Mr Doodle, a 25-year-old creative doodler from England, presents an exhibition at Sotheby’s Hong Kong featuring iconic works reimagined through his doodle lens. The show questions the boundaries between art and graffiti while engaging playfully with masterpieces from art history which include da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, Munch’s The Scream, Hokusai’s The Great Wave off Kanagawa and more.
Mr Doodle Screaming inspired by Munch's The Scream
Mr Doodle at the opening of the exhibition
Mona Doodle inspired by da Vinci's Mona Lisa
Titled Mr Doodle Invades Sotheby’s Selling Exhibition, the show features 52 artworks priced between HK$50,000 – 200,000 (US$6,400 - $25,646) and all of them were all sold before the show was unveiled. At the opening, Mr Doodle had a live doodling session showing the creation of his unique patterns and characters. We have invited Mr Doodle to talk about this special world that he staged at Sotheby’s Gallery in Hong Kong.
Mr Doodle performed the live doodling at the exhibition
Mr Doodle and Jonathan Wong, Gallery Director of Sotheby's Gallery
Mr. Doodle: I am Mr Doodle. I am just a doodle guy from England and I doodle all these different pictures on walls, rooms and everything. Over the years, I just kept drawing and I took a lot of inspiration when I was younger from comic books and video games. Those are the main kinds of things that drove my visual style. That’s why I made cartoonish characters and flat imagery because I like those 2D, side scrolling video games.
Mr. Doodle: Process to me is all about making something but not thinking too much about it. Letting your hands do the work and just see the characters and the visual come to life by themselves. I try not to take it too seriously. I want it all to be a happy process and I want the final piece to radiate joy within it. The important part is not knowing what’s going to come next. It has to grow spontaneously.
Girl with a Doodle Earring
Johannes Vermeer's Girl with a Pearl Earring
Gustav Klimt's Kiss
Mr. Doodle: A huge inspiration for me is Walt Disney. The fact that he just had these characters and built a huge world out of them. I think anyone who takes their ideas and expands as much as possible is a real inspiration and where I get motivation from.
In addition to those well-known artworks from the West, Mr Doodle also created his doodle version of artworks by Chinese artists such as Sanyu and Ni Zan.
Ni Zan's Bamboo Branches
Sanyu's Nu was sold for HK$197m at Sotheby's Hong Kong this October
Mr. Doodle: This project made me investigate all of these artists when I decide to recreate these iconic, famous artworks. I had to discover artworks that I didn’t know of before. It challenges me to create new imagery and some new styles as well because some of the pieces, in particular like the Sanyu piece, are very different from what I would normally create. So I had to respond to that. The idea was to reimagine these artworks through my doodle lens.
Often described as ‘Graffiti Spaghetti’, Mr Doodle’s improvisational creations invade not only canvases but furniture, books, subways, clothing and beyond. He has collaborated with many popular brands like Fendi, Adidas, MTV and more.
Mr Doodle's collaboration with MTV
Mr Doodle's collaboration with Fendi
Mr. Doodle: I sometimes describe it as graffiti spaghetti because of the way that the drawing flows naturally. I draw one shape and it leads to another so it’s all entangled like spaghetti. If you lay it, it flows over surfaces. And I love the way that it wraps around objects and walls and things.
Mr. Doodle: I want to doodle the world and that’s my mission so as to doodle as much as possible. All the brands that I have the opportunities to work with have provided huge canvases in their forms and platforms. That’s what really exciting to me, working with big brands and seeing a new artwork comes to life through that. In the future, I hope to paint big buildings, maybe town and that sort of things. Just bigger and bigger versions of the doodles.
Mr Doodle Invades Sotheby’s Selling Exhibition
Period: Now until 19 December 2019
Venue: Sotheby’s Gallery
Address: 5/F, One Pacific Place, 88 Queensway, Hong Kong
Other artworks featured at the exhibition: