After spotting the Birmingham-based painter's portraits of the infamous criminal gang at our Mailbox gallery in Birmingham, businessman Tony McKeon started a collection that now includes 22 original and limited edition works. The impressive selection of figurative paintings now decorates the walls of The Office Bar & Restaurant in Dudley, West Midlands, a Peaky Blinders themed hotel that is inspired by the real-life gangsters and characters from the hit BBC show.
From a food menu featuring Black Country classics like faggots and peas, to suites named after fictional characters including Tommy, Polly, Alfie and Grace, the hotel has been designed for a true Peaky Blinders experience. Jon Jones' atmospheric scenes - curated alongside our gallery team - have added the finishing touch to the bar and restaurant, and are a definite conversation-starter for guests. Tony says: "Everyone who has seen the artwork so far has fallen in love with it and said 'Wow' - they're overwhelmed! Everything is so realistic, as if it is a photograph."
Scroll down to find out more about Tony's collection, or contact us for availability of original art.
Tony's collection began after he came across a Jon Jones exhibition at our gallery in Birmingham's Mailbox shopping centre. He explains: "I was in the gallery and I was listening to people from Liverpool, Manchester and London saying which ones they would have. I thought, 'Hang on a minute, all of these paintings are going to disappear and us Brummies aren't going to be able to see them.' So I said to the fine art consultant that I'd take six, and I've been collecting from Castle Fine Art ever since! The team was so helpful: they showed me around the gallery and told me more information about Jon Jones, where the artwork originated from and the backstory."
Following the exhibition, Tony was inspired to attend a tour by the English historian and broadcaster Carl Chinn, who is himself a great-grandson of a Peaky Blinders gang member. He says: "I just got hooked on the subject. Obviously I love the TV series: I like how it talks about the IRA, the Mafia and all of the things I didn't believe happened in the 1920s. Some of it is fiction, some of it is true, and I was fascinated. That's where it all began, I suppose. Then when I saw the hotel, which dates back to 1898, I knew straight away that the architecture and its history would be a fantastic fit for a Peaky Blinders theme, making it the perfect place to share my passion with people from all over the world."
A visitor admires Jon Jon Jones' coloured and monochromatic original oil paintings at our Mailbox gallery in Birmingham, where Tony first started his art collection.
The décor of the hotel - including wood panelling and stained glass windows - was carefully chosen in a nod to the late 19th-century period, during which the Peaky Blinders came to prominence in the Midlands. To ensure that the artworks complemented the existing features, Tony took advantage of our art installation service, which includes expertise on the positioning of the artwork according to lighting and furniture. Tony says: "I left it to the experts at Castle Fine Art, who came to hang all of the paintings for me. Once they were hung, I looked around and thought, 'Wow, this looks incredible!'."
Jon told us: "I think Tony has fulfilled his dream. Six years in the making, and it's suddenly come to life. Seeing his excitement is amazing, and it's also very flattering - when you create a painting, you don't think it's going to end up in a themed hotel! I think having paintings of the original, real-life Peaky Blinders here is a touching tribute to Dave Cross, who was the curator of the West Midlands Police Museum and passed away shortly after my first exhibition. He gave me the historical photographs, and these have lived on in my mind, so his memory lives on too."
To discover more about our installation service or projects with restaurants, hotels and interior designers, get in touch.
"Everyone who has seen the artwork so far has fallen in love with it and said 'Wow' - they're overwhelmed!"
Owner of The Office Bar & Restaurant
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