Christian Newell

I first met Christian this ‘Summer’ when we were with Leo doing the The Broken Teeth shoot. He’s 21 years old, lives in London and is a fine artist and illustrator. Unlike the majority of people in my social circle, I didn’t actually know anything about his artwork before meeting him, so was really taken aback when I got back the evening after the shoot, having spent the day fucking around doing bullshit with him, to find out how talented he actually is. He works with all manner of media, my personal favourite being his oil paintings.

A product of Camberwell University of the arts like Mike, his style is one that is clearly very personal, and it’s very difficult to pin down; his portraits and drawings of people are very dynamic and potent, with the subject’s character showing through very clearly. On the other hand, his surreal offerings are often very intense but quite cold, nihilistic and opaque. I appreciate his sketches for their intricate detail and precision, but the ambiguity in his more personal work is fascinating on an entirely different level, like in this painting, Father & Son.

Along with his artistic endeavours, Christian is an active illustrator and designer who has worked with brands like Puma and Urban Outfitters. He was picked up by Adidas to design a billboard for their 2012 Olympics #Takethestage campaign, presented with the tagline ‘Pride of Southwark’. Talking about this incident, his face lit up when talking about how crazy it is to look up in the sky and see your art plastered across a billboard for the world to see. As a musician this is something I can really relate to. There’s nothing greater about creating something than being able to share it.

This is one of the most motivating aspects of living in London for somebody like me; you are constantly surrounded by self-driven individuals who graft constantly. How can you not want to get out there and share your talents with the world when everybody around you is unleashing all these different offerings? It’s a great place to be, both geographically and emotionally.

To present you just three or four of Christian’s pieces is a real task. The more I try to find the right choices, the more I find things that I want to share. If you like his stuff then you should check out his website to see more. He is also on tumblr as serpentofold. Christian is also the Creative Director of the Last Night in Paris collective, who have been tactfully building a mysterious aura around themselves for the past few months with great effect. Expect to hear much more about them in the future.

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