To mark our debut at the Fair, Deborah Azzopardi has created two bespoke limited-edition silkscreen print series celebrating the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee. The limited-edition silkscreen prints Queen (2022) features Her Majesty the Queen Elizabeth II, reimagined by the artist. Deborah Azzopardi portrays the Queen as a young woman, serene, happy, and glamorous. She is looking at the viewer with calm interest, wearing a light and feminine crown, embellished with platinum leaf, and a mink shawl. Deborah has sifted through many magazines and many royal portraits and, as it is often the case, her rendition of the Queen will be a fictional depiction of this extraordinary woman, an artist’s take on the famous person. Whilst remaining true to her distinctive Pop Art style, Deborah worked hard not to cross the fine line between the artist’s view and pure fantasy, elegance and pop art naughtiness, glamour and seduction. “The Queen remains regal and elegant!” – says the artist.
The Shoe series (2022) was also born after very thorough research. Deborah Azzopardi always wanted to depict a coronation shoe as the monarch’s heels were a special commission by the French couture genius Roger Vivier. The coronation lasted nearly three hours, with the Queen standing practically the entirety of the time. Vivier, having designed the first stiletto, was a natural choice. After all, he was already known to the family having designed the Queen Mother's shoes when her husband King George VI was crowned in 1937. The pair was made of gold leather, with rubies-incrusted heels and a fleur-de-lys, a royal symbol, on the front. Deborah Azzopardi is a pro when it comes to embellishing the artworks with precious metals, therefore the limited-edition silkscreen prints featuring the shoe are clad with gold leaf and ruby crystals. Another detail of the print is the royal cushion. Without it the shoe would look like an expensive heel, but nothing else. In Deborah’s artwork the shoe stands on a burgundy velvet cushion with golden tassels and features the Queens’ initials. It looks like a Cinderella shoe presented to her by Prince Charming, but the narrative is much deeper. The viewer is aware that the shoe is for the future Queen of England, and the importance of the gesture bears a lot of gravitas and responsibility that is soon to be vested on a very young woman. The gold leaf, ruby rhinestones and gold ink make the series a true gem.
The Queen series is an edition of 7+3APs in commemoration of the Queen’s seven decades reign, while the Shoe is 5+1AP. The precious metal and rhinestone embellishments on these exclusive silkscreen prints have all been applied by hand at Hippo Screenprinters.
Amongst other notable works Cynthia Corbett Gallery is showing Love is the Answer... (2016), a limited-edition silkscreen print. In 2016 the late Amy Winehouse was the subject of Pop Artist Deborah Azzopardi’s painting Love is the Answer…, created at the request of Mitch and Janis Winehouse as a tribute to their daughter. A limited edition of 15 silkscreen prints based on this work has subsequently publicly released and we are proud to offer two remaining prints, #14/15 and #15/15, hand-embellished with platinum leaf, signed by the Artist, Mrs Janis Winehouse, and Mr Mitch Winehouse, to London Original Print Fair’s discerning audience. This meaningful project was made possible due to a pure coincidence. Even though Deborah’s and the Winehouses’ daughters were at junior school together, Amy’s parents and the Artist only met each other when a mutual friend introduced them after Amy’s tragic death. Mitch Winehouse visited Deborah’s studio and said: “Amy would have absolutely loved your art.” Then he suggested Deborah made a painting of Amy, which could then benefit the fundraising for the Amy Winehouse Foundation. Doing her research, Deborah could not use any existing professional photography of Amy due to copywriting issues. Working on the commission, Deborah made over 60 drawings. The artist said she also used Winehouse’s mother Janis as a model: “Even looking at photos of Janis as a young mum holding Amy as a baby it looks like Amy holding a baby. They are so alike.” At that time Janis and her ex-husband, Mitch, said: “She’s done a beautiful job and we are pleased that a portion of the sales will be donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation.”