Illustrator Patrick Morgan is making a bold splash at Début Art’s Coningsby Gallery in London with his latest solo exhibition. The city’s fashion and art packs were so taken by his paintings and ink drawings last evening (the jet-setting artist hosted a fashionably late private view), that 'Material Girl', originally due to close today after a brief run, will remain on view for a further two weeks.
The term ‘material girl’ may carry unwelcome connotations, but Morgan has found creative fuel in today’s prestige-obsessed society. ‘The idea [for the show] came from listening to an old Madonna cassette tape and the song Material Girl came pumping out,’ explains the London-based artist. He had just completed a drawing project about mundane everyday objects for the Royal College of Art, where he is currently studying, which inspired him to take a closer look at scarves and other fashion objects.
Morgan is well versed on the topic of luxury, having made his mark among a number of fashion’s most illustrious houses, including Tom Ford, Yves Saint Laurent, Stella McCartney, Chanel and Prada, but his work extends beyond the latest designer goods. The show includes expressive portraits of Prada’s campaign stars and supermodels-of-the-moment, Lindsey Wixson and Daphne Groeneveld, while designer Tom Ford, inked in solid black lines, cuts a dash on paper.
One room in the gallery, meanwhile, is dedicated to a series of large paintings, where Morgan's thick, dynamic brushstrokes bring swaying palm trees to life. ‘Over the last few years I have been collaborating with [Los Angeles-based] Tom Ford designer David Bamber, so when I talk to him I just wanted to feel like I was in LA,’ says Morgan. ‘As David Hockney put it, I just wanted to be where the sun was, so I moved there and drew swimming pools, blue skies and palm trees.’
Certainly, there are elements within this opulent bubble we all aspire to. And just as Material Girl explores ‘buying into luxury as a lifestyle’, we’re yearning to buy into Morgan’s visual world.