We thought you could all use some light reading at the moment.. so if your trying to avoid skimming the endless news headlines, then why not join us as we delve deeper into each of the incredible new images - created by the genius that is JJ Adams - from his brand new Spring Collection 2020.
The man never fails to completely knock it out of the park... and even given the current circumstances, this series was another huge success with fans when released last Saturday! You know at Robertson Fine Art we just love to take a closer look to bring you all the hidden messages and little 'Easter Eggs' and now more than ever we believe this is important as our galleries are temporary closed and everything is instead being brought to you 'virtually'. So sit back in the comfort of your own home.. and enjoy!
COOLER KING II
We kick things off with the follow up edition to JJ's best selling original 'Cooler King' - believe it or not this is still one of the most requested JJ works to date, so many fans will be overjoyed to see this one make an appearance in his newest collection. Available in both colour and black and white variations, 'Cooler King II' is another sensational depiction of the late and great Steve McQueen - and really embodies everything this actor was known for - both on and off screen. There are of course many aspects of this new piece that are reminiscent to the original version, which was released back in 2015. Steve sports another pair of blue jeans a pink t-shirt and the exact wrist watch from his hit film 'Bullit' and you will also notice 'Cool King' tattooed across his knuckles, just like the initial piece. Steve's memorable Mustang from 'Bullit' makes another appearance - this time in the form of a tattoo on his right arm, and there are similar references to his classic 'The Great Escape' with the inclusion of a baseball and glove by his side and a tattoo of the unforgettable scene in the film with McQueen on his Motorcycle and the HALT sign post behind him. What makes this adaption unique from the original, is that JJ has chosen here to include details of Steve McQueen's life and successes outside of his film career alone. Steve had a particular passion for Motorcycles all of his life and it was in fact Steve himself who suggested the motorcycle jump over the border fence at the end of 'The Great Escape'. Throughout his life he managed to acquire an impressive collection of over 200 different models - many of them made by the Swedish Manufacturers 'Husqvana' - hence their logo inked up on Steve's arm. The bike featured behind him is a 1964 TR6 SC and signifies the wonderful tale of a time that Steve McQueen is said to have described as one of the proudest moments of his life.... In 1964 he was chosen along with 4 if the best American off road riders at that time, to represent the United States in the official ISDT (International Six Days Trial) In Germany. His Triumph Trophy was number 278 and JJ perfectly pays tribute to the inclusions of the yellow number plate and 'Triumph' logo on McQueen's t-shirt. This is the perfect addition to your collection, whether you managed to get your hands on the first edition, or you just missed out. Steve McQueen's 'star’ shines as brightly as ever these days, and the man is still relevant some 40 years after he left us - and JJ Adams portrayal of this man perfectly embodies everything this legend was known and loved for.
This wouldn't be a proper JJ Adams collection without a sprinkling of one or two 'Rule Britannia' themed works... and this one is undoubtedly highlighting our key British postal service and courier company, who have been operating for over 500 years and are now more than ever considered particularly vital given our current climate. The Royal Mail red post box is somewhat of a conventional sight now across Britain and just like our red telephone boxes have become especially iconic - so it wouldn't have been long before we saw JJ make this a focal point for one of his works. Actually, this work is quite reminiscent of JJ's earlier 'London's Calling' - and in fact, the placement seems to be just in front of the exact wall on Downing Street (although in this particular image he has, rather comically, included the letter R above the signage in order to transform it into 'Drowning Street') You will also see his classic 'It's Not Cheap' and 'Welcome To London' slogans dotted around, as well as the iconic 'Love is Like Punk, Not Dead' scribbled in black paint. This time however, it's crossed out and instead has been changed to 'Love Is Dead, Unlike Punk' - Sham 69 (Sham 69 being a British Punk Rock band who interestingly got their name from a piece of graffiti wall art)
