Born in 1947, George Underwood's career in art began with his studies at Beckenham Art School in 1963. Interestingly, he did not follow a direct path towards the status of fully fledged artist. Pursuing another passion of his, music, George went on to make a record with his great friend David Bowie (as The King Bees) as well as a solo record under the name Calvin James. However, his artistic talent beckoned and George returned to the art world, firstly as an illustrator for fantasy, horror and science fiction book covers.
With strong ties to the music business, it is little wonder George's career progressed into the production of artwork for a number of now legendary musicians. As a freelancer, he was the man behind the artwork for the first T Rex album and later David Bowie's Hunky Dory and Ziggy Stardust album covers, rendering him one of the most prestigious creative art illustrators of his time. These ties yielded hundreds of LP and CD covers, advertisements, portraits and drawings, all highly collectable.
An immense capacity for imagination and creativity lies behind George's artworks, with his other paintings envisioning often ethereal characters inhabiting a world of his creation, painted in oil. Of him, David Bowie, an enthusiastic collector of George's work says: "George has, over the years, refined his work to the point where I would put him among the top figurative painters coming out of the UK right now. There's a sublime isolation surrounding his subjects that really touches the viewer, the figures being both heroic and vulnerable simultaneously. There's a timeless element in the choice of subject matter that overlaps with the mythical world of Odd Nerdrum. Now that a huge shift to painting is taking place, I would expect to see George's name pushed further and further to the front".
George credits initial influence to the Viennese School of Fantastic Realism; artists including Ernst Fuchs, Rudolph Hausner and Eric Brauer. Despite his admirable talent and enormous success, in person George remains a most affable and rounded personality.
His paintings are held in some of the most significant private art collections both at home and abroad.
Graham Fine Art is delighted to present George's paintings, both musical and fantastical at our London gallery, among them low numbered limited addition giclées. It is a pleasure to play host to such iconic imagery.