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De Brock is pleased to present its first exhibition with American artist Julian Pace, opening on June 3rd.

Celebrities, sports stars, pop culture icons and art historical titans literally loom large in the paintings of autodidactic artist Julian Pace. Kendall Jenner and Kanye West, Dennis Rodman and Christiano Ronaldo, Mahatma Gandhi and Mother Teresa, Pablo Picasso and David Hockney; in Pace’s practice, figureheads from high and low culture co-inhabit, the artist more interested in the people themselves rather than any perceived hierarchy of importance. Reminiscent of Andy Warhol’s seminal society portraits and the mid-century pop art era they defined, here each subject receives equal status, lionised as (false) idols and held aloft as Greco-Roman gods, goddesses or mythical goliaths.

Having discovered a passion for drawing from a young age, and having spent a period of his formative adolescence in Florence, Italy - surrounded by all the treasures and trappings of the Renaissance - Pace began painting in earnest during the pandemic, laid off from his New York City bar job and with ample spare time on his hands. Rooted in diligent, daily sketching his practice is observational and diaristic, the artist as documentarian, capturing contemporary society through the people most omnipresent. Those celebrity selfies shared and re-shared on social media; those pre-eminent paintings reproduced on handbags, scarfs and fridge magnets; and those headshots of basketball players beamed onto the big screen before a game or traded in the form of collector cards.

It wasn’t long before Pace caught the attention of curator Danny First, who invited the young artist to partake in the respected La Brea Studio Residency in Los Angeles, alongside prominent painters and previous residents Amoako Boafo, Bendt Eyckermans, Haley Josephs, Lenz Geerk, Luisa Gagliardi, Tschabalala Self & Tunji Adeniyi-Jones. During his time on the residency, and following his subsequent move to Los Angeles, Pace continued to experiment with scale, proportion and perspective when realising his idiosyncratic, stylistic portraits, solidifying his signature broadened shoulders, shrunken heads, enlarged hands and elongated fingers.

For his debut European solo exhibition at De Brock, Pace presents a selection of his most enduring muses, alongside intimate pencil and gouache works on paper (some straight from the artist’s sacred sketchbook). These include Kendall Jenner in that sought-after ‘Lucky Me! I See Ghosts’ sweatshirt; recreations of Frida Kahlo’s 1941 self-portrait ‘Me and My Parrots’ and Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’; a caricatured pair of pigeons; basketball players Dennis Rodman, Shawn Kemp and Detlef Schrempf; and the latest in a series of portraits depicting the writer and art collector Gertrude Stein, a previous subject of Picasso, Francis Picabia and Félix Vallotton.

The opening reception will be held on 3 June 2023, the artist will be present.

For enquiries, please contact