Steven Allan


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Year 2020
Medium Indian ink and pen on paper
Dimensions 29.7 x 21.1 cm
Nominated by Jacqui McIntosh

About the work

Inspired by Indeep’s 1983 title track LAST NIGHT A DJ SAVED MY LIFE, this work depicts a forlorn banana figure striving to get his fitness game back on track during the isolation of lockdown.

About the artist:

Born 1984 Aberdeen, Steven Allan lives and works in London. Graduated from BA Fine Art Painting, Slade School of Fine Art, UCL (2010); and MA Fine Art Painting, The Royal College Of Art (2012).

Allan’s vision is truly unique. His subjects are humanised renditions of inanimate objects such as teapots, clocks, paint tubes and bananas. These characters are often forlorn and retain a strong sense of the absurd but are also strangely believable. Their melancholy expressions appear to communicate all of the woes of humanity, as they engage in seemingly futile behaviour, but whilst we observe, it also appears that Allan’s characters are aware of our gaze. They are part of a bizarre charade where paired down landscapes and interiors become a stage upon which they are duty bound to perform.

Selected solo exhibitions include Don’t leave me this way, CABIN Gallery, London (2015); and Steady Rolling, Berloni, London (2014). Selected group exhibitions include THE FUTURE CAN WAIT, Victoria House Basement, London (2014); New Order – British Art Now, Saatchi Gallery, London (2013); VOLTA 10, Basel Art Fair (2013); Catlin Guide, London Art Fair (2013); New Sensations, Saatchi Gallery, London (2012); MA Graduate Painting Exhibition, Royal College of Art, London (2012); Young Gods PT 1, London Graduates, The Griffin Gallery, London (2012); Royal College of Art MA Show, Battersea, London (2012); There are Two in the Room, Twelve Around One Gallery, London (2011); and Royal College Of Art WIP (Work In Progress), Royal College of Art, London (2011).

Awards and residencies include shortlisting for 100 Painters of Tomorrow (2013); finalist for Catlin Art Prize, London (2013); and recipient of Artist in Residence, Ridley Scott Associates (2012).

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Drawing for a Party (Left Side)

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Actor #2

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