Iconoclasm & Apocalypse

Local portrait artists Alexander Newley and Mulumba Tshikuka discuss the transformative power of painting with Richard Cork

What can physical art offer in the digital age? Local portrait artists Alexander Newley and Mulumba Tshikuka discuss the transformative power of painting with the art critic and writer Richard Cork.

Alexander Newley

Alexander Newley is a leading contemporary artist, writer and teacher, known on both sides of the Atlantic for his iconic portrait paintings of major figures in the Arts, including Gore Vidal, Billy Wilder, Christopher Reeve, Oliver Stone, Steven Berkoff, Sir Kenneth Branagh and Dame Judi Dench. In 2006, Newley’s portrait of Sir Nigel Hawthorne in character as George III was acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum for their permanent collection celebrating theatre in the 20th century. Most recently, Quartet Books published Newley’s memoir of a Hollywood childhood, Unaccompanied Minor. He is currently completing a monograph of his work entitled Divining The Human, due for release in September 2022 under the Unicorn imprint.

Mulumba Tshikuka

Mulumba thinks of his art like pictures in a fairy tale. He paints to rediscover the innocence and naivety of his childhood. Starring authoritarian figures and stunning women, his pictures depict the human gaze. Eyes are the windows to the soul. The soul is what dictates human action. Mulumba’s paintings and drawings, therefore, are soulful satire.

Richard Cork

Richard Cork is an award-winning art critic, historian, broadcaster and curator. He served as Art Critic of the Evening Standard and then Chief Art Critic of The Times as well as Editor of Studio International. Cork was Slade Professor of Fine Art at Cambridge University in 1989 – 90, and Henry Moore Senior Fellow at the Courtauld Institute, 1992-5. He has acted as a judge for the Turner Prize and curated major exhibitions at Tate, the Hayward Gallery, the Barbican Art Gallery, the Royal Academy and other European venues. He was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Academy in 2011 and broadcasts regularly on radio and TV.


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