From the legendary Tank Girl to live-action animations with Gorillaz, a Chinese contemporary opera to an exhibition at the Saatchi Gallery, artist Jamie Hewlett is one of the most energetic figures of contemporary pop culture.
With influences ranging from hip hop to zombie slasher movies, Hewlett emerged in the mid-1990s as co-creator of the zeitgeist-defining Tank Girl comic. With then-roommate Damon Albarn, he went on to create the unique cartoon band Gorillaz, a virtual pop group of animated characters, who have recorded five albums and mounted breathtaking live spectacles.
Since then, Hewlett has continued to collaborate with Albarn on projects including an elaborate staging of the Chinese novel Monkey: Journey to the West by Wu Cheng en, complete with circus acrobats, Shaolin monks, and Chinese singers. In 2006, he was named Designer of the Year by the Design Museum in London, and in 2009, Hewlett and Albarn won a BAFTA for their animated Monkey sequence for the Beijing Olympic Games. More recently, The Suggestionists, an exhibition of prints at the Saatchi Gallery in London, demonstrated an exciting new direction in Hewlett s practice.
This TASCHEN edition, Hewlett s first major monograph, illustrates his thrilling creative journey with more than 400 artworks from the Tank Girl era through Gorillaz and up to the present day. Through stories, characters, strips, and sketches, we trace Hewlett s exceptional capacity for invention and celebrate a polymath artist who refuses to rest on his laurels, or to be pigeonholed into a particular practice.
It s about reaching that moment of pure ecstasy when a drawing just happens it s like being in a trance... Drawing is an escape from all the unnecessary things in life that get in the way of being free.
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