Artist of the Week

Pure Evil /   Charles Uzzell Edwards

United Kingdom 1968

Urban Art, Street Art, Graffiti

Pure Evil
Charles Uzzell Edwards
United Kingdom
January 13, 2014

Charles Uzzell-Edwards is a British graffiti artist known by the moniker “Pure Evil” and is a stablemate of Banksy. He is also the son of Welsh painter John Uzzell Edwards.

He was born in South Wales where he grew up in a world of art thanks to his father. The father’s artwork undoubtedly impacted the son, demonstrating a range of influences from cubism to minimalism, from Matisse to Chagall.

To understand a bit about Pure Evil it is illuminating to know that he is a descendant of Sir Thomas More, the Lord Chancellor who wrote the controversial work Utopia and who was later beheaded by King Henry VIII. With this busy background (Sir Thomas was later canonised) it is only natural that Pure Evil should explore the darker side of the wreckage of Utopian dreams and the myth of the Apocalypse, a belief in the life-changing event that brings history with all its conflicts to an end. Pure Evils ancestry is alleged to include eight saints: Vladimir the Great, Saint Anna of Russia, the Holy Martyrs Boris and Gleb, Saint Stephen of Hungary, Saint Margaret of Scotland and Saint Mathilde together with Saint Thomas More, Humbert III of Savoy and several European royal families.He was also a descendant of the Old English Chieftain Ailric, Kings Thane to Edward the Confessor, who held Cawthorne and much of South Yorkshire before the Conquest.

The physical and cultural landscape of the 1990′s U.S. intrigued and beckoned the young Pure Evil–upon completing his studies in graphics and fashion he set off for California’s West Coast. He established himself in San Francisco, working for the Anarchic Adjustment clothing label as a designer. He produced countless t-shirt graphics for screen printing, dropped in on the west coast party scene, and dropped a lot of psychedelics. Pure Evil also became involved in the musical fabric of San Francisco and worked as an electronic recording artist for Peter Namlook’s ambient music label, FAX (based in Frankfurt, Germany).

Pure Evil’s art is heavily inspired by skate culture and graffiti artists from the west coast. As an artist Pure Evil’s enthusiasm for street art grew as he returned to London after a 10 year stay in California. Starting out by painting strange fanged bunny rabbits anywhere and everywhere, is how his passion for urban art led to him picking up a spray can. That tag of a vampire bunny rabbit was bore from the artists feeling of remorse after he shot a rabbit in the countryside as a youth. By developing a true unique style of painting, his simple vision of the dark side aided the creation of his new works. Pure Evil fell in with the people behind Banksy’s Santas Ghetto and started producing dark new prints and artwork. In the past five years he has exhibited worldwide in China, Russia, Mongolia, Brazil, USA, and all over Europe. In 2012 Pure Evil appeared on the BBC TV show The Apprentice, where he took part in an urban art task, this led to a huge increase in interest for his work.

His art has moved off the walls and onto a stunning range of limited edition prints many of which are iconic images he has ‘Evilised’ such as ‘Sgt Peppers Lonely Hearts Bastards’. All these Pure Evil artists prints are available for purchase.

He opened the Pure Evil Gallery in Shoreditch, East London, in 2007 and lives in Hackney.

YearExhibition TitleMuseum/GallerySolo/Group
2015Basically Disneyland C.A.V.E. Gallery, LondonSolo
2014Pure Evil: The Nightmare SeriesSaatchi GallerySolo
2013Blau Galerie Kasten, MannheimGroup
2012 Pure Evil Deconstructed Nightmares Pure Evil Gallery LondonSolo
2012Pure Evil goes POP!  Corey Helford Gallery Culver City USASolo
2012Urban in IbizaGroup
2012Unnnatural Natural History Royal West of England Academy BristolGroup
2012 Bastard Children of Pop LondonAngus-Hughes gallery, London (England)Group
2012 Group Show Lebenson Gallery ParisGroup
2012 Pick Me Up Somerset House LondonGroup
2012Art Contemporain Urbain Angers FranceGroup
2012Quick Moves Mannheimer Kunstverein GermanyGroup
2012UntitledStra-Da Arthouse 59 CyprusGroup
2012International Urban Art Stade De France ParisGroup
2012Pure Evil + Crossie ViennnaGroup
2011 Pure Evil Nightmares La Cantine De Faubourg ParisSolo
2011Pure Evil Nightmares The Scarlett Gallery StockholmSolo
2011Pure Evil The Garage AmsterdamSolo
2011Pure Evil Abel and Baker Gallery CologneSolo
2011The Last Good Time Pure Evil XOYOSolo
2011Pure Evil Solo Pure Evil GallerySolo
2011Group Show Lebenson Gallery ParisGroup
2011UntitledSomerset House PrintClubLondonGroup
2011Blisters Blackout PrintClubLondonGroup
2010 Pure Evil ParisSolo
2010Strange Girls Pure Evil LondonSolo
20103 exhibition Lebenson Gallery ParisGroup
2010London Calling MoscowMoscowGroup
2010Paste Modernism 2 SydneyAustraliaGroup
2010Tiger Translate Ulaanbaatar MongoliaGroup
2010Anti Design FestivalGroup
2010Wild Fantasies Stolen Space Gallery LondonGroup
2010Bhopal Medical Appeal Phillips De Pury LondonGroup
2009 Pure Evil Gallery LondonSolo
2009Dark Carnival Choque Cultural Sao PauloSolo
20091980 Mobil Box Fondation Cartier ParisGroup
2009A Shot in the Dark Czech RepublicGroup
2009Further Complications with Jarvis Cocker LondonGroup
2009Go Get your Shinebox Brooklynite New YorkGroup
2009Secret Bllisters LondonGroup
2009The Beautiful and the Canned BrightonGroup
2009Cruel Britannia PhiladelphiaGroup
2009Urban Myth Culver City CAGroup
2009Urban in IbizaIbizaGroup
2009Uneasy Persuasion Carter&Gallagher, London (England)Group
2009Uneasy Persuasion Art and Design Gallery / University of Hertfordshire, Hatfield (England)Group
2009A Shot In The Dark Carter Presents, London (England)Group
2009Boarding Gate K-Art Gallery, AthensGroup
2009A Shot In The Dark Carter&Gallagher, London (England)Group
2008 SoloShow Urban Uprising SydneySolo
2008Live East Die Young Ink’d BrightonSolo
2008Run! The Old World Is Behind You ATM BerlinSolo
2008SoloShow Electrick Sheep NewcastleSolo
2008Santas Ghetto LondonGroup
2008Film Friends Forever LondonGroup
2008Mutate Britain LondonGroup
2008International Arts BelgiumGroup
2008Cans Festival 1+2 LondonGroup
2008Stella Dore Sebatian Guinness Gallery DublinGroup
2008Not a Penny off the Pay BristolGroup
2008Alternativity LondonGroup
2007 SoloShow FakeSpace BeijingSolo
2007SoloShow Pure Evil Gallery LondonSolo
2007SoloShow Truman Brewery LondonSolo
2007UntitledOpen Studio LondonGroup
2007International Arts BelgiumGroup
2006Pure Evil 55 gallery NYCSolo
2006UntitledSantas Ghetto LondonGroup
2006International Arts BelgiumGroup
2005Difusor BarcelonaGroup
2005Paris Stencil ProjectParis, FranceGroup