BLONDEY MCCOY AND HIS NEW ARTISTIC SIDE

Blondey McCoy is known for three things. He’s a skater, he lives in London and he’s been the face of the brand Palace. In all honesty, this short description defines him quite well but adding to that, he now wants his name to be associated with another label, that of an artist. This kid, considered to be one of the most emblematic skaters of the Gen Z, has managed to receive the seal of approval of the giant Damien Hirst. We’re taking the moment to review his short but prolific career.

When we talk about the typical skater style we don’t usually think of a preppy British guy who wears wool cardigans, Burberry scarves and Harrington jackets, but that’s what Blondey McCoy dons. He mixes all of that with more contemporary elements like graphic tees, golden chains and teeth, which make his style completely unique. And that is exactly what led him to become the face of Palace at the early age of 14, a year before dropping out of school.

And for half of his life, Blondey has been circling the streets of South Bank, a neighbourhood in London, which is also where he was discovered for the first time. Even though he continues to skate, as it’s a big part of his identity, he wants to leave this phase behind, which is why he is disassociating himself from the skate brand after seven years, as he’s now devoting all of his time to his art. A few years ago he started making collages out of pages of magazines from the ‘70s and ‘80s which he exhibited for the first time in the HENI Gallery in 2015, but his work has evolved quite a bit since then.

At the age of twenty-two, he has managed to hold five exhibitions of his solo work and he has even received the sign of approval of the icon Damien Hirst. In 2017, they collaborated for the first time in a spin painting which he presented in his most high-profile exhibition, Us and Chem, from which a book was published in 2019; an exhibit that gathers pieces which he realised in a state of absolute sobriety, after having been addicted for many years to prescription drugs due to his bipolar disorder. The exhibit explores such important and necessary debates around mental health, along with other subjects belonging to pop culture, like the cult of celebrity, as well as religious iconography. His work stands out for his use of giant mirrors that hold superimposed images of apparently trivial objects, which is another way of unleashing his obsession for collages.