The Palace skater’s latest exhibition blends antidepressants, mental health and a collaboration with Damien Hirst.

The Palace skater’s latest exhibition blends antidepressants, mental health and a collaboration with Damien Hirst.

Blondey McCoy has been a staple of London’s Southbank skating scene for several years – quite a feat, considering he’s only 20.

Nothing about Blondey is typical. Seemingly unstoppable, the South West Londoner has his life astonishingly together, with over 100,000 followers on Instagram. He’s a successful model, a professional skateboarder for Palace, and the owner of his own streetwear-oriented clothing line, Thames London.

On top of all that, Blondey is an artist. Working with collage, his creations are distinctive for their straightforward mix-and-match aesthetic – taking that which is familiar and turning it on its head to make a statement. That includes the British monarchy, sex or, in the case of his latest exhibition, therapy and chemicals.

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Trump’s face blends into a water jug, a bathtub hangs out underneath a chandelier, and prescription pill boxes are glued onto a mirror. Every piece offers a new insight into the corners of Blondey’s mind.

The show, entitled Us and Chem, is underlined by a discussion on mental health. There’s a strong sense of self-reflection, with the skater looking at his own relationship with productivity and art. It’s hosted at Heni Gallery and features original, unseen artwork, including a colourful collaboration with renowned British artist Damien Hirst.

“In feeling blue, tragically, the natural thing to do is stay blue,” Blondey reveals. “The creating of these new works has proven to me, more than ever before, that expressionism and making artwork is a way of temporarily exorcising that feeling.”

“The show was created out of a compulsion to create, not one to show off, throw a party or make money. It’s making has been a revelation in accepting the need to treat bipolar as a blessing rather than a curse, and to perpetually guarantee myself that from long hum drum periods of heightened sensitivity, my most genuine and life affirming artwork is born.”

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Us and Chem by Blondey McCoy is on at Heni Gallery, open 10-6pm until August 27.

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