“Hepburn Gag” – Artwork

Tuesday , 30, July 2013 12 Comments

audrey hepburn ball gag progress art

Ballpoint pen drawing of Audrey Hepburn with ball gag.
“Hepburn gag”
This artwork is one of my photo realistic drawings done in black and red ballpoint pens (BIC Biros).
The top image shows three photos of me creating it.

I’ve had a lot of mixed reactions to this artwork. It’s a departure from the kind of drawings I’ve done before of Audrey Hepburn so it did divide opinion, but a bit of controversy is always good in art.

Hepburn Gag detail

Obviously, in the original photo of Audrey Hepburn the artwork is based off she wasn’t wearing the ball gag. A few years ago I came across a Tumblr image where someone had Photoshopped in the ball gag. I drew this artwork from that small online image (the Photoshopper is Ray Dario & he did it for fun back in 2011. he can be found on Devient art here).

The drawing took just over three weeks to complete at a size of 50x40cm in July 2013.
It was a commission so the original is unavailable.
Soon after, I released a limited edition of 80 Giclee prints of the artwork at a larger size of 80x60cm, which have now sold out but there are a few numbered AP prints left, which you can still order online here.

(UPDATE; July, 2015) I was asked by a London nightclub group to come up with 2 large artworks for a warehouse party (more info here) so I did an XL print on canvas of the drawing (150x110cm, AP 1/2), had it framed with another artwork (see below) and put them up for the party. There was a great response to it, so afterwards I hand finished it with pink Krink ink (the heart) and put it into a summer group show in Notting Hill (more info here). Then…
it was shipped off to the Spanish, party island, of Ibiza for a massive yearly event called Urban In Ibiza organized by Paul Dizzi Saunders from Notting Hill gallery Westbank Gallery. You can see it below exhibited alongside Banksy (from right), RYCA, Snik, & Elmo Hood. It sold there but…
wide main 1 sl
the story doesn’t end there.
The artwork has now gone onto a range designer clothes by a new fashion label called Tailored Anarchy. This is great timing as there has been a bit of demand for T-shirts with the artwork on (see comments below). The designers have first made a sweatshirt/jumper with it on which launched on the catwalk at the Urban In Ibiza event mentioned above (more images here).

MainI had a clothes and accessories store for a while selling T-shirts of the artwork, but I shut it down as it wasn’t really worth my time to operate.

Instead recently (April/2018) i partnered with one of the world leaders in lightboxes to create a polaroid format high specification LED lightbox artwork as the final rendition of “Hepburn Gag”, (more information here) the video (see below) also shows the journey the drawing took to this form as outlined above.


Subverting images of vintage celebrities & ideas of classical beauty has become a bit of thing with my work at the moment.

Subverting classic ideas of beauty, not to disrespect them, but to explore how the subversion of those ideas are actually beautiful in their own right, whilst hrowing in an edge of cheekiness & fun for good measure.

Below are two other drawings of mine I’ve created recently, “Audrey Swears” & “Monroe Gag”, (click images more more) that fit into the same style / category as “Hepburn Gag”.

Audrey_Hepburn_Flipping_the_bird-swearsMarilyn Monroe ball Gag

  • Peroque says:

    Hey, I’m the author of the original shop. It was originally published at peroque.tumblr.com but its been a while since i post anything (original) and i dont check it very often. Then I saw a t-shirt with the image and i googled it to discover that it went a little viral. The comments on the shop (and its mysterious author) really cracked me up. Im really excited it inspired you to make this drawing, and i have to say its AWESOME!!! At first i though you just reprinted it, but now i can see is a very good drawing, with better details than the original! This is really encouraging for me to make more photoshops! Thank you!!

  • Peroque says:

    Yes I replied to your mail, check it out!

  • Danceny says:

    Nice work. At the risk of annoying you, is it possible to buy a t-shirt with this image? I only found you after MMA fighter Luke Rockhold attended a Q&A session wearing a shirt with this image (probably the original Photoshop). I can’t see myself hanging a giclee print of this, but a shirt would be perfect.

    • James Mylne says:

      There is a now a high quality low edition T-shirt range being designed from my drawing at the moment. Check back here in 4 weeks time or so for link & more info.

  • […] of my artwork: Hand finished “Hepburn Gag” XL Giclee print on canvas. AP 1/2. Info on the original work here. Some very interesting artists and visually rich artworks in this show. It’s organized and […]

  • Gateway says:

    I’d also love a shirt when they are ready!

  • Dnk says:

    Hey man. Excellent work. When your tshirts are good to go, please get in touch. It’d be excellent to combine such class with such trash!

    • James Mylne says:

      Will do. They are still being designed. Looks like they will be very low edition (more of a special edition range) cant go into detail but there is something unique being done with them also.

  • bdg says:

    Bought an original print a couple of years ago, saw it in the process of being made and was awed! Still one of my favourite pieces! Genius work James!!!

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