A popular art duo known for their interactive augmented reality paintings will be appearing in Islington this month to debut their new collection, Portrait: The Reason Why I Paint.

Scarlett Raven and Marc Marot will be at Cass Art’s flagship London store in Islington on Wednesday 21st August, from 6pm until 9pm. Guests will have the opportunity to meet the artists and hear them speak about their collections, past and present, their inspirations and techniques.

Following the event, the collection will remain on display at the store until Friday 30th August, and pieces will be available to purchase from Castle Fine Art galleries nationwide from Monday 19th August, as well as from The exhibition will also take place at Cass Art Glasgow in September.

Portrait: The Reason Why I Paint sees Scarlett embark on the rediscovery of herself and how she also manages her demons through her art, to create a series of works that capture her childhood heroes: Pablo Picasso, Frida Kahlo, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Warhol, Leonardo da Vinci, Jackson Pollock, Salvador Dalí and Vincent van Gogh.

A year in the making, the collection features Scarlett’s signature impasto style, made famous by her World War One project, The Danger Tree, and seeks to express inner turmoil, courage and self-love through layers of oil paint and digital animation created by Marc Marot. The collection is especially personal for Scarlett, who speaks openly about her struggles with mental health and has found solace in the works of van Gogh, who was plagued by depression throughout his life.

Augmented reality uses technology to superimpose information such as sounds, images and text, on the real world. Scarlett and Marc are acknowledged to be among the world’s first ‘Augmentists’, using the exciting world of augmented reality to reveal the deeply personal process of creating their multi-layered, experiential art. Using the app, Artivive, viewers can strip away the countless layers of paint and reveal the creative journey beneath each of Scarlett’s paintings.

Scarlett began buying paint from Cass Art when she was 11 years old and went on to collaborate with the company in 2009 when she posed drenched in oil paints for its ‘Paint This Town’ campaign. She also completed a live window installation at Cass Art’s Charing Cross store, allowing passers-by to watch her at work over the course of four days.

Scarlett Raven said: “Every time I look at these artists’ work, I feel like that 11-year-old girl who discovered the world and herself for the first time. Growing up I was particularly inspired by van Gogh’s self-portraits and his use of thick oils, as well as Frida Kahlo and Salvador Dalí. I could feel their pain in their work.

“Without these artists, I wouldn’t be who I am. They were my best friends, my place to play, feel, laugh and cry. It felt like meeting real people and making real connections – they became a family and a world I felt safe in.”

Marc Marot added: “When Scarlett first proposed the eight portrait subjects, I was thrilled to see Basquiat and Warhol on the list. These are emotional works, honouring the gifts and comfort they gave Scarlett. I’m happy to say that I was able to stand back and let Scarlett’s paint do the talking.”

Mark Cass, founder of Cass Art, said: “Scarlett Raven is an artist that demonstrates extraordinary power with her work – particularly in this series of portraits exploring the intertwined nature of creativity and mental health. From our first collaboration in 2009 to the projects in between, we are excited to work with Scarlett again and to see our Islington and Glasgow Art Spaces transformed.”

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