Former Barton Peveril student's 'playing card' artworks win celebrity backing

Elmo Hood with rapper The Game and his Queen of Hearts piece.

Elmo Hood with rapper The Game and his Queen of Hearts piece.

First published in News

A Hampshire artist is staging an exhibition of his artwork based on playing cards, after his quirky designs won him a legion of celebrity admirers and thousands of fans.

Former Thornden School and Barton Peveril student Elmo Hood is set to exhibit is work in New York after taking social media by storm.

The 24-year-old, who now lives in Brixton, posted a picture of his Queen of Hearts piece online following a drinking game with a group of friends last year.

Within days it had been shared thousands of times online, and even garnered celebrity approval from the likes of Girls Aloud’s Nicola Roberts and rappers P Diddy and The Game.

It prompted him to make more of the artwork, which he meticulously creates using a craft knife. These will now be the centre-piece of a new show, along with other pieces of his work at a pop-up exhibition in the trendy East Village area of New York next month.

Speaking to the Daily Echo, Elmo said: “I posted the picture on Instagram and didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t realise it went as far as it did.

“It’s such a simple piece as well. A lot of my paintings take weeks to do but this took ten minutes.”

He draws his inspiration from the enigmatic Banksy, Hampshire artist My Dog Sighs, and French knife painter Francoise Nielly.

His family, mum Julia, step-dad Derek, and brother Howard, still live in Hampshire, and Elmo says he makes regular visits back to his roots.

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