Art

Exclusive: The Big Issue art special guest edited by Charming Baker

Our guest editor Charming Baker's stellar line-up of artists in next week's Art Special include Sir Peter Blake, Paul Smith, Jake & Dinos Chapman, Cornelia Parker, David Shrigley and many more

The Big Issue is delighted to reveal that this week’s edition of the magazine is an art special, guest edited by Charming Baker, one of Britain’s most celebrated contemporary artists. Built on a theme of Tipping Point, the special edition of the magazine features an array of British visual art heavyweights, all contributing unique and bespoke work.

The theme itself comes from Charming Baker. There are, he said, key decisive moments that lives can hinge on, moments that can tip things up or down. Big Issue vendors know more keenly than most how delicate the balance can be, and how quickly that tipping point can have negative – or down the road, positive – effects.

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In honour of the art special edition, Baker has reached out to the art world and asked individuals to delve into their work archives and pick a piece of art representing a Tipping Point. The result is a veritable who’s who of Brit Art and fashion. It includes Jonathan Yeo, Sir Peter Blake, Rachel Howard, Hugo Wilson, Antony Micallef, Mat Collishaw, Keith Tyson, Sue Webster & Tim Noble, David Shrigley and Sir Paul Smith, while Cornelia Parker shares her Letter to my Younger Self.

It’s testament to The Big Issue’s value in British society that these, and many others, signed up straight away to get involved.

Charming Baker commented: “I felt truly honoured to be asked to guest edit this special art edition. Crucial times for us are just as much about when we’re tipped into success, as when we’re tipped out. Small differences ultimately make the one big difference. And for me that’s what the Big Issue is about.”

“Did I have a tipping point?” asks founder of The Big Issue, and a contributor of his own artworks to this special issue, Lord John Bird. “I suppose I must have had several of them. One was to get out of wrongdoing by going each night to drawing classes and not hanging around with the window smashing, car stealing lads I grew up with. It was difficult because they all thought I’d turned into a snob and they didn’t realise that I had spent too long banged up as a boy and young man.”

This special magazine, out from Monday, also features art by men and women on the edge of society, either suffering from addiction, mental health or homelessness issues who have used art as a means and outlet in facing problems in their lives. Many are regular contributors to The Big Issue’s weekly Street Art feature.

Baker also met up with friend of The Big Issue, renowned street artist Stik, for a special interview.

Charming Baker is in international demand and having him attached to The Big Issue is a tremendous honour.

Set to be an Arts tour de force and one of British magazine publishing’s most collectible and hotly anticipated titles of the year, there is also a very special, exclusive ‘golden ticket’ competition for buyers of next week’s edition of The Big Issue. The lucky readers who locate a hidden winning ticket in their copy of the magazine will get their hands on a fantastic, unique and exclusive, signed piece of Charming Baker or Jonathan Yeo artwork.

The Big Issue Art Special will also be accompanied by an exhibition featuring many of the artworks from the issue at Jealous Gallery, in Shoreditch, London, running from April 7-16.

Describing the Art Special as “hugely exciting,” Big Issue editor Paul McNamee said: “Charming Baker is in international demand and having him attached to The Big Issue is a tremendous honour. Every guest editor brings something special. And by having artists whose work sells for hundreds of thousands of pounds placed alongside artists who have found creativity as a means of getting them out of a dark place, there is added potency.”

It’s on sale across the UK from Monday, April 3.

Main image: John Alex Maguire/REX/Shutterstock

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