Our Secret Auction Artists: George Underwood

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George Underwood is an artist of international renown, known not only for his fantastical figurative paintings, but also for his unique connection to the music world.

A great friend of David Bowie’s at school, Underwood became involved in the music industry from a young age. However, after working for a while, he decided to change careers and retrained as an artist and was soon working as an illustrator specialising in fantasy, horror and science fiction book covers. He later went on to design multiple album covers in the 1970’s for David Bowie, Marc Bolan, T Rex and more and even recorded an album with Bowie in their band The King Bees.

Underwood and Bowie’s relationship is particularly well known for a fight they had at the age of 15 over a girl, when Underwood punched Bowie in the left eye, causing the distinctive mis-matched colours in Bowie’s eyes for which he was so well known.

 Saga - Oils on canvas - 43 x 34 ins

Saga - Oils on canvas - 43 x 34 ins

Since then, Underwood has gone on to create his own world of paintings, choosing not to use live models but inventing ‘people who inhabit their own personal world’. Working in oil paint, he produces contemporary works that combine realism with fantasy.

One of his art collectors, David Bowie, said: ‘George has, over the years, refined his work to the point where I would put him among the top figurative painters coming out of the UK right now. There’s a sublime isolation surrounding his subjects that really touches the viewer, the figures being both heroic and vulnerable simultaneously. There’s a timeless element in the choice of subject matter that overlaps with the mythical world of Odd Nerdrum, say. Now that a huge shift to painting is taking place, I would expect to see George’s name pushed further and further to the front.’

 Take A Good Look - Oils on canvas - 28 x 45 ins

Take A Good Look - Oils on canvas - 28 x 45 ins


 You Looking At Me - Oils on canvas - 29 x 45 ins

You Looking At Me - Oils on canvas - 29 x 45 ins

George Underwood has generously donated work to our Secret Auction this year.

‘I am very happy to be involved in any way I can to help raise money for such a worthy cause’ - George Underwood.

Discover the full range of artworks available in this year’s Secret Auction 2018 - here.