The Nancyboy Decade 1999 - 2009
The Nancyboy Decade 1999 – 2009, a retrospective of early works by a leading cultural phenomenon, will be on display at The Book Club from June 9 to July 29, 2010.
The exhibition presents the life and times of a pioneering British creative whose witty, pop-inspired paintings caught the zeitgeist and whose influence can still be seen today.
It’s ten years since the first Nancyboy works appeared on eBay and the exhibition not only celebrates Nancyboy’s legacy but provides an opportunity to introduce his work to the community it inspired.
This retrospective will be created by his collectors from all over the world putting together over 100 works spanning from the 90’s to the naughties for the first time.
Nancyboy burst onto the scene in the 90’s selling over 3000 works exclusively over an early inception of the internet to collectors worldwide, hungry for more of his vibrant 80s infused artworks.
This work spawned many impersonators and blew open exposure to other artists with a similar youthful vibrancy, pre-empting what became termed ‘Urban Art’. However, Nancyboy was living in a quiet seaside town unaware of the storm that was to come.
Nancy’s images were very immediate and visual and spoke to people even though the identity of the artist was unknown, and with the phenomenon of eBay and art sold over the internet in its infancy, even more excitement and mystery around these works was created.
Nancyboy could be seen as one of the pioneers of social networking and one of the first artists selling original artworks on eBay, hence, becoming one of the first artist to talk directly to his public, breaking down the barriers of the conventional white walled gallery.
In 2001, Nancyboy had his first major London show Stolen Language – the art of Nancyboy at the A&D Gallery. It incorporated fragments and images that he identified with within popular culture and remixed into a personal narrative consisting of large paintings, screen prints, t-shirts and panels.
When Debbie Harry was confirmed as a collector of his work a more ferocious bidding war broke out on eBay as everyone wanted to get their hands on one of these Nancyboys with the community tuning in each evening at 7pm as they ended.
Over 3000 works were sold on eBay from 2000 to 2003. Nancyboy finally revealed his identity in 2004 and continued his art career under his real name emerging as one of the most important artist of his generation. In 2009 the artist laid nancyboy truly to rest, creating a final 10 works to bid on eBay. 100% of the money raised was donated to the charity Mind, becoming one of the most generous eBay fundraisers of that year.
The exhibition has been curated by Liat Chen, an art producer and a curator with special interest in subculture and Klaus Bruecker, an art collector with the main focus on contemporary art.
The Book Club, 100 Leonard Street, London, EC2A 4RH.