Category Index
Books About Big Art
  • A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932
    A Life of Picasso: The Triumphant Years, 1917-1932
    by John Richardson
  • Sarah Lucas: A Catalog Raisonné
    Sarah Lucas: A Catalog Raisonné
    by Yilmaz Dziewior, Sarah Lucas
  • Grayson Perry
    Grayson Perry
    by Jacky Klein
  • Hendrik Kerstens (English and Dutch Edition)
    Hendrik Kerstens (English and Dutch Edition)
    by Pim Milo, Kathy Ryan
  • David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
    David Hockney: A Bigger Picture
    by Marco Livingstone, Margaret Drabble, Tim Barringer, Xavier Salomon, Stuart Comer, Martin Gayford
  • Vernon Ah Kee: Born in this Skin
    Vernon Ah Kee: Born in this Skin
    by Robert Leonard, Anthony Gardner, Aileen Moreton-Robinson, Blair French, Glenn Barkley
  • Yayoi Kusama
    Yayoi Kusama
    by Midori Yamamura, Jo Applin, Yayoi Kusama
  • Henry Moore: From the Inside Out; Plasters, Carvings, Drawings
    Henry Moore: From the Inside Out; Plasters, Carvings, Drawings
    Prestel Publishing
  • Wall and Piece
    Wall and Piece
    by Banksy
  • Mark Rothko
    Mark Rothko
    by Mr. Jeffrey Weiss
  • Louise Bourgeois
    Louise Bourgeois
    by Robert Storr, Paulo Herkenhoff
  • Damien Hirst
    Damien Hirst
    by Ann Gallagher
Join the Big Picture

A blog that aims to spark thoughts and inspire by seeking out and sharing works of art

Historically, artists have always worked big, and nowadays those boundaries are being pushed to the limits.

Large-scale art, whether in the form of photos from the Hubble space telescope, sharks floating in tanks of formaldehyde, rooms full of dots, concrete sculptures cast from Victorian buildings or hand knitted blankets wrapped around trees, large-scale art is all around us. Join the Big Picture aims to spark thoughts and inspire by seeking out and sharing these works.

All content by Karla Thompson, an ex-pat Aussie living in East London. When not working on Join the Big Picture she is part of the backbone to the Leonhard Pfeifer brand.

Read an interview about Join the Big Picture here.


Karla Thompson
Creative Partner




Detail of Yarn Bombing UK

Entries in Art Everywhere (2)


Size matters when it comes to art…

And not in a big is better kind of way. More in a truthful honestly reproduced to scale kind of way… Let me explain.

Last summer London was part of the “Art Everywhere” public exhibition - an exciting concept where select paintings were reproduced on 22,000 poster sites and billboards all around the UK.

A concept I am generally in favour of, except that it resulted in my daughter’s complete and utter disappointment about the true scale of one painting from the public exhibition.

My then 5 year old spotted Lucian Freud’s ‘Girl with a kitten poster on the platform at Bethnal Green underground station. A big fan of cats, she felt an instant connection with the painting, the cat, the colours and insisted I take her photo with the picture.

Bethnal Green tube station, 2013 - Art Everywhere, Girl with a Kitten, Lucian Freud.

“Mama, I love this painting” she said, followed by a thoughtful question “Do you think the cat is happy?”

Questions that turned into a days conversation about cats, girls, how to be kind to cats, how to draw cats, girls, painting, being a good painter, how do your paintings end up in the tube station, etc… plus the random mention of how dark and scary the tube station is when you are little and that perhaps the kitten felt a bit scared too.

With the original 'Girl with a Kitten', Lucian Freud, 1947. Tate Britain

Many months later during the Christmas holidays we visited the Tate Britain for a rainy day art experience. After looking at the Jake and Dino’s Chapman The Chapman Family Collection exhibition we then found the Lucian Freud painting – Girl with a kitten, 1947 currently on display.

When our 5 year old saw the painting she was utterly disappointed. It was so small. This was not the actual painting she lamented, the other one in the tube station was so much better. Why? Because it was bigger - the kitten was bigger.

Sigh. It was my fault for not preparing her for the change of scale. I knew it was smaller, and forgot that others do not necessarily know these things.

They lied she said. Hmmm, not exactly lying but definitely misleading… So we have been discussing size, scale, and how big art is not always better. But it was a difficult conversation to navigate, and in the end she agreed that some small things were good, though not this one.

Inspired to draw our own 'happy girl with a happy green kitten' version of the painting...

Her final thought on the matter was that ‘Verity’ was really big and she was really good.

So this summer when the “Art Everywhere” exhibition is in full swing again I will be sure to mention that the images you are seeing are not to scale. Big is not always better, but when the original is smaller than the reproductions you are used to seeing, it can be a little disappointing… especially if you are 5 years old.


Summer Snippets...

Skipping out of town this summer in favour of the Baltic beach and sun was fun, of course, but it did mean that we missed out on some great London summer public art events.

A couple that we managed to catch the tail ends of were:

1. Dalston House by Leandro Erlich

Dalston House by Leandro Erlich

Internationally known for his captivating, three-dimensional visual illusions, Argentine artist Leandro Erlich designed and decorated the façade of a Victorian terraced house to resemble the houses that had previously stood on Ashwin Street in Dalston, London.

Proving to be very popular with children and adults alike – the illusionary installation consisted of a mirrored wall which reflected the façade on the ground, offering the passing art enthusiast a chance to ‘scale the walls of a Victorian terraced house’ without your feet ever leaving the ground. Having a 5 year old in tow, we were not able to wait the 2.5 hour long queue (!) to experience it ourselves, but had a great time watching others run and dance on the building.


2. Art everywhere – A very Big Art Show

Whilst sadly we missed the 57 works of art printed and distributed across 22,000 billboard and poster sites in the UK, I did see this one – Girl with a kitten by Lucien Freud, painted in 1947 - on our return to London.

Girl with a kitten by Lucien Freud, Bethnal Green Tube Station, 2013.

It did make me really happy to see artwork as apposed to advertising in our tube station. Well done Art Everywhere. I hear it was a very successful exhibition and hopefully one that will be repeated.

3. Whitecross Street Party

We joined in for the fun of the Whitecross Street Party and open art exhibition entitled 'Rise of the non conformists’, hosted and curated by Teddy Baden.

Duke of Hazard by Teddy Baden

The street party was a lot of fun and a great chance to see some exciting new work by local street artists – some of them slightly disturbing though. 

Other artists showing who I have featured previously were:

  • Irony and Boe - This double act has created some of the most amazing animal inspired street art London has ever been blessed with
  • Blue birds
  • Edible Bus Stop - Employs a concept art form that changes urban spaces into useful nutritional zones of healthy biodiversity.

    Grow your own ideas

Phew. What a busy summer indeed.

And a little bit of butterfly whimsy found on Ezra Street E2 on our walk home from school.