LH44 – Stanley Chow


Chow has enjoyed a little over a decade of extraordinary success, including being nominated for a Grammy; working with Manchester United, McDonald’s and Saatchi & Saatchi; becoming the resident illustrator at The New Yorker. He’s so in-demand that his Twitter account politely clarifies: “Sorry: not available for private commissions.”

He is best known for his portraits of famous faces, and his ability to capture their likeness with what appears to be little effort. He captures essential features in just a few strokes. His portraits tease at a sense of royalty — subjects appear upright, shoulders back, formal without losing a sense of humour or accessibility.

“It’s interesting that you describe my work as minimal,” he says. “[It’s] probably more simple. You put a lot in, but then you have to take a lot out.”

The great portraitists of Renaissance Europe spent decades jockeying for position at the courts of popes and princes in order to get a commission, and then spent months delivering it. Chow’s process is a bit more spontaneous.

When he was watching the 2012 Tour de France and saw that Bradley Wiggins was poised to win, he hurried to his computer to start a portrait. As Wiggins crossed the finish line, Chow posted the portrait on Twitter. “The second he won it,” he says. “Not before, not after, literally as he crossed the line.”

After Andy Burnham briefly became the “King of the North” last year during his spat with the government, it was Chow’s portrait of him that started popping up all over the city and all over social media (Burnham also made the picture his Twitter avatar).

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LH44 – Stanley Chow – Giclée print on 300gsm Matte Satin Archival Quality paper – print size is A2 – 42 x 59.4cm. Unsigned open edition. Other sizes available on request.

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