Art 101 – Quaglino’s Hosts Comedic BAFTA Photographic Exhibition



Photography at Quaglino’s is back and will be showcasing the lighter side of life. From Monday 9 September, luxury restaurant Quaglino’s (, will host an exclusive photographic exhibition of images commissioned by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA).Shot by official BAFTA photographer Jay Brooks (, the previously unseen collection, illustrates some of the best British comedy TV talent, including Miranda Hart, James Corden, Reece Shearsmith, plus many more comedy greats.


Funny Ha Ha?’ BAFTA Portraits by Jay Brooks will run until 31 October. Brooks spent three days in the hotel basement of The Gore Hotel in 2010, shooting a selection of British comedy performers. After the initial sketching, brainstorming and gathering of props, the subjects were given a brief and then left to let their creative juices flow, which they did in abundance. The title of the exhibition, was inspired by one of the subjects, Reece Shearsmith (The League of Gentlemen, Psychoville), who discussed during the shoot, his belief that he and writing partner Steve Pemberton were not comedians but comic actors and that neither of them were “funny, ha ha” but comedic in a darker sense. Each of the performers captured in this series of portraits all mirrored this similar ethos, as most were not stand ups, but actors who do great comedy and often work with a sense of pathos, which frequently borders on melancholy and darkness. This philosophy is also symbolised in Brooks’ photography.


BAFTA Quaglino's 2


Jay Brooks is known for his cinematic style and ability to draw a seam of, often dark, humour from his subjects.  This has made him a popular choice across the worlds of advertising, TV, film, theatre and music. His characterful celebrity portraiture has graced the covers of some of the UK’s most respected publications. Jay has a continuing relationship with BAFTA, regularly contributing to their photographic archive.


Aside from his work with BAFTA, Jay has worked as a portrait photographer within music, entertainment and advertising for the last 12 years. Recent subjects include Kanye West, Daniel Radcliffe, Kim Cattrall, Ronnie Wood and Paul Weller.  He also boasts three portraits in the collection in The National Portrait Gallery.


BAFTA Quaglino's


This is the ninth in Quaglino’s ongoing series of collaborations with established photographers and emerging talents.  The legendary venue is the perfect setting for this BAFTA exhibition.  From its inception in 1929 by Giovanni Quaglino, it has become a destination restaurant, welcoming the finest in entertainment and high society alike.  With its sweeping staircase and art-deco inspired dining room, guests can enjoy a glass of champagne as they browse the comedic photos, before dining in the iconic restaurant – Or spend a night in the mezzanine bar taking pleasure in the popular Joe & Seph’s boutique popcorn bar which for the autumn season has taken wine and cheese matching to a new level and has introduced new cheese inspired flavours to complement the exhibition with recommended matching wine selections for each flavour from the Quaglino’s sommelier team.


These images form part of a unique collection of stunning portraiture that BAFTA has commissioned for its Archive and Heritage programme. Since 2007, the Academy has developed a policy of using a new photographer each year for publishing commissions and awards portraiture. These photographers are working in the international visual arena already and have individual styles that enhance the variation of the organisation’s ‘Future Archive’. 


About BAFTA:

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, master classes, lectures and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work.


For further information, visit


About Jay Brooks:

Portrait photographer Jay Brooks originally studied Film & TV Set Design at Wimbledon School of Art but truly fell for photography after a road trip across America in the mid 90’s.

His original theatrical studies have, however, left a lasting impression on his photographic style and method of working. Jay’s keen interest in location and acute attention to detail, storyboarding and props combine, often with a dark seam of humour, to create unique environments for his portraits.

His graphic, cinematic style and atmospheric lighting has made him a popular choice across the worlds of film, television and theatre, music and advertising. His characterful celebrity portraiture has graced the covers of some of the UK’s most respected publications including The Guardian Weekend Magazine, Sunday Times Culture, The Independent and Time Out.

Jay has a continuing relationship with BAFTA, regularly contributing to their photographic archive, much of which has been exhibited at their Piccadilly headquarters. His ongoing, yearly project shooting some of UK’s finest Screenwriters also continued into 2012 in conjunction with the BAFTA lectures.

Jay also works regularly for The Old Vic and The Royal Court Theatre providing promotional and advertising images.

Recent advertising campaigns include Adidas Footlocker, Sony Ericsson, T-Mobile, Southern Comfort and Red Stripe and Laphroaig Whiskey

Despite being kept busy with such a varied raft of commissions, Jay still finds time to work on his personal projects; His project on Britain’s very first youth culture, the teddy boys, continues to gather pace and he regularly travels across the UK covering tradition-based dance events ranging from the conventional to the decidedly off-the-wall. Selections of both can be seen here alongside regular updates on his tumblr page.

Jay is also proud to currently have three portraits in the collection of The National Portrait Gallery.

He is based in North London where he lives happily on a diet of late nights and Haribo.

