Jonathan Yeo (b. London, 18 December 1970) is one of the world’s leading figurative artists. Celebrated for his innovative paintings of iconic figures including Sir David Attenborough, peace activist Malala Yousafzai, actors Dennis Hopper, Nicole Kidman and Idris Elba, artists Damien Hirst and Grayson Perry, supermodel and actor Cara Delevingne and has produced official commissions of HRH The Duke of Edinburgh and HRH The Duchess of Cornwall.
While Yeo’s earlier paintings draw inspiration from the Vorticist period demonstrating his appreciation for art history and classical portraiture, the artists neoteric works embody more contemporary concerns. Various narratives can be identified in the chronology of his oeuvre, key themes include how we see, read and respond to images, social media dependency in contemporary society, actor’s in character the pervasiveness of pornography, cosmetic surgery and societal portraiture.
Yeo has exhibited extensively around the world with shows in Europe, North America and East Asia, with his most significant retrospective to date taking place at The Museum of National History at Frederiksborg, in Denmark earlier this year. In 2013 his monumental exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery in London, which was accompanied by a major monograph and a BBC1 Culture Show special, soared to critical acclaim before touring to the Lowry in Salford and the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle-Upon-Tyne.
In early 2016 Yeo began experimenting with 3-D printing and scanning in order to make self-portraits and has also been working with various tech companies to help develop ground-breaking virtual reality drawing software. In December 2017 he unveiled his first ever large-scale sculpture. The first ever institutional solo show of Yeo's Surgery Series opened early 2018 at the Bowes Museum in County Durham.
Jonathan Yeo’s ongoing innovations in theme and narrative and his engagement with society continue to challenge the genre of portraiture and reinvigorate it for the modern era.