Lhouette - Mass McQueen

July 02, 2019

Lhouette - Mass McQueen

Pop Maximalism

The master of Pop Maximalist Art meets the King of Cool... Lhouette's latest work fuses the libertine charm of Steve McQueen with classic American icons and hand weathered mixed media to create a new Boutique Edition: each piece as idiosyncratic as its Hollywood star.

For lovers of Lhouette's luxury-decoupage style, this new edition features some of his most organic and tactile elements yet. Genuine upcycled metal gives his trademark juxtaposition of logos and brands a gritty undertone of utilitarian authenticity: torn art-paper creates an excitingly visceral texture while that quintessential movie-icon is direct-printed onto OSB board and treated to a high-gloss perspex frontage.


I learned that life is a long and difficult road, but you have to keep going, or you'll fall by the wayside."

- Steve McQueen

The King of Cool

The anti-authoritarian stances of the 1960s counterculture was a paradigm shift in Western civilization. For the first time in modern memory, what had previously been thought of as niche or minority subcultures were being rapidly assimilated by mainstream society. In entertainment; the idea of what a role-model should be began to dramatically shift from the 'black & white' moral conservative and a new breed of libertine 'Antiheroes' gained popularity. The undisputed poster-boy of this phenomenon was "The King of Cool"

After a childhood in and out of detention centres; Steve McQueen was drafted into the US Army where he was lauded for his bravery and heroism almost as often as he was demoted for his insubordination. His matinee idol looks and streetwise sensibility led to him being cast in B-Movies. Following the favourable recommendations of stars such as Frank Sinatra, McQueen was soon catapulted to leading-man status and an icon was born - the highest paying actor in the world by the 1970s.

I like to have a certain pace, energy and buzz in the studio - I could never be a ‘watercolour in front of an easel’ kind of artist.

- Lhouette

New Adventures in Texture

Corrugated iron (as it is popularly known - it is actually steel today) was invented in the 1820s in the UK. Its versatile properties and ease of use made making it ubiquitous as a building material around the world, where it soon became steeped in cultural iconography: from houses to farm-buildings to signs to churches. This symbolism has made it a perfect material for Lhouette, with his famous juxtaposition of icons and use of exciting surfaces.

Another re-purposed medium that has become synonymous with the artist is the forklift pallete. An icon of 20th century containerised commerce: both rustically rough-hewn and pragmatically industrial. The perfect surface for Lhouette's celebrated mix of high-concept and pop-culture.

The only way for Lhouette to truly create his celebrated layered effect is to genuinely paint layer upon layer of fully-realised detail which would each make an impressive work in their own right. The result is a work of unprecedented depth and manual work - with unique elements on each piece that redefines what a limited edition can be.

Collaborating with Lhouette during the development of this piece, Wyecliffe decided that the level of detail was so rich and expansive that an extra level of scale was needed to truly showcase the sheer amount of astonishing elements. Therefore along with the 25 Boutique Editions at 69 x 158.5 cm: Wyecliffe is proud to release this work as the artist's first XL-sized piece: with just 5-editions worldwide at a spectacular 199 cm x 76 cm.

As well as the ultimate rebellious Hollywood star, icons of a very different nature form the counterpoint to this work. Fitting our heroes all-American origins: classic stateside brands are juxtaposed onto the editions. The logos vary from edition to edition, but we've encountered Gulf, Lamborghini and Coca-Cola amongst international icons such as Roger Rabbit and emojis.

The amount of hand-embellishment Lhouette undertakes on each edition of Mass McQueen is what elevates a print run to the status of Boutique Edition. With genuine up-cycled materials, decoupaged wood panels, collaged paper, hand weathering and individually added icons: every example of Mass McQueen is a unique artwork in its own right.

Once these conditions are met: the works are painstakingly recorded in our state-of-the-art database system (including advanced location tracking) and extensively photographed by Lucy and the image processing team. With extensive ‘macro’ detail shots utilising the Canon EOS 5DS camera: these shots not only form the basis for internet and print promotions: but form a visual record of the work at ultra-high resolution.

Finally; the works that aren’t immediately selected for the gallery walls (or better still, immediately dispatched to a lucky collector) are archived in our temperature controlled ‘vault’. Stored upright, fully surrounded in custom high-impact expanded rubber: the securely stored paintings are routinely checked and rotated onto gallery displays to ensure they remain in mint condition.

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