The dark winter nights are drawing in, which means cosy nights in front of the television. If, like us, you’ve been watching BBC2’s Peaky Blinders you’ll no doubt have been inspired by the wardrobes of the lawless Shelby family.
Peaky Blinders is loosely based upon the stories of the original criminal gang who tore through the streets of Birmingham in the late 19th Century.
The gang was characterised by their flat cap with a peak (or “peaky” as it was known), which is said to have been used as a weapon: the razor blades sewn into the peak would cause temporary (or sometimes permanent) blindness to those unfortunate enough to come into contact with it. Gang members also typically wore heavy fabrics, sturdy boots and oversized coats.
One such person who has been inspired by the Peaky Blinders aesthetic is popular contemporary artist, Alexander Millar.
For those of you who aren’t familiar, Millar’s work focuses on the industrial landscapes of Britain, with a particular focus on Glasgow (as a Scotsman), Newcastle upon Tyne (his home for some twenty years) and Birmingham, the home of the Blinders themselves.
Millar’s ‘gadgie’ characters have captured the hearts of art lovers worldwide. Instantly recognisable, the paintings feature working men in coats and flat caps, almost always with their backs to the viewer.
For his Peaky Blinders works, however, Millar has allowed the viewer to see the faces of his subjects.
In ‘Taking Care of Business’ Millar perfectly captures the bolshy attitude of Thomas Shelby: cigarette in one hand; penny collar shirt buttoned to the top; his expression just that little bit ferocious.
In ‘Tall Handsome Man’ (available as a print and on Limited Edition Cufflinks) this attitude is replicated in colour, with the addition of a tie and double-breasted waistcoat.
Viewers of the show are in luck, as Millar’s artwork will be on sale at Princes Square from now up until Saturday 22nd of December. The artist, himself, plans on making a few appearances at the Pop-Up Gallery every now and then to say hello to fellow art lovers and fans of his work.
Alongside Millar’s Peaky Blinders works, the Pop-Up Gallery features a selection of original artworks, limited edition prints and, of course, those loveable gadgies.
We’re really excited to host this festive Pop-Up Gallery, which offers an excellent opportunity to snap up some of the UK’s most sought-after pieces of art.
Let us know if you manage to get your hands on one of Alexander Millar’s paintings @princessquare on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.
Originally posted here. Written for CRYSTLSD client, Alexander Millar.