This January sees the launch of a new star in Mayfair’s gallery scene, Lazinc. Gone are the days of fusty old master dealers in the area – instead the new person in town, equipped with a breath of fresh art air, is Steve Lazarides.
Steve made his name in Bristol as the first dealer to represent Banksy – at the time selling his screen prints for a paltry £25. As his fortunes grew along with the reputation of the graffiti artist, so did his ambitions. In 2006 he relocated to a space on Fitzrovia’s Rathbone Place in London.
Lazarides has now taken the leap across Oxford Street to south Mayfair – where some of the biggest names in the contemporary art world have their flagships. With some helpful investment from the Qatari businessman Wissam Al Mana (who is himself a voracious collector of contemporary art), Lazarides is ready to take on the big names in town, working with primary market artists and secondary market 20th century works.
His newest gallery, Lazinc, which is housed on the ground and first floor of a stunning Grade II* listed brown-brick town house, opens to the public this week. The first artist they’re showing on the ground floor is ‘JR’, who is exhibiting his series based on gigantic fabric-and-scaffolding installations of athletes that covered buildings in the city of Rio for the 2016 Summer Olympics.GIANTS, Mohamed Younes Idriss from Sudan, Flamengo, Close-up, © Comité international Olympique, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, 2016
The exhibition includes one of the works recreated on the gallery’s outside front walls, with a giant monochrome screen-print-on-plastic of an Olympian, as if they are vaulting the door. Inside, there are further segments of the huge works, along with preparatory notes, sketches, photographs and drawings.
The show, which is entitled GIANTS, encompass JR’s multimedia approach to creating work that dissects the relationship between humans and a sense of urbanism. JR began his career after finding a camera on the Paris metro in 2001, which inspired a series of early street portraits. He has worked with Lazarides since 2008, and recently moved in to documentary film making shooting a movie about rural community life in France that won the ‘Best Documentary’ award at Cannes Film Festival in 2017.
Upstairs at Lazinc is a series of private viewing rooms, and walls covered with, none other than; Banksy works. The new gallery joins Lazarides roster of businesses including a print gallery on London’s Southbank and a e-commerce print business based in Greenwich.
The gallery, which is set to work with artists including Invader, Todd James, Mark Jenkins and Vhils, is the latest in a slew of mould-breaking galleries taking over spaces in Mayfair – rejuvenating art interest in the area, despite the pressure-inducing sky high rents. But, if anyone can make a success of it, it will be Lazarides, whose instantly recognisable (and likeable) Bristolian no-nonsense attitude and sense of daring will help him stand out with honesty – in an area that currently really needs it. Candid Magazine look forward to seeing what else Lazarides has up his sleeve.
JR's GIANTS – Body of Work runs until 28 February 2018 at Lazinc, 29 Sackville Street, London W1S 3DX.