NFW Meets: Simon Pritchard
As part of Norwich Fashion Week 2014 local artist Simon Pritchard AKA Artbeat64, is holding an exhibition of paintings that depict stylishly iconic film stars such as Rita Hayworth, Marlene Dietrich and Grace Kelly plus cult style icons such as Clint Eastwood and Roger Moore. Simon’s work also helped set the scene at Sunday’s Vintage Show, with one of the pieces being bought before the show was even over.
A distinctively stylish chap himself, Simon tells us more about his exhibition and his own thoughts on fashion.
What can we expect to see during your exhibition?
People can expect to see a collection of past and new paintings, some that got exhibited in Liverpool and Memphis awhile back amongst them, plus some new pieces I’ve painted for the Lounge exhibition. The paintings will be a cross section of movie and music icons from the 1950s ’60s and ’70s that not only kicked ass but had a huge influence and impact on fashion and style of the eras, a timeless coolness. Stars like Paul Newman, Charles Bronson, Rita Hayworth, Steve McQueen, Elizabeth Taylor, Elvis etc. Also some pieces based on our first trip to New York in 2008, Blondie, New York Dolls.
When did you start painting?
I’ve been an artist since childhood (I will be 46 in May) but actually went self employed around 12 or so years ago as ARTBEAT64.
How would you describe your painting style?
My style is just me I guess, I do what comes instinctively rather than taught although I obviously have influences.
What inspires you?
The stuff that inspires me is my passion for Rock’n’Roll music in all its various forms, from the 1950s through to the 70s…Rockabilly,blues, soul, jazz, punk etc. My other big influence is cinema, especially the stars and films, mostly horror action and cult exploitation flicks of the 1960s and ’70s. I love painted movie poster art from the time ( I will be doing my own exhibition inspired by this love later in the year at the Forum ) and painted record sleeve art which influences my own work. Lashings of colour inspired by Hammer Horror and Italian murder thrillers of the ’60s and ’70s are personal passions that I often incorporate into the images I create and paint.
How does the fashion and style of the icons you paint influence your work?
The fashion of the icons I often paint in my work is of the utmost importance to me, my favorite three periods in pop culture history, to me no one ever looked more Boss than both the male and female stars of the time from movies and music. Who couldn’t be inspired by the look of Sinatra, Brando, McQueen, Hepburn, Raquel Welch, Debbie Harry or Elvis Presley amongst so many.
Not only do you have a distinctive style of painting, you’re also a bit of a sharp dresser, how would you describe your fashion style?
My fashion style well, I’ve loved everything from dressing 1950s since I was a teenager as part of the Rock’n’Roll and Rockabilly scene, I still love all that, the music and fashion but I love 1960s and 70s fashion too and thats my dress sence now, life’s too short to stick to one thing all my life and one should feel free to indulge in the things they love, well for me anyway. I’ve never wanted to totally look the same as anyone else, I value being individual and doing my own thing and movie icons of COOL ( including a great big smattering of ‘Elvis’ flash) of the’ 60s and ’70s are what inspires my dress sense the most. The shots from my recent portrait session with Kerry Curl , sum it all up I think; Kick Ass Cool, a touch of McQueen, Redford etc thrown in. I grew up on these stars and films as a kid so they are very special to me.
See the exhibition at The Lounge, St Benedicts
Time: From 6pm until close.
Visit Simon’s Facebook