Derek Boshier: A Godfather of British Pop Art

Derek Boshier (b.1937) has been described as “one of the godfathers of British Pop Art”. Boshier first came to prominence with his paintings as a student at the Royal College of Art in London in the early 1960s, with fellow students David Hockney, Allen Jones, R.B. Kitaj, and others in the British Pop Art movement. During his seven-decade career, the artist has worked in a wide variety of media including drawing, printmaking, film, books, three-dimensional objects, installations and photography among them. Boshier’s work has always been linked with popular culture. His graphic work with music groups such as The Clash and with David Bowie brought his work to a wider audience. Boshier’s works are in the collections of Tate, MoMA and museums around the world. He is a Guggenheim Fellow and has received awards at international film festivals.

With his inaugural NFT, Boshier explores a new media and format, all the while continuing his engagement with popular culture. Derek Boshier created his debut NFT work, Nobody Behind the Wheel, minted on April 16 in partnership with Verisart and SuperRare. Bidding closes around 1pm EDT April 18.

Derek Boshier, NOBODY BEHIND THE WHEEL, 2021, NFT

The work was created in collaboration with Shapeshifter7. Boshier created the illustrations for the video which were then animated by Shapeshifter7 who has been creating digital art since 1996.

Derek Boshier and Shapeshifter7 in the studio, photo by Penny Slinger.

We spoke to Derek Boshier and Shapeshifter7 who talked us through their artistic process and the backstory of the work:

“We have worked together on several short films and animations over the past few years. This collaborative series was birthed during the frothy days of early 2021 spurred by the massive worldwide interest in NFT and cryptocurrencies.”

Derek Boshier and Shapeshifter7 in the studio, photo by Penny Slinger

“We were amused by the almost evangelical views that crypto converts have on the ultimate ascendance of decentralized currencies vs. the purported demise of the dollar. We were also tickled by the firmly held beliefs of the old guard vis a vis cryptocurrency.”

“We worked on this series with tongue firmly in cheek to look at both sides of this philosophical great divide. As artists, we do not have a horse in this race. We are merely reporting from the front lines of culture and commerce. We then decided to embark on creating a series of crypto art.”

Derek Boshier and Shapeshifter7 in the studio, photo by Penny Slinger.

“The first release from our crypto series is titled NOBODY BEHIND THE WHEEL. Conceptually this piece represents the view of diehard crypto adherents that currency, commerce and contracts work best when there is no central steering authority. Essentially a driverless car that propels itself forward on a road that is built by the thousands of decentralized nodes that represent the blockchain.”

Derek Boshier and Shapeshifter7 in the studio, photo by Penny Slinger.

“The idea of fiat currencies being represented by a FIAT car was exactly the sort of visual pun that appealed to our punk sense of humor. Derek’s work with David Bowie and The Clash has always played with ideas of revolution, both artistic and cultural. Stay tuned for the next piece of this series.”

Certificate of Authenticity for Derek Boshier’s NFT. Courtesy of Verisart.

Derek Boshier’s inaugural NFT is certified by Verisart, an award-winning blockchain certification platform. Designed to empower artists to tell the story of their work, the digital certificates include additional images, videos and documents. For collectors, Verisart’s patent-pending Certificates of Authenticity (COA) form an integral part of collecting NFTs. They provide confidence in the identity of the artist and the verified history of the artwork. Through the certificate, the collector of the work will gain exclusive access to the original animation for the Nobody Behind the Wheel video.

About the artists

Derek Boshier

Derek Boshier (b.1937) is “one of the godfathers of pop art”. During his studies at the RCA in London, he became one of the first artists of the British Pop Art movement. He has engaged with popular culture throughout his career and worked with music groups including David Bowie and the Clash. Boshier’s art spans a wide variety of media. He is represented with work in the Tate Gallery( London), Museum of Modern Art (New York), and museums in Portugal, Israel, Poland, Cuba, Australia, Holland, Hungary, America, and the UK. He is also in private collections. He is a Guggenheim Fellow, Honorary Fellow- Royal College of Art and recipient of film awards at international film festivals in India and the USA. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Shapeshifter7

Shapeshifter7 has been creating digital art since 1996. He works in photography, collage, film, animation, music, and figurative art. He makes artworks that echo and recompose the architectural spaces he photographs, turning them into immersive zones while exploring the nexus of photographic collage, symbols, and perception. He lives and works in Los Angeles.

Derek Boshier and Shapeshifter7 in the studio, photo by Penny Slinger

Bidding on SuperRare for Derek Boshier’s inaugural NFT, NOBODY BEHIND THE WHEEL, closes around 1pm EDT on April 18.

Shedding light on the world of art & collectibles

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store