Ok, ok so I know you're probably asking, but what about the main feature in among all of this?! Don't worry everyone, I haven't forgotten about the most famous fictional postman peering out from the letter box... Yeah, we've found you Pat... and your black and white cat! What's he doing in there though? He could be trying to hide from 2020 so far... or maybe it's because back in 2000 Royal Mail actually sacked him from his duties. Well, not so much 'sack' per say as, you know, hes not a real person, but it did come to light that after 20 years of service they had made the decision to no longer use Pat to promote their business after stating he no longer fit in with the company's "corporate image." Whatever the reasoning behind it may be, it seems Pat's used his own set of keys to stuff himself into that post box and they all appear to be attached to a Mickey Mouse key chain. This is possibly to make light of the fact that back in 2005, Postman Pat was sold to the Japanese division of the Disney Channel. Postman Pat is not the only famous British character to feature in this work either... down on the right hand side you will notice Danger Mouse speeding of a drain his yellow car and on even closer inspection, a little Morph waving out from the corner. This is available in both a standard and a special 'Rainbow Edition'
PEACE, LOVE & AUDREY
Sometimes in life simplicity is key.. and when it comes to film and fashion icon Audrey Hepburn, you bet even JJ Adams will let her beauty do most of the talking. JJ has perfectly combined her renowned movies and unforgettable style with his signature 'modern day twists' and tattoo's. The title 'Peace, Love & Audrey' may be inspired by her 1956 hit 'Peace & War' as Audrey raises a hand, embellished with the letters that spell out 'LOVE' on each knuckle, to create the peace gesture. You will more than certainly recognise the black short sleeved dress and gleaming pearl necklace shes donning here, as it's arguably one of the most famous outfits in history - it is without doubt her LBD in the legendary 'Breakfast At Tiffany's'. Audrey was and still to this day is an unprecedented fashion trailblazer and would regularly be seen concealing her eyes behind a pair of over-sized sunglasses and a luxurious scarf draped around her head. This became just one of her many signature styles after she appeared in the 1963 classic 'Charade'. Audrey once said: "When I wear a silk scarf I never feel so definitely a woman, a beautiful woman." The reflection in Audrey's sunglasses are still to this day two of her most undisputed and outstanding characters to date - Holly the party animal and a socialite in 'Breakfast At Tiffany's, and the contemporary princess Anne in 'Roman Holiday'. The news headline which is subtly coming through against the pink background also makes reference to Hepburn's role in 'Roman Holiday'. It reads 'Holden & Hepburn Awarded Top Oscars' - Audrey Hepburn who relatively unknown at the time of filming did in fact with Best Actress for her role as Princess Anne (... and then lost it in the ladies loo!) Audrey Hepburn was also one of only 14 who have made it into the coveted 'EGOT' group. She won an Emmy (for Gardens of the World with Audrey Hepburn), a Grammy (for Audrey Hepburn's Enchanted Tales), an Oscar (for Roman Holiday), and a Tony (for Ondine.) And lastly.. to tie in JJ's additional tattoo 'Believe' on Audrey's right hand, I want to leave you with memorable quote from the lady herself:
“I believe in pink. I believe that laughing is the best calorie burner. I believe in kissing, kissing a lot. I believe in being strong when everything seems to be going wrong. I believe that happy girls are the prettiest girls. I believe that tomorrow is another day and I believe in miracles.”
DEER IN THE HEADLIGHTS
A last minute entry to the new Spring Collection - 'Deer In The Headlights' was completed by JJ and added to the collection on the morning of the release last weekend and was a piece he deemed essential. Bright, beautiful and even somewhat haunting in its appearance, this one has a completely different feel to many JJ Adams works. Maybe that is because this touches on a more serious topic - the one that is going around us as I sit and write this. The title refers to the act of someone being caught in a state of paralyzing surprise, fear, or bewilderment and this really seems to highlight the nations current state, as everyone scrambles to try and make the best of such an uncertain situation. The car that's heading right into the path of the noble stag is a 'Gran Torino' model, which interestingly was first manufactured on the same year that JJ himself was born. The word 'King' is graffitied onto the deer's body, a tribute to the Veteran graffiti artist King Robbo, who sadly passed away in 2014. King Robbo rose to prominence in London in the 1980s and notoriously feuded with fellow artist Banksy. He was considered by many to have changed the art world and clearly his legacy has had a lasting impact on JJ Adams. The dimly lit alleyway is reminiscent of many of JJ's pieces over the years and the same location seems to appear in 'Spidey-Pool', 'Mission From God' and 'Dance With The Devil II'. Lastly, you will notice the registration plate says 'Luckily'.. suggesting that as the car has stopped in the nick of time so it seems, there is light at the end of the tunnel and maybe, just maybe... time is actually on our side now.
