An integral part of the Secret Art Prize is the judges. We carefully hand pick the most influential people within the art world who have a keen eye for contemporary and urban art, from a variety of back grounds. Want some of the industries top dogs to see you work? Then get applying to the 2019 edition of the Secret Art Prize!
Tabish Khan is an art critic specialising in London's art scene, covering contemporary and historical exhibitions. He visits and writes about hundreds of exhibitions a year covering everything from the major blockbusters to the emerging art scene. Tabish has been visual arts editor for Londonist since 2013. Contributions include reviews, previews, news, experiences and opinion pieces. He is also a regular contributor for FAD with a weekly top exhibitions to see in London and a column called 'What's wrong with art'. Tabish has also appeared on television, numerous panel discussions and has judged multiple prizes. Tabish sees over 1,000 exhibitions a year and therefore is well qualified to judge what makes for an excellent and unique artwork worthy of winning a prize.
Anna McNay is an art writer and editor. She is Assistant Editor at Art Quarterly (Art Fund’s magazine), former Deputy Editor at State Media and former Arts Editor at DIVA magazine. She contributes regularly to a variety of other print and online art and photography journals and newspapers, including Studio International, Photomonitor and Elephant magazine. She writes catalogue essays, regularly hosts panels and in conversation events at galleries and art schools, curates, and has judged numerous art prizes, both nationally and internationally.
Michelle Loa Kum Cheung | Winner of Secret Art Prize 2018
Michelle Loa Kum Cheung is an Australian artist, currently based in London. Since graduating with Honours in Fine Arts from the UNSW Art & Design, University of New South Wales, Loa Kum Cheung has exhibited steadily in solo and group exhibitions, prizes and fairs in both Australia and Great Britain as well as international art residencies. Most recently she exhibited in a two-woman show in London with British artist Julie Brixey-Williams, participated in The Other Art Fair London at Victoria House and the Moniker Art Fair with Curious Duke Gallery.
Lee’s contemporary abstract landscapes are colourful, textured and full of life. They’re inspired by his every day, normal life! Things you and I wouldn’t notice... Lee draws inspiration from. Countryside strolls, posters, textiles, sunsets, transport, the list goes on.
He captures snippets of colour and memorises details from fleeting scenes. He uses spray paints, markers and acrylics to create layers of textured backdrops. Bold layers are manipulated to reveal hidden chinks of buried colour. Each painting evolves in a free-flowing, spontaneous process, with every mark influencing the next. His paintings could literally go in any direction. Pallet knives, trowels and scrapers are his main tools… brushes are banned! They allow for a really loose and energetic application and he is continuing to push contemporary boundaries. Layer upon layer upon layer… are built up creating the abstracted and expressional more than representational. Splashes of neon spray and blobs of pastel shades create Lee’s unique, signature style. Thick, impasto texture pops from the surface casting shadows and intrigue. Finishing each original painting with a varnish glaze seemingly highlights Lee’s love, exploration and explosion of colour!
Alison Hand is an artist graduated from the Royal College of Art with an MA in Painting. Hand's painting and drawing practice explores the representation of architecture and landscape, and her research interests include site specific painting; regeneration and the politics of place; and illusion, materiality, and fragmentation in painting, drawing, and architecture. Hand’s work has won numerous awards, including the Basil Alkazzi Scholarship Award; the Gordon Luton Award from the Painters’ and Stainers’ Guild; and the Stevenson Harwood Award.
Hand is Deputy BA Programme Leader and Head of Final Year at The Art Academy, London.
Hand is a published art writer, and previously was a board director for Cumbrian arts and research organisation Artgene, who specialise in landscape and regeneration projects. Hand has also undertaken doctoral research into relationships between art and architecture at the Bartlett School of Architecture, UCL.
Frankie Shea, Ana Bambic Kostov, Anna McNay, Trevor Nelson, Anna Smithson, Chris Simms, Mary Ann-Hobbs, Tabish Khan, Susan Mumford, Mark Powell, Otto D’Ambra, Clare Medows, Teddy Baden, Grant Pooke, Hannah Adamazsek, Stuart Holdsworth, Joe Young.
©Artwork by MICHELLE MCKINNEY