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Artist in Focus: Cartrain

Although Cartrain has been producing art since the age of twelve, when he started experimenting with graffiti in his local area, he rose to prominence in the famous 2008 dispute with Damien Hirst. Seven years ago, Hirst contacted the Design and Artists Copyright Society (DACS) demanding legal action to be taken against, at that time, 16-year-old Cartrain over works containing images of his skull sculpture For the Love of God. Even though Cartrain handed over the artworks, it was not long before he made the headlines again.

For the Love of Art
For the Love of Art

 

In July 2009, less than a year after the skull incident, Cartrain walked into Tate Britain and removed a packet of Faber Castell 1990 Mongol 482 series pencils from Damien Hirst’s installation, Pharmacy. Cartrain then made a fake police “Wanted” poster, which was distributed around London, stating that the pencils had been stolen and if anyone had any information they should call the police on the phone number advertised. Later on, Cartrain made this statement:

 

“For the safe return of Damien Hirst’s pencils I would like my artworks back…it’s not a large demand; he can have his pencils back when I get my artwork back. Hirst has until the end of this month to resolve this or on 31st of July the pencils will be sharpened. He has been warned.”

Cartrain was subsequently arrested for £500,000 worth of theft, and faced incriminating charges for what would have been the biggest art theft in British history. Luckily, in December 2009 The Metropolitan police dropped all charges against Cartrain.

 

Mad Hatter
Mad Hatter

 

A reoccurring theme and vital part of Cartrain’s work revolves around brutal honesty and a sarcastic sense of humour. Portraying George W. Bush, Kim Jong-un and Queen Elisabeth II in an Andy Warhol style, Cartrain has become a name to be reckoned with in street and urban art. His popularity has grown tremendously over the past several years so much in fact that last year Gilbert & George appropriated a collage made by Cartrain incorporating it into one of their artworks which was on display at the White Cube Gallery.

 

Kim Jong-un
Kim Jong-un
George W. Bush
George W. Bush

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some of Cartrain’s past exhibitions included This Way Up, Not For Sale and The Spring Collection. For a more detailed article regarding Cartrain and Damien Hirst’s dispute please click here  and here.

We are excited to have the possibility of exhibiting and representing Cartrain’s work, especially the famous For the Love of Art collage which was the fuse that sparked the young artist’s career. For more information or to contact us regarding Cartrain’s work please email info@imitatemodern.com

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