I was born in New Zealand. I moved to Europe in 1986, lived in France for a year and a half. For the last 20 years I havebeen living in London. During this time I worked as a graphic designer for major feminine brands such as Clarins, Bourjois and Christian Dior. I now divide my time between London and Krakow. Krakow is a people-sized city. And the architecture is so full of soul-lifting aesthetic pleasures.
For the moment I have left behind the corporatism that bedevils most contemporary design. I am concentrating on my own interpretation of beauty and aesthetic pleasure. To date I have had two exhibitions in Krakow. Future projects for Krakow include an Art Deco exhibition and a move to oil painting in the form of portraits of some of Krakows women.
I have often wondered what the common point was linking my pictures together. I love riffing off different styles and periods, just as Galliano or Westwood would do in their fashion design. Recently I tried to separate out my 'Art Deco' pictures from the others. (Or at least add to the ones that are deliberately Art Deco styled). So I began adding to the Art Deco pile. And adding. And adding. And then it struck me. ureswere almost ALL Art Deco . Or at least they all carry an Art Deco sensibility. The 'magpie-like' use of ornamentation. The linear structuring of forms and My pictshapes. The aspiration to glamour. The fantasy world ceated to take you out of hum-drum reality. All of these are Art Deco essentials.
Art Deco fascinates me. The first thrity years of the 20th century was an extraordinary time for art and design. Especially in the form of Art Deco. The period was a juncture point. A crossroads where the old world met the new world. Where the ancient met the modern. Where Greco-Roman dominance sucumbed to Bauhous simplicity. Where historical ornament met streamling. Where feminine ornament met the powerful masculine technology of ocean liners, locomotives and automibiles.
On paper, Art Deco, could appear to be a melting pot where 'anything went. It could have become a chaotic jumble of styles where designers threw in stuff to the mix to see what would come up tasting nice. Yet somehow Art Deco managed to retain a structure, a set of rules and an integrity. It developed it's own signature look and feel. One that has stood the test of time. One that still reverberates loudly today, particularly in so-called 'Post-Modernism', which is really Modernism made less austere by re-incorporating some Art Deco sensibility into it.
I love Art Deco because it was truly the last design movement of universal appeal where imagination and glamour reined. It was a time when Hollywood and it's stars still had mythological status. It was a time of magnificent picture palaces, the Ziegfeld Follies, MGM Busby Berkeley musicals, gangsters and molls, speakeasies, great cars and great costumes. Art Deco encompassed all that and more. Some of that glamour, of that 'otherness' I have tried to put into my work.
Why I depict only women What follows is an extract from a recent press release. It was written by my very kind and erudite press agent.
".....Stanley's work is unashamedly old-fashioned. In his work he seeks not to be fashionable but to be timeless. He rejects ugly, chaotic modernity for the beauty, ornament and elegance of former times, of epochs that existed long before utility and economics stripped beauty from the world.
Stanley considers himself to be part of a very long tradition of depicting women, one that stretches way back in time... back through Art Deco and Art Nouveau... back through Gustav Klimt, Alphonse Mucha, Paul Gaugin and the Symbolists... back through Utamaro and the artists of the Floating World... back through Renaissance portrayals of the Virgin Mary...back through Greco Roman statues of their female gods...back to ancient Egypt and their worship of female deities and Queens... back to the first known sculpture; that of the Earth Mother Goddess."…Read More
Graphic design degree from New Zealand. 2009. Exhibition at Wieliczka Salt Mine, Southern Poland - July 2009 From July 28 2009 I will be exhibiting in the world famous Wieliczka Salt Mine. The exhibition, entitled 'Goddesses and other women' will last for around three months. Quite possibly until the end of the year. On the right is a poster for the exhibition (in Polish) that I designed. All of the pictures on show are for sale as limited edition giclee prints.
The Wieliczka mine is a UNESCO site and is a magical subterranean world of tunnels, underground lakes, stelagtites and labyrinths. It attracts around 4,000 to 6,000 visitors every day. So by the time the exhibition closes, well over three hundred thousand people will have seen my pictures.
We are trying to extend the scope of the exhibition by organising a 'ladies night'. "Goddesses Underground" will, as well as my exhiition, feature the singer Jaga Wronska performing Edith Piaf songs. Also we are currently looking for a fellow participant for the evening, quite possibly a perfume maker, a fashion house, a couturier or fashion designer. A company or individual who wants to show their feminine wares and to utilise the magnificent backdrop of the underground caverns to great effect.
2008. Exhibition at the Filharmonia, Krakow - October - December 2008 'Women and music' will be on display at the esteemed Filharmonia building for the final quarter of the year. Around 30 of my prints will be on display, some specially executed for the show. ,…Read More