Derek Boshier (b. Portsmouth) first came to prominence with his paintings as a student at the Royal College of Art in London in the early 1960s, with fellow students David Hockney, Pauline Boty, Allen Jones, R.B. Kitaj, and others in the British Pop Art movement.
Today, from his studio in Los Angeles, Derek works in various media including: painting, drawing, printmaking, film, books, photography and other 3d objects. In the last two years he has returned to film making, continuing from his work in the early 1970's. The new films are short 5/6 min films, involving an aspect that has always been in his artworks, collage and morphing.
His art is in more than 60 notable galleries or museums around the world including: Tate, V & A, British Museum, Pompidou, Los Angeles County Museum, Museum of Modern Art (NYC), Alfredo Lam Museum, Havana Cuba The Brooklyn Museum, The Phoenix Art Museum, The National Gallery of Art, Canberra Australia, UK Government and the Queen’s collections.
In 1962, he appeared with Peter Blake, Pauline Boty and Peter Philips in Ken Russell’s seminal BBC film Pop Goes the Easel and his large shaped canvases were key in the notable The New Generation show at the Whitechapel Gallery in 1964 alongside Bridget Riley, Patrick Caufield and David Hockney. His art was brought to a wider audience with his graphic work with The Clash and with David Bowie - who was also Derek’s largest private collector.
Much of his recent work and international exhibitions have returned to social commentary tackling head on subjects that have strong political overtones such as war, multinational companies, police brutality and gun control. His “99 Cent War” installation and hand-drawn limited edition book, enjoyed widespread critical acclaim. Derek’s most recent paintings have included the series Otherwise Engaged with computer, smart phone and iPad imagery – recently shown in Los Angeles and Brussels and continuing his Extreme Makeover, which is a new and ongoing series of ink drawings made on found photography, that has its roots in work first visited in the early seventies.
In August 2015, the BBC hosted Pop Art Week. As part of that Derek, along with Sir Peter Blake and Peter Philips, was commissioned to create a special 30 second “ident” for BBC four, was featured in the cult film Pop goes the easel and he was the subject of the prestigious BBC four’s TV documentary: What do artists do all day? (They have previously covered: Anthony Gormley, Tracey Emin, Cornelia Parker and Jake and Dinos Chapman).
In October 2015, Thames and Hudson published a long awaited monograph on Derek, edited by Paul Gorman’s and featuring seven essays by leading artists entitled: Rethink/Re-entry. With a forward by David Hockney, this book is set to be the definitive book on Derek’s 60 years (and counting) body of work.
In addition to all of this, Boshier is also an accomplished teacher and lecture and has an insatiable appetite for life – probably the reason he found his National Service in the Royal Engineers so boring and why he was more interested in the personal invitation to study with Marcel Marceau in Paris.