James Cauty

, b. 1956

James Cauty’s irreverent, anti-conformist work confronts British politics and current events. Before he turned to visual art, Cauty was best known as a member of the ’90s rock duo KLF and the ambient house pioneers The Orb. The multidisciplinary artist has undertaken ambitious miniatures projects that have drawn crowds with tours throughout England in recent years. In 2015, the artist exhibited Aftermath Dislocation Principle (ADP)—a 448-square-foot model village shown after a riot​​—at Banksy’s anti–theme park, Dismaland. Cauty frequently subverts popular figures and symbols in his work, such as Mickey Mouse and the Queen of England. He began to produce paintings of smiley faces on police riot shields as a symbol of nonviolence in 2012, including special editions with gold and silver glitter. They have become some of his most iconic works; in 2020, SRS X Glitter (Secret Police Disco) (2016) sold at auction for $8,869. Despite his commercial success, Cauty’s practice has been linked to outsider art and the anti-art movement. He has often produced and shown his work, including merchandise and ephemera, outside the conventional gallery system.