YBA Marcus Harvey's largest UK public gallery exhibition to date.
Of all the British artists of his generation, none has caused greater controversy than Marcus Harvey (b1963), the Goldsmiths-trained painter and sculptor whose monumental portrait of Myra Hindley created from tiny handprints made with rubber stamps cast from a child’s handprints, caused a storm when it was exhibited as part of the ‘Sensation’ exhibition at the Royal Academy in 1997. Academicians resigned; windows were broken; and Burlington House found itself picketed by protestors.Harvey has lost none of his power or determination to shock. ‘Shock art, what a disgusting, stupid thing to have to be saddled with, but that’s what I am,’ he told Elizabeth Fullerton, author of Artrage!
This summer he has a one-man show, ‘Inselaffe’ (which translates from the German as “island monkeys”, a pejorative name for the British) at the Jerwood Gallery in Hastings, featuring ceramic portraits of figures that include Horatio Nelson, Napoleon, Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, which combine eclectic emblems of what he perceives as ‘Britishness’, from joke-shop knick-knacks to military medals. Not for the faint-hearted. The gallery will be bracing itself for outraged complaints.