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essence art All images copyright Nigel Cox.


Oblivious I


Fallen Angel


OBLIVIOUS N


Nigel Coxwill be unveiling new works in early November. He is known for painting the first and, so far, only portrait of Sir Ranulph Fiennes, and also for his incredible portrait of dance legend Carlos Acosta.


igel Cox’s minimalistic oil paintings capture an extraordinary realism. The new exhibition in November,


entitled Oblivious, references his subjects’ and our own frequent obliviousness to the world around us. Inspired by ordinary people going about


their everyday lives, he captures their moments unawares, often painting his figures from a viewpoint where no face is visible. The paintings reflect solitude, tranquility and confidence, giving everyday scenes an unexpected and surreal feeling, while keeping them solidly within the real world. Nigel’s background includes a period of


time working as a radio officer on ships, and a lucky break being offered a place on Sir Ranulph Fiennes’ Transglobe Expedition. This was the first circumnavigation of the globe along the Greenwich Meridian via land, sea and ice.


The seminal moment in the development of Nigel’s work came ten years ago. He says: “While travelling through Liverpool Street


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Station on a sunny day in 2004, I noticed a girl sitting on a seat in the concourse reading a book. I sat down on the floor against a pillar and photographed her, amazed that no one else noticed how wonderful she looked. For her, the station no longer existed. She was immersed in her book and oblivious to everything around her. She had, unwittingly, removed herself from this place, transporting herself elsewhere. I was captivated by how special people can be when removed from the crowd and how wonderful it is to observe them, alone, in this state.” This idea developed in his mind and formulated his signature style. Oblivious also introduces a new element


in the artist’s work. Nigel has begun developing backgrounds, introducing vague, grey fog so prevalent in his early work, to show scenes of modern political turmoil: soldiers and military helicopters, emphasising our common obliviousness to the modern world around us, despite being more connected than ever through the internet and social media.


The exhibition is curated by


contemporary art specialists Coates and Scarry, who work with internationally recognised artists, and have recently curated groundbreaking exhibitions in London, Hong Kong, New York and Los Angeles. Coates and Scarry and Cox will host a


charity private viewing to benefit the Terrence Higgins Trust on Thursday 20 November at Gallery 8. A limited edition of two specially selected prints from Nigel Cox will be released on the night, with all proceeds going to the Trust.


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Oblivious Open Monday 10 to Saturday 22 November, 11am until 7pm everyday. Venue: Gallery 8, 8 Duke Street, St James’s, London SW1Y 6BN Websites: www.nigelcox.com, www.coatesandscarry.com and www.tht.org.uk


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