Bonnie and Clyde is a contemporary British artist, whose mixed media collage and print-work centres around scenes of the urban imaginary. Crossing medium and type, Bonnie and Clyde’s work takes the form of limited edition screen-prints, mixed media originals on paper, wood and canvas as well as 3D pieces. Employing a blend of photography, collage and paint, the emotive art of Bonnie and Clyde explores the psychogeography of the metropolis, immersing the viewer in beautiful and bizarre cityscapes.
Steph Burnley (the creative spark behind Bonnie and Clyde) studied 3D design at Kingston University, before setting up her own graphic design business in Manchester, where she created posters, brochures, book sleeves, illustrations, T-shirts, signage, and festival campaigns. Burnley also worked in urban fashion and as a photographer for various music and culture magazines, before decamping to Brighton with her beloved Leica camera. It was here that her passion for photography and graphics fused in the art of screen-printing: a practice that became the cornerstone of her distinctive, collage aesthetic.
Amongst Bonnie and Clyde’s inﬂuences are Tracey Emin, Helen Levitt, Linda Sterling, Sir Peter Blake, Bill Viola, and Richard Hamilton, while the work of David Hockney, Andy Warhol, Jean-Michel Basquiat and the New York ‘no wave’ scene, more broadly, have been central to the development of her aesthetic. Music and ﬁlm, signage and iconography, bleed subtly into Bonnie and Clyde’s artwork, while architecture, street photography, and the coast appear as central, recurring tropes. With a sensitivity to the relationship between the built environment and the natural landscape, the work of Bonnie and Clyde opens out a space in which to explore human interaction in urban sites. Her work responds emotionally to the delicate association of the socio-political and the deeply personal, in a way that resonates with contemporary cultures of modernity.
The iconic topography of California - from the vibrant architecture of Santa Monica to rows of palm trees at Venice Beach - features heavily in Bonnie and Clyde’s imagined scenes. Not limited to a single corner of the globe, Burnley’s jet-setter spirit is reﬂected in the host of other urban centres (including Tokyo, London, and Havana) that have featured across her oeuvre, while her passion for twentieth-century architecture - from modernism, to brutalism, to post-modernism and beyond - suffuses the overall aesthetic. Using self-taken photographs, Bonnie and Clyde works with a combination of monochrome and highly saturated areas of colour, collaged with textured paint, elements of distressed, heavy paper and magazine cuttings, to represent the beautiful, messy, vibrant and chaotic nature of life in the city. Her work undergoes a combination of digital and tactile processes, which shift back and forth, playing with layers of material, until the ﬁnal collage or screen print takes shape. Through cut-up, bricolage perspective, each of Bonnie and Clyde’s abstracted pieces tells a story: a dizzying, non-linear narrative of the individual, navigating the dualistic city which is always banal as well as beautiful, terrifying while magnetic.
Bonnie and Clyde works from her studio in Brighton. She currently exhibits with a number of galleries across the country and sells at art fairs internationally, as well as working on commissions for private collectors. Notable exhibitions include solo shows at 45 Park Lane (London) curated by Ackerman Studios in association with Liberty Gallery, Lilford Gallery (Canterbury), Lawrence Alkin Gallery (London) and ‘Subterraneans’ a Beat Culture curated exhibition at Leeds College of Art exhibition where her work was shown alongside artists Kim Gordon, Yoko Ono, and Gavin Turk. Plus numerous joint and group shows to include Hicks Gallery (London), Artrepublic (Brighton) and For Arts Sake (London). You can see a full list below.
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