Iraq Front line Photographer Peter Masters & Poppy Man/Celebrity Portrait Artist Paul Crow will be exhibiting to the public in the fantastic newSkinzophrenic Tattoo Studioon Sunday the 19th of March 2017.
The tattoo studiorecently relocated to Aubrey Street and took on a grand new image complete with murals on the ceiling that bring the Sistine Chapel to mind. The exhibition will be open to the public from 11am and the artists will be accepting offers and commission requests.
Skinzophrenic Tattoos on Aubrey Street in the Hereford city centre will be hosting an art exhibition featuring two artists, two worlds and two different art mediums.
The private viewing will take place on March 18th commencing at 8:00 pm and will be open to the public on March 19th from 11 am.
Alongside a provocative collection of photographs on exhibition by Peter Masters will be the art ofPaul Crow who will be featuring his Icon collection, Forest paintings and his renowned Poppy paintings which landed him the epithet “The Poppy Man” and a spot on BBC Midlands Today.
When Paul started painting about 12 years ago, he channelled his creativity and began expressing the connection to his military background by virtue of the poppy – a way to express solidarity for his fellow brothers at war who perhaps never made it home. He used a palette knife technique to create his vibrant, stark paintings and soon had a following. Paul felt it was time to back away from being pegged into a box as an artist and to move away from the “Poppy Man” brand which led him to new subjects.
Paul says “I wasn’t necessarily focusing on dead celebrities, it just happened that way. I am currently working on Paul Weller who I am a huge fan of for the exhibition”
After Paul’s career led him to work for the World Cup and then back home again, his mother passed away who too was an artist. Her passing moved Paul deeply and inspired him to do the ‘Forest’ collection in her honour. During this time, Paul made a move towards using painting brushes rather than the palette knife.
As his journey further continued into developing his art, he built a studio in his home where he could experiment with his craft which led to a complete turnaround when he created the ‘Icon’ collection. A year after David Bowie’s passing, Paul Crow’s music hero, he still felt moved which led him to create the powerful Starman painting – the first piece in the ‘Icon’ collection.
One thing led to another, such as commissions from admirers of the Starman and other Icon’s soon followed including Amy Winehouse, Jimi Hendrix, Kurt Cobainand Freddy Mercury. Paul says “I wasn’t necessarily focusing on dead celebrities, it just happened that way. I am currently working on Paul Weller who I am a huge fan of for the exhibition”
The Icon Collection contradicts everything the Born into War collection is shouting at us, yet they will be in the same room as a reminder that we perhaps must look at the choices we heedlessly make in our lives, often unnecessary self-indulgent ones. In Mosul people fight to survive with minimal resources, while in the Western world we succumb to excess and end up hurting or even killing ourselves, often forgetting to appreciate our good fortune.
Perhaps, this exhibition will help us to prioritise what is important in day to day life and to cherish our freedom of expression, access to food when we desire, walking down the street without a care in the world and the opportunities our children are given to succeed in life – a life they don’t have to worry about losing before they have grown into adults. In Mosul a fresh meal on the table and a peaceful night’s sleep is worth its weight in gold.
Peter Masters is not your typical business man, he is a fearless adventurer on the side of the good guys who happens to own a Skinzophrenic tattoo studio in Hereford, a Skinzophrenic tattoo studio in Iraqand a laser removal and piercing studio in the works to be located in Hereford’s High Town. It makes you wonder if he is planning to take over the world.
The truth is taking over the world is the least of his concerns, he is a man with a camera, one with guts and a purpose for documenting the war in Iraq, and a man who would gladly leave Western life behind to fight for what he believes in. How he manages to get so close is a matter of speculation…we are just glad he can. It is brave souls like him who put themselves in harrowing situations to show the world the truth about what is really going on at the front line in Iraq that are heroes in this war along with the survivors who live it daily. A photograph cannot lie and can tell a thousand tales.
“What is most eerie is that a young boy is standing in front of the family like a shield, perhaps his father is gone now, you see that he is no longer a child but the lone male defender carrying the burden of responsibility to protect his family on his young shoulders”