British artist Mark Leckey has been distinguished with the Turner Prize – something that most people just aspire for but never end up getting. The Turner Prize started in 1984 and is meant to celebrate remarkable developments in contemporary art. Every year since then, the Turner Prize has been awarded to a British artist under the age of 50 who held an exhibition (or something of that sort) in the past year. The group dubbed Patrons of New Art are the ones who came up with the Turner Prize, originally with the aim of helping to buy new art for Tate Gallery. The prize is named after JMW Turner, who was a great artist in his own right.
This year, it is Mark Leckey who was honored with this prize. Who is Mark Leckey? Wikipedia has this write up on him:
Mark Leckey’s video work has as its subject the “tawdry but somehow romantic elegance of certain aspects of British culture.” Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore (1999) is a video essay, made from found footage, about British youth dance subcultures. His 2005 DVD installation Drunken Bakers, based on the Drunken Bakers characters from the Viz comic, is about drinking culture in the North of England.
He exhibited alongside Damien Hirst in the 1990 New Contemporaries exhibition at the ICA but afterwards dropped from view, before making a “comeback” with Fiorucci Made Me Hardcore in 1999.
In 2004 he participated in Manifesta 5, The European Biennial of Contemporary Art. In 2006 he participated in the Tate Triennial and his works are held in the collections of the Tate and the Centre Pompidou.
Controversial or not, he was the favorite of the art circle for this year’s Turner Prize – and he came out on top!