The Cynthia Corbett Gallery’s annual Summer Exhibition will launch on 25 June in the heart of London’s St James’ with a special focus on British Pop Artist Deborah Azzopardi. Vintage and new works by Azzopardi will be shown alongside pieces by Gallery artists including painter Andy Burgess, photographer Tom Leighton and sculptor Nicolas Saint Grégoire.
Deborah Azzopardi is known internationally for her distinctive, playful and colourful pop art images that celebrate the drama and joy of everyday situations. She will launch a series of new works at the exhibition and will show, for the first time, the original paintings selected for a special edition of postcards for HABITAT – the Dating card series. It is the popularity of such published images that has contributed to Azzopardi’s global success and resulted in her originals being sought-after by serious international collectors.
Take us back in time – when did you discover your passion for art?
It’s always been there. I think all artists know, it’s just a case of whether they can or have the courage to follow their dream.
Why did you choose to work in the ‘pop-art’ style?
It wasn’t a conscious decision, it chose me. I don’t really think about it, it’s a style that feels natural to me and it’s what comes out when I express myself artistically. It’s fun, lively, bright and interesting. It’s direct and there’s no messing about.
We know that pop art presented a challenge to traditions of fine art when it firstly emerged during the mid-to late 1950’s. Do you think this is still what it represents now or has it become more of an ordinary, mainstream form of art? What did you think was the tipping point?
The world has changed so much since then and we know so much more. As a result, we’re more awake and more able to enjoy art and the diversity of what’s out there. Collectors are buying art that they want to buy, not art that they feel they should buy. I think that people are more able to simply enjoy art and it’s much more available than it was in the mid to late 50s.
Where do you usually find inspiration?
In everything. I am inspired every single second of every single day. I keep my eyes and ears wide open and don’t miss a thing.
Tell us a little about your work with the Amy Winehouse Foundation.
I was approached by Mitch and Janis Winehouse three years ago to create a portrait of Amy, with a view to a portion of the proceeds going to The Amy Winehouse Foundation. I completed the portrait, ‘Love is the Answer’ in 2016.
I really believe that love is the answer to everything. It’s important to share the love. If you can truly love and be compassionate, it’s the answer to so much. Genuine support, kindness and empathy make a difference.
This title and text went with the image because it seemed suitable for Amy and for her family and fans. It felt respectful.
And with Disney…you have such an amazingly diverse portfolio of partners! Tell us about the role of Disney in your career?
I was a Disney license holder very early on in my career. It was a huge amount of fun and the experience gave me great confidence from a business perspective.
Tell us about your upcoming exhibition with The Cynthia Corbett Gallery.
There will be a focus on my work in the gallery’s forthcoming Summer Exhibition. I will be showing new works alongside vintage pieces.
These vintage pieces are from my personal collection and have never been shown in public or made available for sale. They include a series of paintings reproduced by Habitat as a set of five postcards called the Dating pack.
Which artists are currently exciting you?
Klari Reis’s work always excites me – she’s one of Cynthia Corbett’s other gallery artists. I’m also very excited about the Frida Kahlo exhibition at the V&A.
What advice would you give your younger self?
Carry on, carry on, carry on. Keep going and don’t stop! Sleep a bit more while you can. Otherwise, I would do everything the same.
Finally, why should people come and see your latest exhibition?
Why not? It’s a chance to see and buy some of my original vintage paintings – works that have never been shown before – and of course see some of my latest works for the first time.
Deborah Azzopardi’s work will be part of The Cynthia Corbett Gallery Summer Exhibition, which runs from 25 June to 7 July at the Royal Opera Arcade Gallery in St James’s, London. The exhibition is part of Mayfair Art Weekend www.thecynthiacorbettgallery.com