Manipulating art: major exhibition with Cafe Art’s James Gray

Updated: May 14, 2018

Cafe Art has an artist in Face Value 2, a fantastic exhibition, which has opened in London which connects two artists though one painting.


The concept is this: one artist does a painting, print or sculpture and then gives it to a total stranger to make their mark and add to it.


Cafe Art's James Gray was given a Screenprint on paper by William Blanchard who called it UN FAIR. James had not met William and was just given the print with no instructions on what to do. At first look it didn't look like it was James's at all. His usual style is thick paint on canvas and only later does the subtlety sink in. James said that he had actually put one of his trademarks on it - glitter was added to the star-shaped eyes and the words UN FAIR. Very clever and I believe it was a huge success as it complimented the piece in a subtle way.


This is the second Face Value exhibition and it was curated by Gary Mansfield who discovered art in prison in the 1990s. Gary has paired many well known artists, including Ben Eine (who started a picture and finished another one) and Jake & Dinos Chapman.

James Gray (left) with Cafe Art volunteer Patrick in front of UN FAIR - All the glitters... (Nee: UN FAIR) by William Blanchard & James Gray.