A troupe of naked ‘human canvases’ descended on the capital today, leaving commuters stunned in a valiant bid to help mend Britain’s disconnect with art.
Five living versions of the world’s most famous artworks including Van Gogh’s – Sunflowers and Edvard Munch’s – The Scream were spotted outside the capital’s art hot spots, before taking a ride on the tube and making their way across Millennium Bridge.
The human canvases, created by award-winning body paint artist Sarah Attwell, were commissioned by online art platform Rise Art in a bid to bridge Britain’s disconnect with the art world and bring art directly to members of the public.
The stunt follows new research, released by the brand ahead of the Turner Prize Exhibition, that reveals 1 in 6 (16%) Brits have never set foot in an art gallery, rising to 22% of 18 – 24 year olds. What’s more, 50% of Brits haven’t visited an art gallery in the past two years.
The survey of 2,000 British adults also showed more than half (60%) of Brits rate their understanding of art as poor or worse, with 44% believing the art world is elitist and one in ten (13%) admitting they feel galleries are intimidating.
Calamities continued when it came to the classics. Nearly a quarter of Brits (24%) unable to name Van Gogh as the artist who painted Sunflowers, and only a third (34%) able to identify Roy Lichtenstein as the artist who created Whaam! – with 6% mistakenly attributing the artwork to George Michael.
Gen Z appear to be scratching their heads the most, as 1 in 7 (13%) are unable to identify Pablo Picasso as an artist – one of the most famous artists in the world, and 1 in 10 (11%) naming TV personality Alistair McGowan, famous for his celebrity parodies, as an example of the art impressionist movement.
What’s more, the majority of Brits (62%) don’t own a single piece of artwork, assuming that owning art is something reserved for the wealthy (25%) and estimating that buying art will cost a minimum of £75,000.