Provocative new exhibition challenges values of modern society
Castle Fine Art in Birmingham’s International Convention Centre (ICC) will be home to a powerful, new exhibition, ‘If I Were The Devil’, from 12th – 20th March.
The thought-provoking collection is the work of Wolverhampton born artist Keith Maiden, who has a studio based in Shrewsbury today. Keith’s newest body of work takes inspiration from the late American radio commentator Paul Harvey’s prophetic speech ‘If I Were the Devil’, which was broadcast to audiences on his ABC radio show in 1965.
From drugs and alcohol to sex and gambling, Harvey’s speech served as a form of social criticism, postulating what the devil might do in order to corrupt society. 24 million people listened to Harvey’s show daily yet the message was widely underappreciated in its time – today, 50 years later, it is sadly acknowledged that much of this insightful speech has come to pass.
Born from months of meticulous researching, planning and sketching, Keith’s work presents pictorial depictions of Harvey’s speech. Visitors to the exhibition will be able to view over 30 original paintings, sketches and limited edition works, while listening to Harvey’s words as they walk round, providing deeper context to the social commentary found within the pieces.
View the trailer for the exhibition here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q38Be7Plti4&feature=youtu.be
Keith, 53, turned down the opportunity to attend Art College at 16 in favour of earning a living to help his parents – just three years ago he picked up a paintbrush again in the hope of becoming a professional artist. He was soon discovered by the UK’s leading fine art publisher, Washington Green, which is based in Birmingham, and joined its diverse portfolio of innovative contemporary artists in 2013.
Keith said: “I paint from the heart, and strive for emotion and feeling in my work – when I heard this transcript it really inspired me.
“This collection symbolises the balance of good and bad in all our lives, the fight goes on between these two forces. One force must always win, but the power lies in our own hands to make a choice.”
Entirely self-taught, Keith has carved out his own signature style using almost entirely white and black in his paintings – using acrylic, ink, graphite, and raw pigment to build layers, the sharp contrasts of light and dark reminiscent of masters such as Caravaggio.
Beth McCarthy, Gallery Director for the ICC’s Castle Fine Art – Washington Green Fine Art’s nationwide network of high street galleries – said:
“Keith’s new collection reminds us that the devil has lost none of his powers of persuasion since Harvey’s broadcast in 1965 – we are forced to face the steady decline of mankind through his work.
“From the striking portrayals of the human form, to the text embedded within these works of art and the powerful message they look to convey, this body of work is imbued with emotion and artistry. Keith shows us both light and dark, beauty and corruption.”
‘If I Were The Devil’ will be showing at Castle Fine Art, ICC, Broad Street, B1 2EA from 12th – 20th March. The artist will be in attendance on Saturday 12th March, 1-4pm, to speak to guests about the collection.