that he was given the project of designing the band’s album cover, Day and Age. The album went platinum, selling over 2.4 million copies worldwide and garnered Normansell not only a global audience but also Rolling Stones Best Album Art of 2008 award. Apt that the world’s foremost rockers should do so much to promote Normansells art, as one of the self-professed foundations of his works is exploring the relationship between art and music, most visibly expressed by his modus operandi of working with his iPod on full tilt. Normansell appears to have found the perfect medium to capture the celebrity fixation of our times, with his use of unfashionable gloss, ironic in itself considering the subject matter but more especially the reflective qualities of aluminium as a canvas, much of which is left exposed, so that the viewers reflection becomes an element of the composition and the virtuous circle is complete.
This foray into popular Pointillism, in which small distinct dots of colour create the impression of a wide selection of other colours, have proved – ignore those who dismiss him as Seurat on ecstasy – that Normansell exerts a powerful control and command over colour and lends his works a vividness deserving of his originality. While his most recent works of iconic images of celebrities from the fashion and music worlds may have won him all the plaudits, a glance over his back catalogue of figurative compositions lends weight to the supposition that this boy is no one trick pony, displaying not only a strong eye for the nuances of the female form but with an interpretation and style that is entirely befitting of the age in which we live and compare favourably with that master of pop art Lichtenstein.
With interest rates at a historical low not known since before the arrival of Christ and the stock market showing the sort of volatility associated with a failed Banana Republic, we think you could do worse than follow the flight from fright and invest in one of his captivating creations. As Fraser Kee Scott points out, Normansells works have tripled in value, and the press and commissions keep mounting up. The only problem being that his work has entirely sold out. Perhaps its time to see whether one of Bokks Very Personal Assistants can rustle you one up for the New Year then?