Simeon Stafford’s matchstick figures echo LS Lowry’s and Andy Burgess’ ice-cool Californian scenes are reminiscent of Hockney. Budding art collectors, here’s where to look now…
We’re only too familiar with the ‘greats’ of the art world. The celebrated, now ‘establishment’ figures that line the walls of the bedrock galleries of London, the National to the Royal Academy. Theirs are the names you can drop into conversation with a cultural ignoramus that won’t leave them stumped. These artists are niche, wayward figures who have somehow found themselves immortalised in popular culture. Such blockbuster names as JMW Turner and Francis Bacon lure in visitors from afar and their work goes for gazillions at auction.
For budding art collectors – it’s where to look now? You may have a library of greats, a temperature-moderated gallery of 15th-century murals, but now, who’s the next big thing? To not usurp, but complement and add to the rich history of art? Here’s our pick.
Andy Burgess, the next David Hockney
Andy Burgess grew up in London, but craving warmth and light, he made the move to Arizona. His modernist and mid-century architectural paintings echo the bewitching Los Angeles swimming-pool scenes painted by Hockney in the 1960s. ‘Because my paintings are highly colourful and often contain swimming pools, I frequently get asked if I have been influenced by David Hockney – and, of course, the answer is yes.’
Burgess says that growing up he was drawn to the paintings of Londoners’ Freud, Auerbach and Kossof, but he always loved Hockney’s colourful palette and ‘sunnier view of the world’. Andrew Wilson, who co-curated the Tate Britain Hockney retrospective in 2017, said that: ‘California, for Hockney, was everything that England wasn’t.’ The same might be said for Burgess.
‘When I moved to the desert [Arizona], I wasn’t consciously emulating Hockney, but undoubtedly the sunlight here and the blue skies started to infuse my paintings with colour in the way they had done with Hockney,’ Burgess explains.
Which is his favourite Hockney? It’s a tricky call, but he says that ‘Mr and Mrs Clark and Percy’ (1971) – part of the Tate collection – is a good one. What next? Burgess is working on three commissions and planning out two new large-scale paintings of modernist houses that are partially invented. He’s hoping these will be ready in time for the Art New York fair in May, where he’ll be exhibiting with the Cynthia Corbett Gallery. Apparently his books of Modern Houses sold well in Japan, so, he can legitimately claim to be ‘big in Japan’.
This is the artist to energise homes with a spot of California sun – just like a Hockney, but somewhat more affordable after ‘Pool with Two Figures’ went at the highest price ever for a living artist – £70 million in November last year.