Category Archives: art

2016 ➤ Bowie’s passionate eye for art proves to be not bad at all

Damien Hirst,David Bowie, Sotheby’s, auction, art, furniture

In the Bowie/Collector sale: one of Damien Hirst’s first spin paintings from 1995 with a long-winded title, painted with household gloss. Sotheby’s est £250k-350k.

◼ WHAT A BRACING INSIGHT into David Bowie’s creative mind! Only 30 items are displayed in an exhibition of the musician’s art collection in London, yet, whether or not you share Bowie’s taste, his sharp eye for a strong image is indisputable.

This exquisite mini-show at the auctioneer Sotheby’s provides a taster for the sale of 400 items from Bowie’s collection in November. Sotheby’s chairman describes the musician’s taste as “eclectic, unscripted, understated” and there’s not a dud in sight. What is immediately evident is strong work by artists who changed the future, from an impertinent Marcel Duchamp readymade, through Wyndham Lewis, David Bomberg, Harold Gilman, Henry Moore, Peter Lanyon, Kenneth Armitage and Frank Auerbach. The core is clearly driven by Bowie’s love of 20th-century British art, with international detours to acknowledge Basquiat and others, plus dozens of items of 20th-century furniture.

Sotheby’s Bowie/Collector previews in London from 20 July to 9 August, then tours to LA, NYC, HK and returns to London in the autumn for a ten-day full exhibition from 1 November and an auction in three parts.

Click any pic below to launch slideshow

The only thing I buy addictively is art
– David Bowie

A spokesman for Bowie’s estate said: “David’s art collection was fuelled by personal interest and compiled out of passion. He always sought and encouraged loans from the collection and enjoyed sharing the works in his custody. Though his family are keeping certain pieces of particular personal significance, it is now time to give others the opportunity to appreciate – and acquire – the art and objects he so admired.”

➢ David Bowie’s personal art collection to feature in three sales – at Sotheby’s

➢ Works the late singer quietly collected over the years go on display – feature and gallery at the Guardian
The singer, who died in January, studied art and design at technical college and once confessed to buying art “obsessively and addictively”, but the scale of the addiction had not been realised. His family say they are selling because they have not got the space to keep the collection.

➢ Bowie’s Art and Furniture Collection – New York Times
“. . . his collection of modern and contemporary British art [includes] paintings by John Virtue, Stanley Spencer, Leon Kossoff and Patrick Caulfield, as well as work by contemporary African artists and pieces of outsider art. Mr Bowie also owned pieces by major international figures: Duchamp’s sculpture À bruit secret, two Hirst “spin” paintings and … a 1960s stereo cabinet by Achille and Pier Giacomo Castiglioni.”

➢ Starman in the saleroom – Antiques Trade Gazette
The top lot is expected to be Jean-Michel Basquiat’s Air Power, an acrylic and oilstick on canvas from 1984 that has an estimate of £2.5–3.5million. Prices for the artist have increased dramatically since Bowie bought the 5ft 6in high painting at Christie’s for a premium-inclusive £78,500 in November 1995.

David Bowie, Sotheby’s, auction, art, furniture

In the Bowie/Collector sale: Italian Brionvega Radiophonograph (model RR 126) by the Castiglioni brothers from 1965. Sotheby’s estimate £800-1,200

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➤ Lovey-dovey Shia LaBeouf says: Ring me today and touch my soul

LaBeouf Rönkkö Turner, performance, art, Liverpool, FACT gallery, streaming, telephone, #touchmysoul

LaBeouf, Rönkkö and Turner taking your calls: Click on this pic to open the live stream at touchmysoul.net in a new window

◼ SHIA LABEOUF INVITES YOU TO RING HIM AND TO #TOUCHMYSOUL – the art collective LaBeouf, Rönkkö and Turner are standing by, waiting for your calls as part of a new project at Liverpool’s FACT gallery, 11am–6pm GMT from Dec 10–13. Telephone +44 (0)151 808 0771. Or view the live stream. Or visit the gallery in person.

