Mao Wen Biao | Exceptional Artistry
Mao Wen Biao exhibits his paintings and extraordinary murals at this solo show 19 November to 6 December 2014, at The Osborne Studio Gallery in London.
“Mao in all his paintings, monumental or otherwise, combines expert draughtsmanship with a distinctive use of colour and perspective to convey a remarkable sense of movement, atmosphere and energy.” - Geoffrey Hughes, Director of The Osborne Studio Gallery
November 4, 2014 | By: E.J. Webber
One of many vast murals Mao Wen
Biao was commissioned to paint
An artist worth a detour any day is Shanghai born Mao Wen Biao, a painter who can straddle artistic styles and can recreate a sense of power and speed in his paintings of horse racing and other sports, while being inspired by Hogarth and Gainsborough. His technical virtuosity has attracted public attention since the 1990s when a life changing moment took place upon meeting mentor John Hunter, famed London property developer who catapulted Mao to fame by commissioning vast building murals.
One of Mao Wen Biao's
favorite cycling paintings.
Mao’s solo show at the Osborne Studio Gallery will include flowers, horse racing, cyclists, and his depiction in mural form of 18th century high society. The gallery has branched out to include landscape paintings such as Mao’s, a master of all styles while being impervious to the fashion of the day. We sat down briefly with Mao Wen Biao for a quick question and answer dialogue about his work and future endeavors:
Mao Wen Biao in Studio
How did you meet your mentor, John Hunter?
John Hunter, a visionary, groundbreaking, and risk taking property developer, has been responsible for a series of ‘revivals’, meaning sensitive reconstructions of 19th century terraces and houses in Kensington and Chelsea, two of London’s most sought after residential neighborhoods. He decided to hide unsightly building works with a form of trompe l’oeil decoration, and in 1990 asked my professor at the Royal of College of Art to recommend an artist. It was a life changing moment. I was commissioned to create a vast painting including 13 porticoes to simulate the original Observatory Gardens, Kensington, built in the 1870s. This painting attracted a remarkable amount of press attention, perhaps because John suggested I include portraits of people in the news: the Duke and Duchess of York, Mikhail and Raisa Gorbachov, both of whom were house
hunting at the time.
Which projects have given you the most satisfaction?
My favorite commission has to be the Holland Park mural, because of the difference it made to the existing corridor, and because it is in a public area so everyone has access. My favorite paintings at the moment are of cyclists, and they will be shown at my exhibition at The Osborne Studio Gallery in November.
What would be your dream project?
It is impossible to say because they always happen suddenly. I have had the honour of working on a number of dream projects that are all so different in nature, and I could never have imagined them before. I think if you always look forward, never say ‘that worked, I’ll do that again’, create your own surprises, and be unexpected and brave, these dream projects will appear.
Are you currently working on anything new?
This year, much of my time has been dedicated to this exhibition, and next year I will be undertaking a large job in China.
What new artist, if any, is currently on your radar?
I would have to say Peter Doig, who attended the same college as me. He is very talented.