Queen shown with sunglasses and tattoos in Jubilee exhibition

·2-min read
James Mylne’s Queen Of The Hood  ((James Mylne/PA))
James Mylne’s Queen Of The Hood ((James Mylne/PA))

Over 50 cutting-edge portraits of the Queen by urban, graffiti and contemporary artists are going on show to mark her Platinum Jubilee.

The 96-year-old monarch, who marks 70 years on the throne this year, is depicted with tattoos, sunglasses and as an X-ray in the diverse artworks produced by a series of established and emerging artists.

Her majesty has been hailed a “true icon” and a “cultural inspiration” by creatives as diverse as musician and graffiti artist Goldie and X-ray artists Ernesto Romano.

Ballpoint artist James Mylne’s Queen Of The Hood shows a cool, composed Queen in designer sunglasses as she stands in her regal Order of the Garter robes, while visual artist Karen Bystedt, known for The Lost Warhols series, reimagines the monarch’s crown and cloak with a red Louis Vuitton pattern.

Karen Bystedt’s work
Karen Bystedt’s work

Mixed media artist Louisa Tebbutt’s Queen is an art on steel “never complain, never explain” monarch with a strip of union flag over her mouth, while James Vaulkhard produced a portrait of the monarch from 2p coins.

Goldie depicts a young Elizabeth II against a union flag background, while Romano, who used his own X-rays to portray the Queen following a similar series he did to mark her 90th birthday, said his portraits reveal how the monarch’s “cultural influence can travel beyond borders, race, gender and social status, encompassing universal values of equality and diversity”.

Goldie’s Platinum Jubilee (Goldie/PA)
Goldie’s Platinum Jubilee (Goldie/PA)

A selection of the portraits from the Art Save The Queen exhibition will be made into NFTs or non-fungible tokens, with an expected drop date of 1 June.

Ernesto Romano’s X-Ray Queen (Ernesto Romano/PA)
Ernesto Romano’s X-Ray Queen (Ernesto Romano/PA)

Will Teather’s freehand “Skate and Destroy” shows the monarch with serpent tattoos carved into her arm which appear to drip with blood.

Teather, whose work will be made into NFTs, said: “Royal portraits have a long-standing position in culture and art history, making them a rich subject to tackle with new technologies.”

Will Teather’s interpretation of the Queen
Will Teather’s interpretation of the Queen

He added: “As someone who usually paints in oils, I found the flexibility that comes with manipulating images digitally, during the creation of these NFTs, a liberating and playful experience.”

The free exhibition, organised by the Ad Lib Gallery, will be available to visit at the gallery@oxo in London’s Oxo Tower Wharf from 2-12 June.

Some 10 per cent of revenue will be donated to ABF The Soldier’s Charity, the Army’s national charity.

Louisa Tebbutt’s Queen (Louisa Tebbutt/PA)
Louisa Tebbutt’s Queen (Louisa Tebbutt/PA)

Images from the exhibition will also be shown on London Underground poster sites at Victoria Station in the days leading up to and during the show, which begins on the first day of the Jubilee weekend in June.

Curator Dylan Roberts said: “HM Queen Elizabeth II is a true icon and an inspiration to people everywhere.

“We are excited to pay tribute to her with this exhibition and have been overwhelmed by the work the artistic community is submitting, underlining what a cultural inspiration the Queen is.”

Additional reporting by PA

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