Unlike, say, Americans, us Brits have quite an ambivalent relationship with our national flags. During the World Cup it's the be all and end all, then, when the homes nations are sent home before the postcards it becomes the property of nationalist and racist groups.
Thankfully, artist Pam Glew has no such dilemmas: she views flags as a canvas (admittedly, not a blank one), upon which to lay down her striking portraits of popular culture icons. In the past, her dynamic images of Jane Birkin, Kate Moss, Edie Sedgwick and Blondie have won her great acclaim.
It’s something that is bound to continue with her new exhibition, Circus, which runs at London’s Red Bull Studios from November 26 to December 2.
Again exploring the curious modern manner in which we laud celebrities in much the same way some folk worship flags, Circus features 15 images (adorned on vintage American, British, Italian, French and Swiss flags and some new handmade wall pieces) including a young and innocent Michael Jackson, Hunter S. Thompson, Marilyn Monroe and, once more, Kate Moss. The flags don't come cheap, mind - between £1,995 and £4,500 - but putting our art collector's hat (a nice Trilby, since you ask) on for a while, we see their value only going one way: up.
As a taster, we’ve bagged some of these pics for you devour – and that tender early Jacko shot is an exclusive. Enjoy, and remember to salute responsibly.
Circus by Pam Glew runs from November 26 to December 2 at Red Bull Studios, 155-171 Tooley Street SE1 2JP.