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WIND IN THE WILLOWS
The Wind in the Willows is one of the most famous English children’s books, one of the most memorable novels about animals, and a classic book about “messing about in boats.” ...and that is exactly what we find going on here, in this incredible follow up to JJ's popular and now sold out 'Jolly Holiday'. A whole lot of chaos and mischief is transpiring upon the 'Jolly Codger' - an apparent play on the the traditional name for the flags flown to identify a pirate ship about to attack 'Jolly Roger'. The boat might look suspiciously similar to Rosie and Jim's famous narrowboat 'The Ragdoll', but it's clear to see it has now been seized by a whole host of unusual characters. The first one to mention here would obviously be Mr Churchill himself, peering out of the window - as this just wouldn't be a follow up to Jolly Holiday without him in there giving us all the old 'V for Victory' sign. On closer inspection of the vessel you'll notice the notorious Captain Hook about to shoot off a canon into the distance and his alligator lurking close by. Captain Pugwash is directing the show at the front of the boat, as the most renowned sailor in all the Disney Kingdom, Donald Duck pokes his head out from a window below deck. The gang from 'Wind in the Willows' also make an appearance in various nooks and crannies around the boat as-well as they are joined by Popeye and Edmund Blackadder (and this might prompt fond memories of hilarious episode from Blackadder II - 'Potatos' when Edmund finds himself buying a ship to impress the Queen... and if you haven't already seen this one then I suggest you do!) You will also recognise Admiral Horatio Nelson riding on the back of the boat and JJ has also included the STS Lord Nelson sailing ship in the distance. This clearly alludes to another earlier JJ work - 'England Expects.. Too Much' released in the summer of last year, that features Nelson's column in Trafalgur Square. There are some comical additions to Nelson's uniform including a pirate patch and a hook on his right arm to complete his 'pirate style' look - these also happen to be incredibly fitting well for Nelson, as he lost the sight in his right eye during the siege of Calvi in 1794 and had his right arm amputated after it was shot in 1797. Finally, the last part I want to draw your attention to the inscription on the front of the boat that reads: 'H.M.S Cornwall' and the tiny date scribbled on the side '5th of April 1942'... but what does it mean I hear you ask? Well, H.M.S Cornwall was a County-class heavy cruiser of the Kent sub-class built for the Royal Navy in the mid-1920s. The ship was sunk on 5 April by dive bombers from three Japanese aircraft carriers during the Indian Ocean Raid and JJ has paid homage to this little piece of history in this unbelievably wacky and utterly entertaining work of art.
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We will wrap this up with the sensational 'Last Gas'. The next installment in JJ's own fabricated adventure tale, told through a series of works like 'Mel's Diner' and 'What Happen's In Vegas' - this was leaked the day before the official release and unsurprisingly sold out almost instantly. In this image we can see that the gang (and some new faces) have made it to the next destination on their haphazard roadtrip... the 'Overlooked Motel'. JJ actually provided a little story with this one and I wanted to include it all for your enjoyment, as there's no better explanation than the one that comes straight from the man himself :
After grabbing a quick bite to eat at Mel's Diner they hit the road, after a few hours they finally came across the infamous Overlooked Motel. The General Lee was parked up and abandoned outside exactly as they had been told it would be and there was no sign of the Duke boys. Something didn't feel right. There was an eerie supernatural feeling about the place as though the air itself was electrified. Boba headed for the front desk to ask some questions...
He's not wrong - there are definitely a lot of shifty characters hanging around this one. Moving from left to right - the very first one you will spot the original 1990 Pennywise hiding in the corner - who of course was originally conjured up by author Stephen King. Another renowned horror novel written by King is 'The Shining' so I'm sure you wouldn't be surprised to see some subtle references to this thrown in here too. The classic American fast food chain 'Wendy's' sign has been transformed with the unmistakable image of Wendy Torrance. Danny's bike from the classic 'hallway scene' sits up front and the words 'Redrum' have been marked in red on the wall. You will also notice an orange Dodge Roller parked up outside the hotel - which you may just recognise as being the stunt car from 'The Dukes Of Hazzard'.... but where are cousins Bo and Luke Duke? Well if you look closely enough in Bobba Fett's hand you might see a 'Missing' poster with both the boys faces appearing, so they might have just got themselves into a bit too much trouble this time! Screw your eyes and take a closer look and you might just be able to make out a 'Wanted' poster pasted to the wall of the motel. Well, if you've ever seen the TV series 'Twin Peaks' you'll know exactly who this man is...Killer BOB is a fictional character and the main antagonist of the television series, he is an interdimensional entity who feeds on pain and sorrow - or to put it more plainly.. not the type of person you want running around freely near the place where you've come to lay your head for the night! Some other characters popping up in various places are 'Slimer' from Ghostbusters, 'Gizmo' and a few menacing Gremlins (who also appear in the original Mel's Diner)... and looks like the A-Team have just joined the party too. T-1000 and Kermit have just made it to the Overlooked Motel - probably for a little honeymoon getaway after getting hitched in Vegas (In What Happens In Vegas) and sadly, it looks like we have one casualty out of all of this... little Wall-E appears to have been run over by the Delorean!! Wow.. what can we say, JJ has pulled it out the bag with this one again and if you were lucky enough to snap this up before it sold out then hats off to you!
To purchase any of the works please go to JJ's full Spring collection 2020 section on our website by clicking here!