A Prestigious London Gallery Let the Public Jury An Open Call — Discover The Top Five Artist Favorites Here

The winning artist, Marina Gonzalez, will have a solo exhibition at JD Malat Gallery next year.

Installation view Isolation Mastered, 2020. Courtesy of JD Malat Gallery.
Installation view Isolation Mastered, 2020. Courtesy of JD Malat Gallery

The art-loving public has spoken and there is a winner! 

London’s JD Malat Gallery recently hosted a juried-open call competition for UK-based artists, offering a solo exhibition at the gallery as the winning prize.  

The initiative, dubbed “Isolation Mastered,” was a bid to give a platform to UK artists of all ages and backgrounds. The responses came in swiftly, with more than 1,000 submissions flooding in the weeks that followed the call.

The jury, lead by gallery founder Jean-David Malat, along with cultural luminaries including dealer Simon de Pury, Dylan Jones, editor of GQ, and art historian David Bellingham, among others, whittled down the remarkable pool to just 25 artists whose works were installed in the gallery at the beginning of the month. 

Then the voting was turned over to the public, with the gallery accepting ballots online and in-person. Over 8,000 people participated in the fun-loving event, with Spanish-born artist Marina Gonzalez capturing the big prize.

“The experience has been emotional and incredibly rewarding,” Malat said. “After working with the fantastic committee, meeting the artists, and using our space to share their work, I feel as though a sense of community has been restored in the art world.”

Below, see the four finalists from “Isolation Mastered,” along with the winning work.

 

Marina Gonzalez, Winner
1,371 votes

Marina Gonzalez, Flora Waiting to Blossom (2020). Courtesy of JD Malat.

Marina Gonzalez, Flora Waiting to Blossom (2020). Courtesy of JD Malat.

Marina Gonzalez attempts to fuse abstraction with classic figurative techniques from the Renaissance and Baroque eras. In her latest works, she combines paint and collage on canvas. As the winner, Gonzalez will be given a solo exhibition at JD Malat Gallery in 2021. 

 

Wesley George
1,132 votes

Wesley George, Untitled (2020). Courtesy of JD Malat.

Wesley George, Untitled (2020). Courtesy of JD Malat.

Wesley George focuses on representing the overlooked spirits and stories of black and brown figures. In his paintings, his subjects are often pictured in the artist’s workspace, amid paint splatters and studio materials. The figures own their spaces with confidence and grace.

  

Mustafa Boga
684 votes

Mustafa Boga, Days into Nights (2020). Courtesy of JD Malat.

Mustafa Boga, Days into Nights (2020). Courtesy of JD Malat.

Turkish-born, UK-based artist Mustafa Boga mines the experiential gap between being a witness and a storyteller. His work delves into subjects of gender, national identity, militarism, masculinity, and sexuality, particularly in relation to his own cultural identity. 

 

Edward Povey
533 votes 

Edward Povey, Fundamental (2020). Courtesy of JD Malat

Edward Povey, Fundamental (2020). Courtesy of JD Malat.

London-born painter Edward Povey sees painting as an inherently intimate and vulnerable exercise and as a conduit to his own memories, experiences, and narratives. He began his most recent works only after extensive writing exercises and even after building small interior stage sets, replete with models.

 

Ian Rayer-Smith
499 votes

Ian Rayer-Smith, Covering Our Very Ideal Dreams (2020). Courtesy of JD Malat

Ian Rayer-Smith, Covering Our Very Ideal Dreams (2020). Courtesy of JD Malat.

Ian Rayer-Smith has said that he paints not to capture an image, but rather an emotional experience. His influences are disparate, ranging from the mark-making of Abstract Expressionism to Renaissance-era theories on composition and light, which he fuses through the lens of his lived contemporary experience.


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