Dean Stalham is a wondrous character, less drifting through life, more knowing it’s a rich dream whilst it lasts. With an eye for art, that’s taken him to prison, and the Royal Court, Dean’s known to have shifted Art somewhat illegally, with three stays at her majesty’s service after hauling £6 million’s worth of four Andy Warhols, 13 Chagalls, 33 Dalis and two Cindy Shermans off walls for other walls. Whether it was osmosis, or mis-channelled energy, Art workshops proved the way to manage life as a prisoner, and after serving time, he wrote about life as an ex-offender, a world full of prejudice and difficulty, and founded Art Saves Lives. He’s now an established playwright, with various projects raising awareness to some of society’s overlooked gaps.
Aside founder, artist and innovator Carlotta Allum, he’s worked with Stretch Charity hosting a full spectrum of Outsider artists at parties, backed by our own editor, Kirsty Allison, and a full range of talent from Peter Doherty to Adam J. Harmer from the Fat White Family and Warmduscher, with his feet in acid-house, Stalham has a rare ability to co-ordinate crews of people in seconds. He’s hosted radio shows where he slices through traditions of class, identity, and art, and next year, all of that apprenticeship is rumoured to be finding a hacienda of its own, with an Outsiders Art Gallery coming to Margate next year.
This photo is from him performing at The Bomb Factory in North London, aside John Gosling, and Vagrant Lovers last year.
Check out the auction he’s currently co-ordinating, with funds going towards his daughter’s Ormond Street work. A raft of artists, including Jeremy Deller and Pure Evil, are adding to a raffle for contributors. It ends July 10th.