GALLERY: 28 Artworks Inspired by You Were Never Really Here

In February 2018, Little White Lies set its readers a challenge: Could you draw Joaquin Phoenix in You Were Never Really Here?

Artists far and wide were invited to create an artwork that captures the spirit and dark energy of Lynne Ramsay's film, foregrounding the central performance by Phoenix. The winning artwork is now on display in the Curzon Soho gallery space (found on level -2) alongside a selection of runner-up designs. Visitors to our Soho cinema are invited to view the full exhibition for free, and you can preview 28 of these brilliant artworks in the gallery below.


The Brief

Screen Shot 2018-03-07 at 14.31.47.png

Working alongside StudiocanalUK, Little White Lies set the brief...


We’d like you to send us an original illustrated portrait of Joaquin Phoenix as his character in the film. Your entry can be as simple or as intricate as you like, but it must incorporate at least one of the following colours (see right).


The catch, of course, is that most of Little White Lies' readers will not have seen the film, which will be released in the UK on Friday 9 March. As to the tone of the film and the kind of performance Phoenix has delivered, the artists had to work from clues left by the world's critics, the Studiocanal UK promotional campaign, and the filmographies of Phoenix and Ramsay.


The Trailer

The poster


Reviews and Quotes

"A visionary director at the height of her powers" Screen Daily
"Tough and noirish" Cinevue
"Taxi Driver for a new century" The Times
"A muscular and tightly wound masterpiece" The List


THE Soundtrack

If they were really crafty, the artists might have managed to hunt down a track from Jonny Greenwood's extraordinarily expressive score that somehow manages to be melodic and abrasive by turns.


Despite the limitations, 28 artists were able to create a series of stunning evocations of Lynne Ramsay's plain talking, straight hammering film, led by a powerhouse performance from Joaquin Phoenix as a lonely, hulking figure who roams a nightmarish world of urban and authoritarian decay.

Let us know your favourite in the comments below...

The Winner

And the winner, selected by the discerning cinephiles at Little White Lies, is Andrew Bastow. His sparing design perfectly captures the films intensity and the emotional isolation of its lead, Joe. Focusing on the internal torment so brilliantly portrayed by Joaquin Phoenix, the artist offers a snapshot of all that drives this dark and powerful film. Congratulations Andrew. 

Andrew Bastow

Lynne Ramsay's You Were Never Really Here plays at select Curzon cinemas from Friday 9 March. 

The Little White Lies exhibition will be on public display from Wednesday 7 March for a minimum of two weeks.