ARTIST PROFILE: LOZ TAYLOR

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Despite the turn up for the books in this year’s political anomalies, a professional gambler turned pop-artist is hedging his bets on a positive future for the UK.

Having recently appeared on BBC 1’s Flog It!, Lawrence ‘Loz’ Taylor, aged 56, from Sedgley, collected a cool £6,000 backing a Brexit vote in the referendum and backing Trump for President.

Aside from the small fortune Mr Taylor made from the unexpected outcomes, he now thinks his artwork will be more understood and the economy will be on the up.

He said: “What I do isn’t always considered PC or whatever you want to call it and at times it’s been difficult to find the right audience as there isn’t always a cross over, gambling is considered taboo.

“I think it’s more relevant now though, especially with the risk taking attitude that people seem to have based on these outcomes – although it’s not just me, I think it will be good for all people and there’ll more improved jobs.”

Born in Walsall, Loz moved to Sedgley when he was 10 and started gambling from the age of 17, betting on dogs mostly. He remembers the conflict he faced then, unsure of whether to go into gambling or art professionally – aware that both were risky in terms of income.

“I was a young guy, deciding what to do and had interest in both art and gambling. I used to go greyhound racing all around the West Midlands, about three or four times a week and I started my own speed rating system, which I use now on the horses.”

In-between odd jobs, Loz wrote articles for racing magazines analysing horses and studied art at Dudley Library, getting as much as a thrill out of the work of Picasso, Warhol and Yves Klein as he would out of being at the races.

It was during the surge of modern technology in the late 1990s which saw Mr Taylor come into his own, deciding to combine his favourite passions.

“Computers saved my life. I decided to bring the gambling and the art together and with printers and Photoshop it became possible. I landed my dream job writing for attheraces.com in 2000.”

From there Loz has continued to grow in success, with his own studio space at Newhampton Arts Centre, Wolverhampton. His nuanced artwork features his own ‘gambling alphaBET’ and the use of greyhound racing as a metaphor for the ‘gamble of life’.

WOLVERHAMPTON COPYRIGHT EXPRESS&STAR TIM THURSFIELD 07/11/16 Loz Taylor, who is based at Newhampton Arts Centre, who is appearing on TV's Flog It. Presenter Paul Martin bought one of his pieces.

WOLVERHAMPTON COPYRIGHT EXPRESS&STAR TIM THURSFIELD 07/11/16
Loz Taylor, who is based at Newhampton Arts Centre, who is appearing on TV’s Flog It. Presenter Paul Martin bought one of his pieces.

He now sells his work to professional poker players, casino owners, horserace owners, day traders, sports bettors and games room owners. And when pop art was on the agenda for a recent episode of BBC 1’s Flog It!, Mr Taylor was on-hand to show his latest work for the programme.

“I was chuffed when they chose me and it was good to be in a programme with Wolverhampton Art Gallery, with its world renowned pop art collection. Paul liked one of my works so much – a large digital print titled ‘Buy It & Flip It’ – that he took it home with him.”

To follow Loz Taylor’s blog, go to stored-images.blogspot.co.uk.

Words: Doug Wootton
Images: Tim Thursfield

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