Whilst we might not know the identity of The Stig, we can reveal just who is found beneath the popular contemporary art mask of, ‘Okse’. Why it’s none other than Chris Oxenbury. Which may or may not come as a surprise to those of you who know Chris Oxenbury as Chris Oxenbury. It’s not uncommon for artists to be known by another name, not that we’re implying that Oxenbury is on the run on anything dubious. Rather that he operates under another moniker when he’s doing what he does best; contemporary art. So therefore you may be more familiar with the name, ‘Okse?’ or then again, you might not. Either way, acclaimed contemporary figurative and portrait artist, Oxenbury/Okse is definitely a name (or two) to keep an eye on henceforth, as he continues to take the modern art world by storm with his unique portrayals of familiar faces from stage and screen, fact and fiction. Iconic people offa of the gogglebox like Sid James, Ronnie Barker, Del Boy Trotter, The Joker, Dr Who and Rocky, as well as folk from here and now, such as TV’s Jonathan Ross, Theo Paphitis and Jason Manford. He also paints ‘things’ in great abundance too. Things such as Nintendo Gameboys, robots, Cybermen and Nike hi-tops.
When he’s not found dabbling with his dark and light (and other tonal variations) while holed up in his studio, Oxenbury can be found at other people’s weddings. Providing his ‘wedding painter’ art service that is, not just making up numbers at the back of the church. While the matrimonial event plays out, Oxenbury creates the likeness of the bride and groom for them to cherish forever; much like a photographer does, only more original of thought. Ever the interesting character himself, what more can we divulge about Oxenbury. Well, what we do know is that he was born in 1974 in the Black Country, which is the generic name for the UK’s West Midlands, in a town called Stourbridge, where he went on to grow up and school, etc, after which he studied graphic design at Stourbridge Art College. On completion of all that secondary and further educational stuff, Oxenbury landed a succession of plum roles within the very exiting/then emerging gaming industry, where he was responsible for originating new characters and creating new worlds for them to inhabit (nice work if you can get it). During this period, Oxenbury was instrumental on new games titles for companies like Lego – in the capacity of an illustrator/animator type person – and the BAFTA award-winning, Sydney 2000 racing title amongst others.
Oxenbury, who is based in Leamington Spa these days, concentrates on creating original pieces and now takes commissions from clients worldwide.