2018 Fellow

Stuart Semple

stuartsemple.com/

Stuart Semple was born in Dorset, England in 1980, where he lives and works. Semple is known primarily as a painter, but has an expansive practice that has also encompassed the production of his own commercial art materials, net-based art, and public interventions. The key concept found in all his works is the emotional and spiritual impact of mass culture on the individual. He often re-imagines found materials and images with a playful, and simultaneously, critical analysis of contemporary culture. Semple’s work has been the subject of a number of major international solo exhibitions which include, Fake Plastic Love, Truman Brewery, London (2007); Pop Disciple, Aus18, Milan (2008); Everlasting Nothing Less, Anna Kustera, New York (2009); The Happy House, Morton Metropolis, London (2010); It’s Hard To Be A Saint In This City, Cat Street Gallery, Hong Kong (2012); Suspend Disbelief, The Heritage Rooms, London (2013); Anxiety Generation, Delahunty, London (2014); and My Sonic Youth, Fabien Castanier, Los Angeles (2015).


In 2009, Semple launched a public art project HappyCloud, in which he released thousands of smiley faced clouds made from soap and helium from Tate Modern toward the city of London. HappyCloud has received international attention and since has been repeated in Milan during Salone De Mobile, as well as in Moscow and Dublin. In 2016, Semple achieved worldwide notoriety after his release of “The World’s Pinkest Pink” pigment online and the subsequent exclusion of artist Anish Kapoor from using it. The ensuing “art war” between the two artists over color became a conceptual performance piece about accessibility, elitism, and community. His color creations can now be found in the permanent collection of the Harvard Art Museum pigment library.

HappyCloud, 2009 — View detail

Still, ‘Every Now and Then I Fall Apart’, 2013, 3 channel HD video installation — View detail

JUMP, 2013, inflatable sculpture — View detail

My Sonic Youth, 2015 — View detail

My Brain Hurts Like A Fucking Warehouse, 2014, acrylic & charcoal on canvas — View detail

Riders on the Storm, 2013, acrylic, charcoal, indian ink, vinyl & china maker on canvas — View detail