Simon Claridge has announced that his latest prints have been made using an ancient process.
The artist said that he has been keen to work using the silkscreen method, a technique that uses a woven mesh to support an ink-blocking stencil, as it is a natural progression in his career.
Screen printing first appeared in a recognizable form in China over a thousand years ago and the University of Reading graduate admitted that he was proud to have developed a new collection of Simon Claridge prints using the technique.
He said: “I consider my original works made in this way to be original paintings; I simply use a different kind of brush!”
The latest Simon Claridge prints are Penny Black, an interpretation of the iconic stamp and Monroe Lisa, which is a ‘mash up’ of portraits of Mona Lisa and Marilyn Monroe.
Simon Claridge chose to paint the Penny Black, the world’s first adhesive postage stamp used in a public postal system, in tribute to the emotional power of a handwritten letter or card.
“It is iconic in both its symbolism and aesthetics. Nowadays, the whole world is at our fingertips with email, Facebook and Twitter and I wanted to celebrate the power of the written hand,” he said.
Monroe Lisa is a more humorous piece as it depicts the legendary Hollywood actress throwing back her head with laughter while posing as the Mona Lisa in a style which is very similar to Andy Warhol’s pop art portraits.
Claridge said; “Monroe Lisa was a joy to create. I can think of no more iconic portraits than those of the Mona Lisa and Marilyn Monroe so I decided to combine the two to create this powerful image.”
Free limited edition Simon Claridge prints will be given to people who visit the artist’s national tour over the upcoming months on a first come first served basis.
The artist will be appearing in most major cities to showcase his new collection and will use his portable screen printing rig to create the free Simon Claridge prints at every exhibition.
Simon Claridge prints usually feature famous female faces as the artist has said that he paints women who he admires such as sixties model Twiggy, Hollywood icon Brigitte Bardot and super model Kate Moss.
Last Christmas, Scottish pop legend Rod Stewart was seen buying a Simon Claridge print of Blondie singer Deborah Harry from Harrods in Knightsbridge.