Shoppers walking out through the North End entrance to the Whitgift Centre in Croydon probably think that the artwork above their head is just an advert for Chanel perfume, a very appropriate view as the artist which it commemorates started out in the advertising industry. Simon Freeborough’s work “Pure Transparency” has a double meaning as it hangs against the transparent glazed roof of the shopping centre, and transparently draws on several of Andy Warhol’s images.
It’s 30 years since the death of Andy Warhol. Is this being commemorated in any major way in London? No, though the Halcyon Gallery in Mayfair will no doubt continue to show his work. Perhaps we have reach a saturation level of Warhol’s images. Croydon, with the RISE Gallery, decided to do something different and commissioned 12 contemporary artists to create poster-sized artworks which are on display across the town centre, starting as you arrive at East Croydon station with Ron English’s “Young Warhol”, and celebrating different eras and stages of development in Warhol’s artistic career, ending at an exhibition in the RISE Gallery of Warhol and other contemporary artists.
Located on development sites, on old and modern buildings, and set against the wide variety of Croydon’s architecture, this is a unique public art exhibition which raises the profile of Croydon as a the developing creative hub of south London and encourages visitors to explore the town and its street art as they search out the 12 works and the gallery itself.