UK Cypriot publisher, author and Banksy’s former agent Steve Lazarides has announced the opening of a physical expansion to his popular Laz Emporium online store launching on 7 October in the heart of Soho at Lexington Street, London. Serving as a shop and exhibition space, the new store will purvey a range of eclectic art merchandise spanning homeware, furniture, print editions, original works, collectibles, books and more.
Laz Emporium was launched online in 2020 as a follow up to Lazarides’ hugely successful Banksy Captured volumes. The two books featuring Lazarides’ own photography spotlighted unseen images of Banksy creating some of his most iconic works. Within its first year of business, Laz Emporium has quickly established itself as a go-to destination for edgy curiosities curated by Lazarides’ fertile imagination. Lazarides is a disruptive force in the art market and a pioneering figure in the popularisation of street art: his new store will be a must-see destination for anyone wishing to be shocked, amused, and immersed in his uniquely creative mindset.
The product prices range from books at £25 to one-off furniture at £20,000 and beyond.
Centrepieces of the shop include pieces by prominent British artists Jonathan Yeo and Jamie Hewlett, co-creator of the virtual band Gorillaz. The new art, homeware and esoteric designs in stock have been created by many of Britain’s most eclectic contemporary artists and creators including Jake Chapman, Charming Baker, and War Boutique. Graffiti art is represented by New York’s Stash, Berlin’s Mode 2, and London’s Teach who’s also contributed to the space’s design. Lazarides’ own photography from the Banksy Captured books and other personal projects are available too. All items are UK sourced or UK-made at Lazarides’ family-run workshop in Bristol.
Steve Lazarides said of the opening: “We’re creating new pieces, made by ourselves in the new Laz Studio out in the Wild West Country. These will be on sale next to objects d’anarchy from my own archive. Laz Emporium is the physical manifestation of my aspiration to be Ian McShane’s roguish, 80s TV antiques dealer Lovejoy. My collection is the product of my bipolar mind, always leaping from one area of fascination to another.”
The store will be opened alongside a new exhibition space which will feature a series of shows curated by Lazarides. The inaugural event will present works by Scottish design and art studio War Boutique which was founded in 2003 as a response to the Iraq war. Laz Emporium will roll out monthly shows throughout the year after the opening of the store.
About Steve Lazarides:
Steve Lazarides is the former art agent and official photographer for the street artist known as Banksy. Since the pair parted company in 2008 the man The Financial Times dubbed an ‘accidental art dealer’ has opened several galleries dedicated to the urban art movement, and produced various major experiential events at venues including 180 The Strand and The Old Vic Tunnels. He is widely considered to be the eminent authority on graffiti art and the Banksy market. Lazarides is a staple talking head in Banksy documentaries and takes a significant role in Banksy’s own award-winning movie Exit Through the Gift Shop. Most recently he appeared in Sky Arts’ Banksy and the Rise of Outlaw Art (2021). Lazarides studied photography at Northumbria University. During his time there, his photographs of the nascent north-east England rave scene were selected for the Victoria and Albert Museum. He notoriously assisted David Bailey before landing the role of picture director at seminal 90s style title Sleaze Nation, where he met Banksy on assignment in his home town of Bristol.