Weef on the menu

By James Twomey

An artist will take a retrospective look back on his career putting his works on the menu at an Italian restaurant.

Weef On The Menu is an exhibition showcasing 10 years of work from the Fleet Street newspaper designer and cartoonist, Weef, at the Piazza Della Cucina in Forest Hill on March 26.

Weef, whose real name is David Smith and whose all-time hero is Picasso, is most known for bold prints in vibrant colours and creating work using whichever materials are available.

This exhibition serves up a combination of his favourite pieces, many of which have never before been displayed in public.

Weef said: “I’ve been looking for an opportunity to make my work available in places where people don’t normally expect to see art.

“I jumped at the opportunity to show at Piazza Della Cucina. It’s a great local space which makes art more accessible so it ticks all the boxes.

“I also think there’s a great symbiosis with food. I love the idea of people feasting their eyes while they fill their bellies.”

As well as his love for fine art, Weef has earned his crust as a freelance newspaper designer for countless Fleet Street titles, and is probably best known for his illustrations which have appeared in The Times, The Telegraph and currently the Evening Standard, where he has drawn almost 400 illustrations for the series called Diary of an Estate Agent.

He has worked as a bus conductor and a janitor and says in his biography he was inspired by the poetry of Roger McGough and Spike Milligan, along with the antics Viv Stanshall and Kenny Everett, before he decided to try his hand at writing and cartooning.

Weef said: “As a northern lad growing up in the 1950s and 1960s I never thought being an artist was a “proper job”. But, apart from an early stint on the buses, I’ve always made my living from art.

“I’m lucky to do something I love. I’d say my prints are a kind of Miro meets Mondrian. I use even, thick, sweeping graphic black lines to create geometric shapes which I fill with vibrant colour. They look great on the walls of Piazza Della Cucina. I’m delighted with how the show is shaping up and can’t wait to share it with everyone.”

He designed the first ever colour version of the cover of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Programme and in 2018 he co-founded and became Art Director for GOLDIE magazine which is a lifestyle, fashion, arts and culture magazine for over 40s.

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