MASSIMODECARLO opens the first European solo exhibition of Ferrari Sheppard in their new gallery space in Mayfair, London titled Tremendous.
The show marks Sheppard’s first solo presentation with the gallery, and debut exhibition in the UK, running from 18th November until 10th December 2022. Tremendous expands on Sheppard’s ongoing exploration into memorialising and honouring the beauty and delicacy of the human experience. Through poetic brushstrokes and brilliant gold accents, the works quietly yet defiantly radiate across the gallery space. New works on show see the artist exploring the natural world as a background for his trademark organic figures, rendered in acrylic and charcoal and elaborated with 24-karat gold leaf.
The series imagines figures in dreamscapes anchored by intimacy and domesticity, depicting moments of love, solitude, and leisure across mid-to-large-scale canvases. Sheppard scans the human condition through the lens of the subconscious to present viewers with moments of sublime contemplation.
In works such as Gate of Light, 2022 Sheppard captures a woman against a backdrop of bright flowers; in A New Day, 2022 lovers are depicted laying together in bed, cigarette in hand. Other works present groups of people in moments of suspended interaction; in Angels in Play, 2022 Sheppard shows a group of cheerleaders, some flying through the air. Whether in solitude or company, enjoying moments of jubilation or quiet contentment, Sheppard’s figures appear in command, in control of any dreams they are manifesting.
Marking a departure from previous exhibitions, alongside figuration Sheppard includes works such as Autumn Flowers and Forget Me Not (both 2022), which present abstracted still lifes of flower vases. Shown in conversation with the wider works, they help promote a sustained sense of domesticity, romance and quietude.
Sheppard’s practice is inspired by Renaissance-era master storytellers of hyperrealism including Michelangelo and Caravaggio but heralds a new visual approach to figuration. Across large canvases he combines acrylic, charcoal, and 24k gold to illuminate, intensify and celebrate his subjects. Like the vivid dreamscapes on show at MASSIMODECARLO, his brushstrokes create a blurred vision of people and places that make the everyday become ephemeral.
Ferrari Sheppard, Tremendous, 18th November – 20th December 2022, MASSIMODECARLO
About the artist
Ferrari Sheppard (b. 1983, Chicago) is now based in Los Angeles having lived in Africa for many years, calling Tanzania, Ethiopia and parts of South Africa home. Aside from being a painter, Sheppard is a writer, photographer and record producer.
Following his graduation from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago on the Merit Award and Presidential Scholarship, Sheppard worked as a journalist, interviewing artists like M.I.A., Little Dragon, Earl Sweatshirt, and Erykah Badu. His art has progressed in many ways, from that of figurative realism, to blended abstraction, often incorporating gold leaf to add an iconographical effect throughout his work, catching light and accentuating presence within in his work. Since then, his work has been exhibited in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris, London, Stockholm, and Brussels, among other cities.