➢ LaBeouf’s artworks have been dismissed as stunts but the Hollywood star and his collective tell The Guardian why they’re in Britain today taking calls from the public:

LaBeouf Rönkkö Turner, performance, art, Liverpool, FACT gallery, streaming, telephone, #touchmysoul

Shia on the line: “Can you touch my soul?”

Luke Turner and Nastja Säde Rönkkö, it’s safe to say, don’t quite have the same growly charisma as Shia LaBeouf, a world-famous Hollywood actor turned performance artist. Indeed, they look as if they’ve won a competition to hang out with him. But the unlikely trio are adamant that they are an artistic collective, each on an equal footing. Turner wags a metaphorical finger at journalists who have failed to understand this.

“If it’s a positive article, it’s a work by the art collective,” he says. “If it’s negative, it’s by ‘actor Shia LaBeouf’.” He frowns. “It’s very peculiar to write about a work without saying who it’s by.”

But aren’t they like a band, where people are only interested in the singer? “Well,” says Turner, “you don’t say, ‘John Lennon has released his album.’ It’s the Beatles. I’m not comparing us to the Beatles, by the way.”

Since the beginning of 2014 – when LaBeouf heralded his new career by attending the premiere of Nymphomaniac with a paper bag over his head, scrawled with the words “I am not famous any more” – the three have dreamed up projects that have involved LaBeouf interacting directly with the public. “Why does a goat jump?” asks LaBeouf. “There’s an animalistic urge to express love that I can’t express in film”. . . / Continued at Guardian Online

Read transcripts of the live stream:

#touchmysoul
❏ Luke Turner tells us what we’re seeing beneath the live video stream: “It’s the three of us typing the fragments of conversation together as there’s only one phone line, so we’re all on it together. Colours just separate the ideas/threads of thought or conversation.”

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➢ For four days from 10 Dec 2015 #TOUCHMYSOUL is being streamed live from FACT (Foundation for Art and Creative Technology), 88 Wood Street, Liverpool L1 4DQ, as part of the group exhibition Follow, open 11 Dec 2015–21 Feb 2016 (admission free)

UPDATE 15 DECEMBER:

➢ At Dazed Digital: After four days of taking calls, Shia LaBeouf, Nastja Säde Rönkkö and Luke Turner reveal exactly what and who connected with them

❏ Except that the performers didn’t reveal any such thing. It was an impossible and ambiguous invitation – “Can you touch my soul?” – since some people insist there’s no such thing as the soul, and whatever it is, a soul is intangible or immaterial and cannot be touched anyway. The OED offers three definitions: “1, The spiritual or immaterial part of a human being or animal, regarded as immortal. 2, A person’s moral or emotional nature or sense of identity. 3, Emotional or intellectual energy or intensity, especially as revealed in a work of art or an artistic performance.”

So what counts as a soul being touched? The TMS artists did not specify, neither before the four-day performance, nor after. The trio gave a post-event interview to Dazed Digital in which they still did not answer these questions. They talked about phoning and listening. The words meaningful and connection and rewarding experience recurred. All are intensely subjective, so how can we or they evaluate the outcome?

Luke Turner said that they wanted to “be receptive to whatever feelings might travel down the phone lines to us over those four days”. Do feelings touch a soul?

Nastja Säde Rönkkö said: “Some people moved us with their sweet energy, laughter, singing, silence, life stories, emotions.” Does all this mean touching a soul?

Shia LaBeouf spoke mostly in blank verse, very little of which made sense: “Connection is to be lived / And the internet is not any less alive.” Hm.

A curator said: “It’s about the framework of the show: what do you think is a real experience?” Ah, good old reality. There you go.

The event seemed to conclude with LaBeouf being tattooed with the words: “You. Now. Wow.” We were shown him being touched by the tattooist’s needle.

A project that doesn’t set out its brief beforehand risks missing its mark. It’s hard for callers to know what they’re expected to do or to evaluate any subsequent touching. The result was yards of telephone transcripts which are available to read online at touchmysoul – mainly touchy-feely, hippy-dippy psycho-babble and precious little enlightenment.

