Neil Gilks is a British trained creative schooled at Central St.Martins College of Art and Design (CSM) – he gained his undergraduate in Womenswear design in 1997, then went on to achieve two Masters of the Arts at CSM in Womenswear (2001) and Menswear in 2006.
As a fashion designer he worked through the ranks to Design Director level, for fashion brands in London and NYC. In addition to his illustration and design career, Neil taught at Fashion design at CSM and other schools for over 8 years. He currently heads the Apparel department at Rhode Island School of Design (RISD).
At the age of 42 he enjoys driving the future of his department and preparing fresh minds for their careers.
Neil’s first love of illustration has accompanied his journey as a designer and educator and has allowed for notable opportunities and collaborations. Whilst in London he produced artwork for London Fashion week, held solo exhibitions and created large-scale paintings for Sir Terence Conran Architects. Fully illustrated the Diane von Furstenberg childrens book – The Empresses New Clothes – published by Harper Collins.
Recently with a new direction in his imagery, Neil has created artwork for print magazines;
Held an exhibition in NYC at Printed Matter, and participated in the ‘Instinct’ group show in Berlin.
His current work of male figures explores the iconography found in gay subcultures, utilizes text and fashion branding to question underline ownership and cultural appropriation and never fails to underline the beauty of form and his intuitive approach to image making.
Neil always drew since a young child – but his passion was fully ignited at St.Martins – where he trained under and modeled for the illustrator Howard Tangye. Only in recent years has his depictions of males become the focus of his illustration gaining much interest from magazines and private collectors.
He utilizes instagram as his sole way of connecting – having forged many collaborations and relationships through this portal.
Neils subject matter or males, penis and the use of brand packaging drives his work – the opportunity to draw what he loves is most liberating and affords him a strong following.
Recently he has ventured into ceramics to further explore his imagery.
He draws daily…. And posts to his instagram neilsecluded if he gets a spare minute.
Drawing by talented artist Frian Baad of Simon Skou.
Artist | Denmark, acrylic paintings on canvas. Prices and request: [email protected] www.tanatar.dk