Artist David Tovey presents new BBC 4 radio documentary

How does being labelled as an 'ex-homeless' or 'street' artist influence the way artists are perceived?

Rising star artist David Tovey has already seen his work grace the cover of The Big Issue this year with his painting of Harry and Meghan – one of our exclusive designs to celebrate the royal wedding. Now, he is taking over the airwaves, making his debut on BBC Radio 4 this Sunday.

Tovey took an unusual route into the art world, having worked as a chef in the military before going on to run his own restaurant. Health problems resulted in him losing everything and becoming homeless.


His ongoing recovery has paralleled his stunning visual and textile work, which has been showcased at Tate Liverpool, Tate Modern and Gloucester Cathedral, and pieces are also available to purchase via The Big Issue Shop. But Tovey is keen to understand how his status as an ‘outsider’ artist helps or hinders his development.

In the uncompromising documentary The Art of Now: Outsiders asks ‘Can anyone declare themselves an artist?’ and he speaks to leading figures in the art word, including activist and writer Liv Wynter and Sir Nicholas Serota, chair of the Arts Council England, among others.

The Art of Now: Outsiders will be broadcast on Radio 4 on Sunday 9 September at 1.30pm