Kate Moss The Heroin Chic

“British. Cool.” is an auction by Bonhams auction house whereby they celebrate the best of British art and culture from the 1950s to present day.

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Kate Moss drawing by Kelvin Okafor
Kate Moss
Medium: Pencil on paper
Size: 55 x 58 cm
Duration: 550 hours
Year: 2022

“Heroin Chic”

Before Kate Moss became a Supermodel and a symbol of beauty in the eyes of the fashion modelling industry, the standard of beauty was populated by models who were celebrated for their statuesque height and glamour.

Kate encountered several obstacles at the very start of her career with regards to getting work in the modelling industry. The hindrance Kate faced was mostly due to her height and physique. Her height (5 foot 7 inches) was considered too short for a model and her look (which became dubbed as “Heroin Chic”) wasn’t the popular standard of beauty in the “Supermodel Era” in the late 1980s.

In 1993 Kate worked on a photo shoot for British Vogue with the late revolutionary photographer Corinne Day. The images of Kate challenged the perceived notion of beauty that had been so widely lauded before. This later became instrumental in creating a new era of fashion photography in the 1990s, pioneering Grunge style.

“British. Cool.” is an auction by Bonhams auction house whereby they celebrate the best of British art and culture from the 1950s to present day. It was an honour to be invited by Bonhams to take part in their 2022 “British. Cool.” auction. Creating an original portrait drawing of Kate Moss felt very fitting as she is a British cultural icon.

The “British. Cool.” sale will become live on 3rd March 2022. The auction preview is open to the public at Bonhams flagship saleroom in New Bond Street, Mayfair from 26th February to 2nd March inclusive.

Accompanying the original drawing of Kate Moss will be a USB stick containing all the work in progress photos and videos which I call “Stages Of Evolution”.

Over 5000 photographic images studied and countless video footages watched, I believed I had a sufficient amount of material to capture Kate Moss in a light which depicts her essence and beauty. I chose to work predominately on an image of Kate taken by the esteemed photography duo Luigi & Iango. The photograph they captured of Kate was for Vogue Hong Kong 2021. Her expression reflected a timeless natural beauty who rose to fame despite all the odds that were against her.

To place your bid, please visit: British. Cool. – Kelvin Okafor

I will be donating a portion of the proceeds from the British. Cool. sale of my Kate Moss original drawing to Imperial Health Charity. A charity which supports exceptional care for children with diabetes being looked after at St Mary’s Hospital in London, UK.

Imperial Health Charity supports the five London hospitals of the Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St Mary’s and the Western Eye. The charity funds major refurbishments to hospital buildings, clinical research and medical equipment, above and beyond what the NHS can provide on its own.

Supporting the arts in healthcare, the charity manages a museum-accredited hospital art collection and runs an arts engagement programme for patients and NHS staff. It also manages volunteering across the five hospitals, adding value to the work of staff and helping to improve the hospital experience for patients. To find out more about the charity’s work, you can visit: imperialcharity.org.uk

I am beyond excited for all of this! I would like extend a very special thank you to a dear friend named Thomas Graham in the picture above. He has been working alongside me and helped to bring this opportunity to fruition. Thomas and I were classmates at St Ignatius Secondary School. It’s so beautiful how life has placed us back in each other’s lives after 20 years and now working together utilising our passions.

Thank you to Janet Hardie, Lyelle Shohet, Pierre Alberic and all the amazing crew at Bonhams auction house for reaching out to me and having me be apart of their sale.

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