PURE EVIL – Is the alias of Welsh graffiti artist Charles Uzzell-Edwards. His wide-ranging body of work, includes portraits of celebrities such as David Bowie and Marilyn Monroe, depicted with drips of dark paint under their eyes.
Charles Uzzell Edwards adopted his dramatic moniker, Pure Evil, after shooting a rabbit when he was ten years old and feeling overcome with guilt. Macabre and hyperbolic, Uzzell’s nickname has informed his aesthetic ever since, from his early graffiti-tag bunnies to his tragic celebrity iconography, always using his art to reflect the darkness of the contemporary world.
Born in South Wales in 1968, his father was the famed Welsh artist John Uzzelll Edwards. Charles studied fashion and graphic design in London before relocating to California, where he was first exposed to Street Art while working as a designer.
Pure Evil was particularly inspired by the works of artists such as Twist and Reminisce, who were very active in the West Coast graffiti scene of the 1990s. After a decade in California, he moved back to London, became involved in Banksy’s pop-up gallery concept known as Santa’s Ghetto. It was around this time that the artist began producing his now-famous images of fanged bunnies. Pure Evil currently lives and works in London
Heavily influenced by the Pop Art movement, Pure Evil is known for his Nightmare Series: doomed female icons, from Marilyn Monroe to Sharon Tate, are portrayed in Pop print colours, while a single, heavy tear (the artist’s trademark symbol) drips down their fated faces. A comment on the ills of celebrity culture, and the brutal realities of fandom and adulation, the instantly recognisable Nightmare Series has earned Pure Evil a well-deserved following in both Street and Contemporary Art circles.