18 FEB UPDATE: A SELECTION OF THE 1,089 CALLS

Jerry Springer’s Final Thought:

“I play a crazy talk-show host, but that’s not me. It’s like an actor playing a role.”

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2012 ➤ Hockney paints Hawking — watch a glittering new portrait emerge as a movie

David Hockney,iPad portrait,Brushes,exhibitions , Stephen Hawking,London, Science Museum

David Hockney at work on his iPad portrait of Stephen Hawking, showing from today at London’s Science Museum. Photograph © Judith Croasdell

Britain’s best-known painter meets the world’s best-known scientist. The outcome is a dazzlingly intimate birthday portrait of the wheelchair- bound Prof Stephen Hawking, captured in February at his office in Cambridge looking serene and fascinating with strangely luminous violet eyes. Today’s Science Museum blog reports:

IMAGINE BEING ABLE TO SEE the British artist David Hockney create a new work, stroke by stroke, before your very eyes. Now imagine this work is a portrait, providing an insight into the way Hockney composes his famous likenesses. Even better, the subject is none other than the distinguished Cambridge University cosmologist, Stephen Hawking.

For the next three weeks the Science Museum will display an animated version of Hockney’s portrait, running on the artist’s own iPad for more than three minutes and showing exactly how it was created. Visitors can see how his skill has evolved since he was first introduced to the Apple iPhone in late 2008 and then the iPad. Hockney draws with an app called Brushes which removes the need to cart around supplies, easel and palette… It is exhibited alongside a rarely seen Hockney line-drawing, dating from 1978, owned by Hawking’s first wife, Jane… / continued online

➢ Stephen Hawking: A 70th birthday celebration display at London’s Science Museum until April 9 … The book that made a celebrity of cosmologist Hawking in 1988, A Brief History of Time, broke records by staying on the Sunday Times best-sellers list for 237 weeks.

➢ More on Hockney at Shapersofthe80s: 1983’s landmark interview when he revealed “Suddenly I see cubism differently, more clearly”. Plus more of his iPad art

Ubermensch ,sculpture,Stephen Hawking, Jake Chapman, Dinos Chapman

Ubermensch 1995, by Jake and Dinos Chapman: Hawking as Fiberglass “Superman”

➢ Thin line between art and hate: is this the most repellent work of modern art? “The Chapman brothers’ sneering sculpture of Stephen Hawking sickened me in 1995, and still does now. What do you think is the most hateful work of modern art?” — Guardian art critic Jonathan Jones writing in January … and Jones again today: “Hockney’s portraits of Hawking are important documents of what really mattered in the culture of our time. Like Epstein’s Einstein, they will still be looked at when much art that makes headlines is utterly forgotten.”

➢ Professor Stephen Hawking has filmed a cameo for TV sitcom The Big Bang Theory, due to be aired next month in the US (May in the UK) — BBC News reports: The famous physicist will appear in a scene with socially awkward scientist Sheldon Cooper, played by Jim Parsons. He previously recorded voice-overs for animations The Simpsons and Futurama. Last year, he fronted his own TV series Brave New World for Channel 4, which looked at new developments in science and how they might benefit mankind … / continued online

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➤ Robert Pereno: My road to recovery in the recession

Robert Pereno , Society Club, cafe, gallery, Soho

The Society Club, Soho: Robert Pereno and tea hostess Daisy. Photograph by Rebecca Reid

◼ WHO ACTUALLY IS ROBERT PERENO? You won’t find him at Wikipedia but may remember him from Shock, a New Romantic music/mime/dance troupe who supported bands such as Gary Numan, Kid Creole and Depeche Mode in the early 80s and had the odd dance-floor hit with Angel Face and Dynamo Beat. In 1983 he metamorphosed into a vocalist with electronic club band Pleasure and the Beast, along with Lowri-Ann Richards from Shock. He became a bit-part actor and then nightclub promoter, notably with Tuesdays at Crazy Larrys in Chelsea. He kept fronting clubs though, in his own words, by the mid-90s his life fell to pieces. In 2005 he suddenly appeared in a TV documentary aptly titled Whatever Happened to the Wild Child? — in his case, a reference to a runaway teenager he married young.