For further information, visit


About Quaglino’s:

From its inception in 1929 by Giovanni Quaglino to its reinvention by Terence Conran, Quaglinos of Mayfair has been a destination restaurant, welcoming royalty, rock stars and high society alike. It offers an extensive brasserie-inspired menu and specialises in fresh crustacea and platters of fruits de mer. The art-deco inspired dining room features a sweeping central staircase and eight decorated columns, and the space also features a buzzing mezzanine bar and two private dining rooms.



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RED HOT is a groundbreaking stills and video exhibition that celebrates red-haired male beauty while attempting to reverse the stigmas attached to ginger men in the UK.

Taking place at the Gallery in Redchurch Street from Monday 16th to Sunday 22nd of December 2013, RED HOT will be the result of a year-long photography project by Thomas Knights. Working as a fashion photographer and music video director Knights has drummed up an impressive portfolio; his work featuring in Vogue Italia, Dazed and Confused, and Marie Claire, and has also worked with Marina and the Diamonds, Labrinth, Rosin Murphy and Maya Jane Coles.

A natural redhead himself, Knights has experienced personally the negative perceptions that come with being ginger, and, having no red-haired male public role models to persuade him otherwise, he grew up feeling ashamed of his red roots. With RED HOT, Thomas has devised a photography and video concept that re-defines the perceived image of the redheaded male. The men showcased here are masculine, chiselled, cool, and proud of the way that they look. These men will be the new icons for what will hopefully be a new positive rebranding of ‘the ginger’. As Knights puts it;

“We have been conditioned to think ginger men are ugly and weak. I wanted to flip this on its head and present the redheaded male as the ‘ultimate’ alpha male.”

With celebrities like actress Nicole Kidman and model Lily Cole as elegance and style incarnate our western culture has put the ginger female on a pedestal, leaving their male counterparts outside of the limelight. No other hair colour experiences a gender inequality in the same way. Just a couple of years ago none of the London modelling agencies had any red-haired male models on their books, and red-haired actors were hugely underrepresented in TV and film. However with the

For press information, please contact Kapranos PR T: 0203 174 1154, E:

popularity of Prince Harry, Damian Lewis and Eddie Redmayne – brilliant ambassadors for the red-haired male – public opinion does seem to be changing.

Supporting RED HOT’s light hearted and positive drive for change is the Anti-Bullying Alliance, helping to highlight the seriousness of the problem in the UK.

“The Anti-Bullying Alliance is delighted that Thomas Knights is using his incredible talent and the RED HOT exhibition to celebrate the beauty of red hair. We have a long history of singling out people with red or ‘ginger’ hair as the recipient of jokes in this country – and for children in the playground this can be used as an excuse to bully and intimidate, bringing real misery and unhappiness for those on the receiving end. We hope that through this exhibition all children and adults can be proud to be red and stand up to anyone that says otherwise!”

50 Redchurch St London, E2 7DP





On Thursday 5th September Ian Schrager unveiled a creative partnership with online art boutique s[edition] to celebrate the launch of The London EDITION. British artist Mat Collishaw has created an exclusive piece which can be viewed on Berners Street; in the lead up to the launch from Sep 5th-Sep 11th before the hotel opens on September 12th. A gleaming 3D diamond is placed in the lobby’s glass vestibule; Collishaw’s work Prosopopoeia combines some of the artist’s most iconic imagery while taking on a new perspective, speaking with a new voice.




‘Generally I make artworks for myself and the people who see them. (For Prosopopoeia) I’ve given a voice to the Hotel.’ – Mat Collishaw.


EDITION has also mailed out the art work as an exclusive gift to friends of the international brand, celebrating Schrager’s imminent return to London after 15 years. The London EDITION is the latest offering from EDITION Hotels, the brand he conceived in a partnership with Marriott International.


EDITION Hotels combines the personal, intimate, individualised and unique hotel experience that Schrager is known for, with the global reach, operational expertise and scale of Marriott. As with all EDITION hotels, each one is a cultural epicentre and a microcosm of the best each city has to offer. Each is a portal into the essence of the city; and digs under the surface of what the city is about. Working with an artist like Mat Collishaw EDITION is able to establish itself among the cultural leaders within the world of luxury travel.


s[edition] aims to turn screens into art by offering  contemporary art enthusiasts the opportunity to buy original art, at affordable prices, directly from this innovative online platform. The art is sold as digital limited editions to be viewed on connected TVs, iPads, iPhones and digital screens at home or on the move. s[edition] already offers works by the world’s most recognised artists such as Damien Hirst, Shepard Fairey, Tracey Emin, Yoko Ono, Elmgreen & Dragset, and Bill Viola among others. They also commissioned Tracey Emin’s Times Square Midnight Moment; which saw Emin’s ‘I Promise to Love You’ being projected onto all main screens in the NY landmark in the three minutes leading up to midnight.


Both EDITION Hotels and s[edition] share a forward thinking creative vision; which they hope to keep renewing for years to come.