Iconic Women: South Place Hotel Supports Art
Rosa Parks. Frida Kahlo. Oprah Winfrey. Audrey Hepburn. What do all these women have in common?
The answer is that they are hanging, in rather formidable formation, at the South Place Hotel. Or rather, their elegant monochrome portraits are. The exhibition, part of a series of guest installations, was created by Laurence M White to celebrate iconic women throughout history.
White is an artist capable of bridging the gap between creative talent and business savvy. ‘I’d been working in TV,’ he says, ‘having kept art as a side hustle for years. But then I painted a portrait of Kanye West – who I really love – and a friend of mine who had just been on TV bought it, which got me a lot of attention! I started getting more commissions and a lot of the friends I had made working in television started to want them.’
His style captures the energy and nature of his subjects with bold yet considered brushwork. The portraits churn with electricity and vibrancy; each piece is a representation of both White and his subject that creates its own identity.
‘I started at first, with a style that was a bit like poster art. I wanted to perfect my craft so I took out the colour, and focused on black and white. I knew that commercially these paintings would sell better in black and white too. I’ve been really lucky; nearly all my pieces up until now have been commissions!’
White’s run of commissions has also evolved into a sold-out NFT collection, ‘I call myself a social media artist’, he shares candidly, ‘I sell nearly all my work through online platforms. As an artist you can cut out the middleman now, and go straight to the marketplace online with an NFT. It’s a great way to get art out there and sold.’
‘I definitely come at art with a more business mind, over being just creative. I would advise people to think about what they can do for themselves as a business as well as an artist.’ White’s advice allows for an unexpected glimpse into the shifting nature of the art world: new artists are now public figures, not brooding painters hiding behind dealerships. If such open access attracts you, you can’t do better than strolling down a corridor of South Place and greeting these famous folk as though they were old friends.
Next on their schedule will be artist Mila Alexander’s photorealistic paintings that fuse femininity and fashion… another reason to stay at South Place a little longer.
For more about South Place Hotel, please visit their website