Today a video interview with Pereno — one of those men who wear a hat indoors — has been posted at YouTube [2018 update: whole channel now deleted]. It seems to be the second in a talk-show series titled The Independent Session and it is effortlessly viewable. Pereno fesses up to his rocking past frankly, fearlessly and perhaps foolishly, should Lily Law be watching. He is vague on the intimate details of his downfall, but as he talks 19 to the dozen, you may not feel that you want to be the reconstituted Robert Pereno Mk2, but you grudgingly admire him for making a huge effort.

Robert Pereno, Shock troupe, Pleasure and the Beast, bands, Blitz Kids,

Pereno in Shock 1980 and in Pleasure and the Beast 1983

He tells us he’s a minor boarding-school Chelsea boy who was born in Turin, Italy, and grew up first in ex-pat Calcutta with a mother who was a nightclub singer, and later in the London pubs where X-Ray Spex and Adam Ant played in the late 70s. With Crazy Larrys “I catered for dysfunctional Chelsea girls and south-London black guys”. On the night it was raided and closed, he says, “it was packed with an extra 25% of people who were all police because there was a lot of drug-taking”.

This autumn he and his wife interior designer Babette opened a discreet little corner shop in Soho called The Society Club which sells literary memorabilia and multi-tasks as cafe and art gallery. Within minutes, namely, this week, it has been reviewed favourably by an Evening Standard restaurant reviewer (though hot meals are actually supplied by Café Soho next door). Pereno gets described as a “flaneur” and as he has a knack for reinventing himself always gives the impression of knowing everybody and being everywhere. In the video he talks energetically of hosting poetry readings, book launches, photo exhibitions (currently Graham Smith and with John Stoddart’s photos and Derek Ridgers’ to follow in the New Year), plus pop-up events including a vintage film club nearby in Soho.

At 54 Pereno is sanguine about the future. “I quite like a recession. I was involved in the warehouse scene — office blocks empty, throw a party. Now with a recession we’ve got a shop and done a deal with the landlord because times are hard. It’s a time for the outsider to make a move.” He gallops with his theme. “It’s probably healthy for the music business. Simon Cowell is already yesterday, because he’s part of what we’ve just had, which is an over-inflated economy. Now is the time for the maverick. I don’t even have a bank account, mobile or television. My wife gives me pocket money… Unfortunately I’m not very good at being single.”

➢ The Society Club shop/cafe/gallery is open daily at 12 Ingestre Place, London W1F OJF (tel 020 7734 3400)

➢ Update: The Promoter (2013), a documentary directed by Ed Edwards – “Robert Pereno should be a household name, but every time he is on the brink of greatness, he somehow manages to mess it up. This is his story.”

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WELCOME ➤ TO THE SWINGING EIGHTIES

In 1980 a youth movement began reshaping Britain.
Its stars didn’t call themselves New Romantics, or the Blitz Kids – but other people did. This writer was there and these words and pictures tell the tale.

David Bowie

◼︎ As a decade, the 1970s spelt doom. British youth culture had been discredited by punk. A monumental recession followed the Labour government’s “winter of discontent”, threatening the prospect of no jobs for years ahead.
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Swinging 80s, London, history, blitz club, blitz kids, theblitzkids, theblitzclub, cult with no name, billy’s, gossip’s, nightclubs, fashion, pop music, steve strange, rusty egan, boy george, stephen jones, kim bowen, stephen linard, chris sullivan, robert elms, perry haines, princess julia, judi frankland, darla-jane gilroy,fiona dealey, jayne chilkes, derek ridgers, perry haines, terry jones,peter ashworth, lee sheldrick, michele clapton, myra, willy brown, helen robinson, stephane raynor, melissa caplan,Dinny Hall, Kate Garner, rachel auburn, richard ostell, Paul Bernstock, Dencil Williams, Darla Jane Gilroy, