5 Facts about Cartrain

With only a few days left until the end of Cartrain’s “Not For Sale” exhibition, it’s a good time to remember some fascinating things Cartrain is known for.

1. Cartrain first came to our attention when he made a collage incorporating Damien Hirst’s diamond encrusted skull For the Love of God in 2009.  The attention was gained by the fact that Hirst was taking legal action against then 16 year old Cartrain by confiscating the works of the young artist. These news have spread far and wide over the media.



2. The next thing we knew was that Cartrain went to Tate Britain and stole a pack of pencils worth £500,000 from Hirst’s pharmacy installation. This was apparently recorded as one of the highest value thefts in modern British art which soon resulted in Cartrain’s arrest.


3. Cartrain is known for placing his artworks in museum and galleries until those are removed as fakes. His works have been on the walls of Tate Modern, National Gallery and British Museum.

Cartrain at Tate Modern
Cartrain at National Portrait Gallery 


4. In 2010 Cartrain smuggled a joint into the Houses of Parliament. He managed to take five drags of his spliff as Nick Clegg was addressing MPs in the House of Commons before getting dragged out by the security guards.


5.Cartrain is not only known for his heavy weight art world enemies but also his friends; Gilbert and George are known to be supporters of his work as well as Banksy, who has presented the artist with his own signed artwork. Gilbert and George have famously used a piece of Cartrain’s work in their most recent exhibition at the White Cube in 2014.

gilbertandgeorge72 A1

Posted in: Uncategorized  |  No Comments

CARTRAIN – the definitive blog post


We find ourselves enjoying the last week of ‘NOT FOR SALE‘, with Saturday being your last opportunity to experience this immersive gallery show. If you have a chance, let us transport you to the streets of East London from the warmth of our West London space. In the meantime, we have a few stories about CARTRAIN to whet your whistle…

He is perhaps most notable for his ongoing feud with the art world’s heavyweight Damien Hirst, which initially started when Cartrain reproduced a Hirst’s infamous skull image in one of his own artworks. In response, Hirst assembled his legal team and insisted Cartrain hand over all of his artworks featuring the image, and forfeit the money from all sales. Faced with Hirst’s extensive legal team, and with little funding or representation Cartrain had little choice but to comply.

In July 2009, Cartrain entered Tate Britain and removed a packet of Faber Castell 1990 Mongol 482 series pencils from Damien Hirst’s installation,Pharmacy. Cartrain then distributed a fake police “Wanted” poster, stating that the pencils had been stolen and that if anyone had any information they should notify the police. Cartrain made this statement:

“For the safe return of Damien Hirsts pencils I would like my artworks back that Dacs and Hirst took off me inNovember. Its not a large demand he can have his pencils back when I get my artwork back. Dacs are now not taking any notice of my emails and I have asked nicely more than five times to try and resolve this matter. Hirst has until the end of this month to resolve this or on 31 July the pencils will be sharpened. He has been warned”

Cartrain was subsequently arrested for £500,000 worth of theft, and faced charges for what could be considered biggest art theft in British history.

In addition to this famous feud, the artist has also gained worldwide press for smoking marijuana in the House of Commons, and infiltrating the National Portrait Gallery and the Tate Modern, installing his artworks into exhibitions without permission or knowledge of either establishment. This latter stunt caught the attention of The Guardian art critic, Jonathan Jones, who has since championed Cartrain.

This way by far the most charming work of art I came across… this collage by an artist who’s unlikely to get a public commission steals the show” Jonathan Jones

With ‘NOT FOR SALE’ featuring more of Cartrain’s charismatic artworks, we hope you will be able to visit us on/before the 24th January, if you have any questions please get in touch via email (info@imitatemodern.com), phone (0207 486 9927) Facebook, Instagram or Twitter

We look forward to seeing you!

All at Imitate Modern


Posted in: Artwork, Exhibitions  |  No Comments

Our top five art picks in New York


With members of the team jet-setting across the globe, we thought we would bring you our top three art galleries and exhibitions to attend in New York this week. So whether you’re in the Big Apple or just want to get the latest news, we have just what you need, right here.


“Call and Response” at Gavin Brown’s enterprise

Opens Saturday 24th January 2015, 6-8pm

Featuring more than sixty artists, a number rumoured to be increasing by the day, Gavin Brown has amassed this collection for an exhibition that presents considerable bang for buck. Uri Aran is one of our highlights, his contemporary and minimalist sketches juxtaposed with photography making for fascinating viewing.

For more info, check out Gavin Brown’s enterprise here



“Ho” Ryder Ripps at Postmasters Gallery

Opens Saturday 24th January 2015, 5.30-8pm

Ryder Ripps’ first solo exhibition features large scale oil paintings, portraits far removed but derived frRipps_Sippy-1024x966om the Instagram of model Adrianne Ho. Ripps transforms posed fashion photographs into expressive and distorted portraits. Ripps parodies techniques used in the fashion industry, stretching and altering to expose these methods for what they really are, and what they really create. We highly recommend Ripps innovative show and flawless painting.

For more info, check out Ryder Ripps at Postmasters here



“Joker’s Solitaire” Z Behl at Kai Matsumiya

Opens Thursday 22nd January 2015, 7-10pm

We wish we had friends like this… Z Behl has created a giant pack of playing cards featuring nude portraits of male friends, and even two particularly revealing self-portraits on the Joker cards. These cards will be displayed on the customary green felt in “pairs”, “three of a kind”, and “full house” sets. An interactive experience, visitors will be encouraged to play with versions of her cards, and watch her film “Joker’s Solitaire” which depicts her dressed as the joker playing solitaire. Five hundred limited edition decks of cards will be available on request.

For more info, check out Kai Matsumiya here




Posted in: Artwork, Events, Exhibitions, photography  |  No Comments