Stuart SempleBritish (b. 1980) - lives in London, UK http://stuartsemple.com
Born in Dorset in 1980, Stuart Semple became an artist after a traumatic near death experience at the age of 19 whilst studying Fine Art at Breton Hall in the Yorkshire Sculpture Park.
Since, Semple has enjoyed a successful artistic career spanning 13 years with over 15 international solo exhibitions, 40 group shows and major public art projects alongside numerous art fairs and biennials.
Between 1999 and 2002, during his recovery and as a form of catharsis, he created nearly 3000 works of art which he sold via eBay, gaining him the offer for his first solo exhibition in 2001 at London's A&D gallery.
In 2004 a chance encounter with art dealer Anthony d'Offay, led to Semple setting up a studio in London's East End. Soon after he became a favourite of celebrities such as Debbie Harry, Sienna Miller, Uri Geller & Noel Gallagher who acquired works.
However, it was the solo exhibition 'Epiphany' at Martin Summers Fine Art in 2006 which cemented Semple's reputation in the artworld with notable sales to The Getty, David Roberts, Niarchos and Langen Foundations.
Subsequently Semple went on to hold critically and commercially successful solo shows in New York, Italy and Hong Kong.
His works have also been included in significant international group exhibitions and charity projects at galleries worldwide including the ICA, Victoria Miro, The Goss-Michael Foundation, Sotheby's, Sammlung Fide, The Fine Art Society and the Museum of Art and Design, NYC.
His most ambitious solo exhibition was 2007's 'Fake Plastic Love' at the Truman Brewery where he blacked out the 8000sq foot Boiler Room in Brick Lane, to install billboard paintings in an environment more akin to a rock concert than a traditional art show. On opening the exhibition had seen over $1 Million in sales and on closing in excess of 10,000 visitors.
Stuart Semple is arguably best known for his public artwork 'HappyCloud' in which he flooded the London skyline from Tate Modern with thousands of pink happy-faced clouds made from helium soap and vegetable dye. Initially conceived as a positive responsive to the 'doom and gloom' of the recession in 2009, the clouds floated from Tate towards London's financial district. Stuart has since repeated the performance in Dublin, Milan and this year, Moscow. In recognition for the action he was presented with a medal at the House of Lords in 2013 as part of the United Nations first International Day of Happiness.
His works have been featured across the media in The Guardian, Time Out, Independent, Observer, BBC news, i-D, Blue Peter, Tatler, Esquire, Italian Vogue, Elle, Dazed & Confused, Evening Standard, The Metro, Harpers, The Sunday Times, South China Morning Post and many more.
Semple regularly speaks on his art, mental health and artists' rights and has appeared at the ICA, Princes Drawing School, Jerwood Space, RCA and Museum of Modern Art, Dublin. Stuart has also written for The Guardian, Huffington Post, Phoenix Magazine, Who's Jack and held a regular column in Art of England for several years.
Stuart Semple collaborates with the luxury Italian fashion house Moncler, whom he has made artwork with for Art Basel in Miami and Italian Vogue. He has also created large scale paintings specifically for their flagship boutiques in New York, Miami, Tokyo and LA and a series of clothing designs.
In 2010 on the eve of the last general election, Stuart Semple exhibited a politically charged series of works in an exhibition titled 'The Happy House'. The opening was broadcast live on BBC news.
In 2011 Stuart Semple became an ambassador for Mind, the mental health charity where he initiated a creative therapies fund. He curated a fundraising exhibition at the Old Vic Tunnels featuring works by Tracey Emin, Matt Collishaw, Sarah Lucas and the Chapman Brothers amongst others, the exhibition launch was co-hosted by Stephen Fry and Lord Melvyn Bragg. The fund now supports creative therapies thought England and Wales.
Stuart is also an ambassador for the Design & Artists Copyright Society, through which he lobby’s for artists' rights.
2012 saw Stuart become the first artist in history to make a fully digital body of work affordably downloadable from the worlds largest digital retailer, iTunes.
Stuart was commissioned by the City of Melbourne in 2013 to produce a public artwork for Federation Square. The artist presented a 100 sq meter, white jumping platform titled 'Jump' which attracted over 15,000 members of the public who took off their shoes to jump.
In 2013 coinciding with London's Frieze art fair Semple exhibited an 18 room immersive art installation across two floors of the Heritage Rooms at Victoria House. The show, 'Suspend Disbelief' featured unseen works made over a period of a decade and incorporated interactive video installations, sculptures, paintings, holograms and a HappyCloud room.