Artist Bradley Theodore on his show at The Court – words Bojana Duric
Coming soon to London – a most sought-after private members’ club called The Court. Located on the formerly Kingly Street site – once home to the hotspot The Bag O’Nails – this new members’ club will bring together an eclectic mix of some of the best names in hospitality and culture.
Harry Mead’s (Founder and Host of The Court) vision is to redefine the typical private members’ experience. With a Michelin-starred chef Tom Sellers taking on the restaurant’s menu, show-stopping décor by renowned artist Bradley Theodore, award-winning mixologist Ryan Chetiyawardana (aka Mr. Lyan) concocting some delicious cocktails in the Gatsby-esque basement bar, and celebrity florist Nikki Tibbles adding a floral touch, it’s safe to say that The Court will offer exquisite taste.
Flux spoke to the talented visual artist Bradley Theodore about The Court’s décor and his artwork to date. Known for his iconic colourful paintings and prints of fashion icons including Anna Wintour, Karl Lagerfeld and Kate Moss, the Caribbean-born American artist discusses his vision behind The Court’s interior, meaning behind his skeletal artwork and how fashion has been an important inspiration in his artwork.
Walk us through the concept behind The Court’s décor. What were some of your inspirations behind the design, and what vibe did you intend on giving the club?
Bradley: Marie Antoinette meets Jimi Hendrix is the inspiration for my pieces at The Court. We wanted it to be casual, sexy and fun. I have created a piano for the stage, and also a large painting in the reception area.
It seems like there are many private members’ clubs these days, what sets The Court apart from the rest?
Bradley: The Court is focused on creative people, with an active lifestyle. It’s not about what you have, it’s about what you do. You’re a fun person to be around, with creative conversation.
One of your most iconic pieces of artwork features Anna Wintour and Karl Lagerfeld in a skeletal format. What was the concept behind the design? What messages do you try to convey through your art?
Bradley: The Karl Lagerfeld piece was conveying the fact that these are two icons with a great history together, and that history is part of the basis of fashion. I try to convey that underneath the fashion, we are all people and our spirit is what we should foster.
What is one of your favourite pieces to date? Is there a story behind it?
Bradley: Marie Antoinette in the room. She is one of my favourite subject matter. It’s all about fun decadence and couture, fashion and lifestyle and to this day, that’s the pinnacle of luxury.
You’ve worked with many fashion icons. Is fashion an important element to include in your art?
Bradley: My best friend’s mum was one of Donna Karan’s designers, so I’ve grown up surrounded by the fashion world. She would joke about a hat that I used to wear in high school that looked like the ‘cat in the hat’. When I was in my first year in college I’d wear bell-bottoms, and I was skate boarding with ‘fresh drive’ shirts on. As I got older I would shop in Japan and bring back the fashion from there to New York. I hang out with a lot of fashion designers. Fashion has always been a big part of my life, and my artistic inspiration.
Who have been some of your inspirations behind your artistry?
Bradley: I’m a big Davinci fan. I take inspiration from Warhol for his colour combinations, and I like the abstract nature of de Kooning and tribalistic-style painting.
Do you have any rituals when you’re making one of your pieces?
Bradley: I always start off my canvas with the infinity symbol and I focus with the intention of creating a masterpiece, the most beautiful painting in the world.
The Court and the show opens on Feb 18th 2019.