Islington-based artist, Tagzee, died unexpectedly at the age of 59 in December 2015. Tagzee Remembered was an exhibition in Outpost, Holloway Road and was a tribute to a true original. By Simon Richardson.
"Metal 1" by Tagzee. Tagzee had perfected a process of making cardboard art look like metal.
Tagzee's creativity and love of art began in his childhood but, like so many people, 'real life' intervened and his art making lay dormant for much of his adult life. His artistic creativity was reawakened when his son, James, gave him a book about the graffiti artist, Banksy. Flicking through the pages Tagzee felt he could do better; and so began a new period of his life pursuing his own very personal vision of art.
Tagzee's work reflects his own wry humour and imagination in response to the foibles of contemporary culture. His love of the process of art making meant that as soon as one piece was finished he was on to the next. The exhibition at Outpost reflects this restless inventiveness: whether in the 'Metal Art' made by recycling cardboard with his own secret formula, the 'Puddle Art' created from water-stained canvas meeting Tagzee's imagination, or the 'Abstract Paintings' resulting from his sensuous eye for colour, shape and texture.
Tagzee promoted, shared and sold his art through YouTube and social media, Ebay, exhibitions and commissions. One of his paintings was featured in the Café Art 2013 calendar. His work was also included in Café Art exhibitions in New York in 2013 and in Melbourne in 2014. For three years he exhibited work as a solo artist in the annual Café Art Exhibition at Spitalfields Arts Market.
Through his work Tagzee nurtured a community of friends, followers, artistic collaborators and buyers, often donating any money he made from his art to charitable causes close to his heart.
A recurring motif in Tagzee's art is a heart shape. Sometimes it’s at the centre of the work, at other times you catch sight of it quite by chance. This somehow epitomises the man himself - supportive, encouraging, sometimes a little reserved, but always full of humanity. Tagzee touched the lives of so many people and his art inspired and captivated many more.
None of the work on display is for sale as Tagzee's family want to archive everything he produced. They are aiming to preserve his memory on a website dedicated to his work and hope to make prints available for sale in future. Please visit Tagzee's YouTube site for updates on this project over the coming weeks.
The exhibition organisers, Tagzee's family, and Café Art would like to express their gratitude to Outpost and Peter Bedford Housing Association for generously providing the space to exhibit Tagzee's work.
Read about more artists: