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Jansen-bound 'Art14 London' to showcase contemporary art from around globe

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Last year, Fort Myers artist Marcus Jansen's gallery representatives featured his surreal dystopian landscapes and Anonymous portraits in a number of domestic and international art fairs, including Art Southampton and Art Basel Miami. This year promises to be no different. On February 28, Jansen's new London agent, Steve Lazarides, will take a number of Jansen's paintings to Art14 London.

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Art14 London is the second edition of London’s global art fair sponsored by Citi Private Bank. The inaugural edition of the fair in 2013 attracted 25,000 visitors, including 4,500 VIPs. Critics, galleries, collectors and art fans raved, with Wallpaper praising the fair’s "impressive scope" and the Financial Times reporting on Art13 London’s "refreshingly different" approach.

Olympia Grand Hall will once again host Art14 London, which runs from Friday, February 28 to Sunday, March 2, 2014, with the Private View and First Night taking place on Thursday, February 27. During the 4-day art extravaganza, 180 galleries from 40 countries will present modern and contemporary art from regions such as Asia, the Middle East and Africa, next to galleries from Europe and the U.S. In collaboration with the Mayor of London’s Office, the fair will also bring together major global players from a variety of different industries to discuss how art is reshaping cities and establishing new cultural centers all over the world.

Art insiders know Steve Lazarides as the gallerist who "discovered" Banksy. While the two have gone their separate ways, Lazarides is still pounding the pavement in search of new talent. "We're not bound by any definitions – as long as we like the art then it gets an exhibition," says Lazarides. "What started out as a halfway house for the urban art movement has grown into an internationally recognized gallery. Admittedly this has surprised us as much as it has anyone else. Our aim is to make each show an interesting experience, and remind everyone that art is there to be enjoyed."

While Lazarides' gallery is still considered the international market leader in urban art, many of the artists on display at Lazarides Rathbone defy categorization. Contemporary figurative painting features heavily on the exhibition schedule, but works have also included interactive installations, sculptures, and even historical propaganda. In the grand tradition of artistic movements, the gallery maintains strong connections with wider culture, especially the spheres of music, fashion and film.

Given this backdrop, it's not surprising that Lazarides would be attracted to Jansen's work. Most recently, Jansen's work was included by Dawud Knuckles and The Art Album Art on Dekz, a Russell Simmons project that also features art by Chuck Close, Marlene Dumas, Shepard Fairey, and Kehinde Wiley, Germany's leading names like Jonathan Meese and Daniel Richter, Japanese artist Takashi Murakami, as well as musicians like Jay-Z and Ludacris. In fact, Jansen's Spotlight on Education was selected for the cover and highlights the connection between Hip Hop culture and contemporary art.

Knuckles, Simmons and Lazarides are not the first to recognize Jansen's emerging genius. In July of 2011, Absolut invited 20 artists from around the world to help them introduce ABSOLUT BLANK, a global creativity campaign that included paintings, film, print and outdoor advertising, consumer experiential events and even a digital art piece that lives and evolves on mobile phones. To market its products, the Swedish distiller has collaborated over the years with such iconic artists as AndyWarhol, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Douglas Gordon, Louise Bourgeois and, more recently, Ellen von Unwerth and Spike Jonze. Thus, Jansen's inclusion in a new generation of Absolut artists is viewed as recognition on a global stage of his skill, originality and import in contemporary art circles.

Jansen's invitation to show at the "Art 14" Fair will be an introduction for his second London solo show in October, 2014 at Lazarides Gallery.

Public openings of Jansen's newest works continue at UNIT A Contemporary Art Space in Fort Myers Florida every first Friday of the month or during the week by appointments only. For more information about dates and times, please visit www.unitaspace.com/calendar or contact Terry Tincher at terryunitaspace@gmail.com.

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