Drawn to geometric shapes, numbers and symbols, producing her images as a pack of playing cards held huge appeal for British painter Holly Frean. Grouped in a grid formation, the subjects of Frean’s card series include artists, comedians, the royal family – even chickens - and consists of either 52 cards plus jokers or simply four cards. The work is often playful but the detail superbly communicates the subject.
Ace Artists was selected for the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, reproduced as a card in the RA shop and included in Tracey Emin’s film of her favourite pieces from the show; Anthropologie has commissioned her for various animal images for its plates and tea towels - and door knobs are coming soon. And a card series won a National Open Art prize. Then there is the collaboration with upmarket interiors company Andrew Martin as well as an invitation to decorate Paul Smith’s flagship store on Albermarle Street in the autumn. Frean’s star is clearly in ascendance.
Hedge, issue 39, February 2016, pp38-46