For the first time in nine years, Mitch Griffiths stages solo UK show

Words by
Andy Morris

27th April 2022

At the Halcyon Gallery, the cult British oil painter will exhibit IMMORTAL, his first solo UK exhibition in almost a decade.

In Association With Linus Osborne

Mitch Griffiths, the self-taught fine artist from Nuneaton whose work recalls the finest old masters, will stage his first solo UK show in almost a decade at Halcyon Gallery in London. IMMORTAL features 28 of Griffiths’ richly detailed oil paintings, produced entirely alone, created by painstakingly applying layers of paint with similar techniques to those employed by Caravaggio, Zurbarán and Rembrandt. What makes Griffiths art so beguiling is how he combines classical iconography with knowing references to contemporary life. His extraordinary eye for blending legends and myths with contemporary concerns has already attracted the attention of the likes of Keira Knightley, Ray Winstone and Bob Geldof, as well as other aesthetes,  collectors and celebrities. 

Over six years in the making, IMMORTAL is Griffiths first show since his inclusion in the State Hermitage exhibition Realisms in St Petersburg in 2016. Dmitir Ozerkov, the curator of the State Hermitage museum, praises Griffiths combination of the mundane and the modern with the operatic and classic. “This perpetuation of everyday life striving to become the new history gives rise to a new ideological rhetoric, which is impossible to explain at first sight.” Griffiths' new works will go on display on Thursday 28 April and feature three of his biggests pieces to date - including the colossal Like A Pack Of Gods which tackles both the idea of mortality and social alienation.

According to the artist himself the title IMMORTAL suggests “something that lasts forever and can stand the test of time. I want my work to do that, I want my ideas to do that. I want to give all of my work a classical edge along with the contemporary edge – to reference the timeless and ageless quality of oil painting. And I think the title also connects with the idea that my subjects are immortalised on canvas.”

Flat Earth by Mitch Griffiths oil painting

Particularly striking pieces includes a fawn wearing a pair of Beats By Dre headphones, a pre-Raphaelite beauty “dropping the mic” and a Covid-19 symbol exploring our toxic relationship with social media. Art historian Susie Hodge has also provided insight into Griffiths' techniques and inspiration: "Capturing moments that would pass in a flicker on screen, his immortal souls dwelling in mortal bodies are here held in paint, suspended for posterity. Through his explorations of human interaction and engagement, emotion and impulse, Griffiths reveals his intense and astute gaze and incisive analysis of all he sees, assimilated with an underlying edginess, a sense of courage and passion for painting, the world and life itself." 

For Griffiths himself, he is clearly relishing seeing what effect his extraordinary paintings will have on the public. "My world, featuring recurring characters and a cross pollination of ideas and imagery, is mirroring the strangeness of modern times yet unclear if it is the past, present or future.  In it, the mundane becomes exceptional and vice versa. It is at the edge of our imagination but, in some way, all around us." 

Mitch Griffith’s solo exhibition IMMORTAL will be at Halcyon Gallery on New Bond Street from 28 April – 31 May 2022.

Mitch Griffiths Some Kind Of Sanctuary painting