On September 30th D’Stassi Art opened our doors to perhaps the most exciting exhibition yet Angel ‘LA II’ Ortiz’s King of Hearts. Despite the typical British weather, nearly 1000 artlovers, industry insiders and even a few famous faces turned up to enjoy the opening event. At our private view, VIP guests enjoyed free flowing champagne and speciality cocktails designed in the spirit of Angel’s work.


Barney Fletcher and Friend at The LAII Launch Party


King of Hearts opened with 27 beautifully intricate and colourful works created by Angel. The exhibition marks Angel’s first solo show in the UK in over 40 years, making it a truly momentous occasion for both him and D’Stassi. Together the works map out the artist’s history, from referencing his collaborative relationship with Keith Haring, to his mastery across different mediums. Spray paint, acrylic and paintmaker feature effortlessly on the canvases crafting Angel’s iconic tag amongst cats, hearts and crowns. 


LAII and friend STIK live painting at the launch party


Angel flew out from New York to attend the opening. Prior to this he created a mural on the exterior of the gallery in his trademark style. Inside the gallery tunnel that leads from the main exhibition space to the D’Stassi bar, he also tagged with one of his signature cats. Around this, and featuring in the stairway in the exhibition, posters spotlighting Angel’s friendships throughout his career were also tagged by the artist. Included in these were the likes of Madonna, Andy Warhol and a portrait series on plates created by Jean-Michel Basquiat that shows Angel amongst his contemporaries in the 1980’s.

On the opening night Angel performed a live drawing in front of a crowd of mesmerised onlookers.  Ode to A Friend, a large bright red canvas featuring a cartoonish, three-eyed smile was tagged with black paintmaker. The piece is a tribute to Ortiz’s friendship with Haring, and is the work most reminiscent of the pair’s joint work.

The first pair met when Ortiz was just 12 years old and worked closely together from then until Haring's death in 1990. They worked on hundreds of collaborations, including a 1500 square mural in the Fiorucci store in Milan 1983. Ortiz and Haring's respective styles complimented one another, with Angel filling out the empty space in Haring’s drawings. Despite the symbiotic nature of partnership, Ortiz’s influence in Haring’s work has continually been overlooked.


Hand signed DM's by LAII


Ortiz’s collaborative work extends beyond Haring as he continually seeks out other artists' work to give his unique characterisation. He and STIK, a London based street artist, worked together on a momentous day-glo canvas simply titled Friends. The work depicts the two artists in STIK’s signature stick figure style embracing against a vivid canvas tagged red and orange in Angel’s signature calligraphy. It was completed during Angel’s visit to London and was the largest work in the show. The simplicity of STIK’s figures highlights the intricacy of Ortiz’s tags which dance across the canvas in delicate precision.

Due to the popularity of KING OF HEARTS, we have decided to extend the show until November 14th. If you would like to visit please contact to book an appointment.  


 The D'Stassi Art team (Words by Chloe Campbell)