If you wondered whether the upcoming 25-year old artist Ronan Day Lewis is connected to the famous actor, you would be correct: he is the son of Daniel Day Lewis and the filmmaker Rebecca Miller. Day-Lewis the younger recently held a successful debut solo exhibition titled ‘The Friend’, Artnet News reports.
His unique style of oil pastel painting has been described as ‘punk romanticism’. His work consists of eerie urban landscapes that exist on the fringes of reality and surrealism. The exhibition also features an unsettling figurative sculpture called ‘The Friend’ that is made from melted wax.
The creature is a stylised animal form with a realistic human face, and features in his pastel paintings. Day-Lewis said that the idea first began as a self portrait, but then evolved into something stranger. He explained to Artnet that he is reluctant to define the mutant creature further, or confirm if it is evil or benevolent.
The artist Rebecca Bird said of Day-Lewis’s work: “Ronan’s overlapping of personal, family, biblical, and even fairytale narratives suggested to me how stories form and interpret our experience. The works are both childlike and sinister.”
The artist himself explains: “My work is definitely in dialogue with Romanticism. I’m drawn to this idea of projecting human emotion onto landscapes and places,” he explained. “The sublime, to me, is the outside looking in. I sort of make sad paintings. But there’s also a pleasure in longing—without unfulfilled longing, there’s no wonder.”
He added: “Vast, empty spaces like the desert of the American West excite me because the lack of objects, structures, and signifiers that usually make up your identity makes room for a kind of spiritual lightness.”
He cites many influences, including the English Romanticism JMW Turner, and the American realist painter Edward Hopper. He also admires the work of Georgia O’Keeffe, Leonora Carrington, Francis Bacon and Alex Katz. Definitely a name to watch out for in the future.
Another name that you may already be familiar with is Thom Yorke, the lead singer with Radiohead. He has joined forces with the artist Stanley Donwood to create a series of large-scale paintings that will be exhibited in two parts this autumn and winter, Museums & Heritage Advisor reports.
Part one: The Crow Flies will be presented by Tin Man Art at Cromwell Place in London between 6-10 September, while part two will run between 6-10 December. The works began as cover art for Yorke’s debut 2022 album with his new band The Smile, titled A Light for Attracting Attention.
The works consist of mixed media gouache, tempera and powdered mushroom, and feature a codified language of signs and symbols. The artists have been influenced by Islamic pirate maps, US military topographic maps, and also the work of the English poet Ted Hughes.
The exhibition will also feature a specially commissioned large scale Flemish woven tapestry.
If you have a work by a well-known name that you’d like to display, please visit our framing shop in Lower Clapton.