A brand new multimedia exhibition of artwork by globally-renowned artist INSA is launching in New Brighton next month. The show entitled ‘Body Work’ is a new collection from the UK-based artist.
Held in collaboration with New Brighton Street Art and Motobüro, the multi-space show opens on Saturday 3 July at Oakland Gallery in the town’s Victoria Quarter and runs until Sunday 5 September.
Featuring new original works including prints, paintings and sculptural pieces, at the centre of the show is a very rare 1968 Lincoln Continental MK3, Cartier Edition, which has been customised by the artist and automotive specialists Motobüro, who oversaw the restoration of the vintage car, which has taken more than 6 months to complete.
In addition to the Lincoln Continental, Body Work also includes a Harris Magnum motorbike, a handcrafted wooden surfboard and lightboxes all featuring INSA’s trademark ‘graffiti fetish’ artwork.
Born in Leeds and a graduate of Goldsmith’s, London, INSA established his art career more than 20 years ago as a graffiti writer. In 2004 he rejected the traditional graffiti style and began painting the instantly recognisable high heel shoe. ‘Graffiti Fetish’ went on to appear on buildings around the world from LA to Lagos, it also appeared on luxury items including designer footwear, clothing and bespoke interiors.
Always keen to push boundaries and innovate further, INSA has gained a huge following for his work globally, and which he has expanded through his recent experiments with social and digital media as well as product collaborations with brands including Nike. His work is held in the V&A permanent collection and has also been presented at Tate Britain, London.
Between lockdowns in 2020, INSA was invited to Wirral to paint by New Brighton Street Art, a subsidiary of local regeneration company Rockpoint Leisure, who have been using large-scale artworks to drive change within the town.
Over the course of a week, he transformed the three-storey Post Office, Chemists and residential building on Victoria Road into the striking ‘INSA Mansions’ which is his largest UK work to date and is seen as a positive draw for visitors to the neighbourhood.
Such was his affection for the town that he was keen to return, and despite undergoing the following year-long hiatus of Covid-19, the Body Work show was planned between himself and hosts New Brighton Street Art.
Speaking about the upcoming show, INSA commented, ‘Maybe it’s lockdown or maybe it’s the fact I’ve mainly been working in the digital/public space for the last few years that for this exhibition I really wanted to make some physically tangible pieces. I wanted to enjoy the craft and hard work of making real things. To bring together my past commentary on identity, commodification and object fetishism with an appreciation of the material within it. Extracting the material from materialism. As simple as enjoying the wood of the surfboard or the metal of the car- the bodywork of physical labour.
Robert Jones, Creative Director of New Brighton Street Art added, “We are delighted to have been able to work with INSA on this important and significant show, which brings together some truly innovative and ground-breaking content. It not only cements our collaboration and relationship with one of the leading exponents of contemporary art, but also acknowledges New Brighton’s status as a credible and creative destination.”