Check out Harry Gilliams' interview for Telegraph below for his upcoming exhibition at London's Whisper gallery!
Next month, London's Whisper gallery will play host to an exhibition of art by four of Next Models brightest multi-taskers.
Models Tali Lennox, Harry Gilliam, Polly Brown and Mark Waddleton have all produced works that will be displayed in the exhibition entitled Identity, which aims to investigate the issues of real versus perceived identity in society.
"Having the opportunity to present our models in a different light - one that highlights their various talents, particularly in the arts, is an exciting opportunity for Next and our models," said Faith Kates, co-founder of Next Models, of the project.
All four models have been blessed with not only good looks but artistic flair and have each been creating art for years.
We spoke to Harry Gilliam - who is the current face of Hermès - about his artwork and the upcoming exhibition.
Tell us a bit about your artwork? My work is always on the more illustrative side and tends to sway from simple fun, to more serious works with a deeper context. I like the contrasts of showing both styles together, purely because I enjoy the variety it achieves, not only when I make the work but also when audience engage with it. I love the simplicity of drawing, which is the basis of everything I do, and most my work tends to be black ink, because I hate using colour, I am terrible with colour blending and I avoid 'colouring in' wherever possible. Having said that I have always loved the power of expression that colour brings, one of my favourite artists is Frank Auerbach, and one of my favourite series of works is Marcus Harvey's Readers Wives, where he uses the power of the colour to distract from what the image is really portraying.
How long have you worked on the pieces for this exhibition? It has been a struggle for me finding time to work for this show as I have been so busy with modelling work, but since the brief was given to us have I been working whenever I can... lots of sleepless nights.
The exhibition explores real versus perceived identity - is this something that as a model you feel you have a greater insight to? I have always had a strong awareness of my reality and the perception others have of me, it comes from being someone who has over examines everything, even myself, and being in this industry only exaggerates my sense of identity and what the outside thinks of me, because to survive you really have to know who you are to not lose yourself in the craziness of it all. It does give a greater insight, but only it the way that it just makes peoples preconceptions and judgments of you stronger, and more often harsher, making the contrasts even clearer.
What do they love about making art? For me I have a love-hate relationship with my art. I love the battle of creation I have with myself, from picturing what I want to in my mind to actually realising it. I love the struggle trying to figure out what to do and then not being able to do the idea justice, tearing through page after page trying to achieve the image, and the ultimate satisfaction of success. There is no greater feeling than looking at something that I have spent ages doing and going yes I am happy with the out come. There is such a sense of pride as I add the final touches to what I consider a strong piece.
You created artwork for your father's (film director Terry Gilliam) film, The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus , what was that like? It feels like centuries ago that I worked on Parnassus , it was back when I had hair that reached past my nipples. It was a time when I was heavily in to street art, so my father gave me the opportunity to design the backgrounds for the street scenes of the films - basically, I got paid to graffiti Battersea Power Station and London Bridge. The best part about it was that I could really spend time on the work and make it really elaborate, One of the pieces was nearly 14ft high. My sister Holly, who curates my father's works, and I have often discussed the idea of doing a collaboration show together, and it is something I would be so honoured to do, but right now I am really trying to carve my own path in the world before I would consider such a public collaboration - although I will be looking for a job on his next film as I would love to storyboard it all for him.
If you could only have one piece of artwork in your house, what would it be? For me it would have to be Alex Ross's Justice League. He is an artist for DC and Marvel Comics, but the work is painted like a Renaissance master and it brings such life to the characters - a tangibility that doesn't exist in comics.
The exhibition runs from June 29 for one week. Whisper Gallery, 27/28 Eastcastle Street, London, W1W 8DH.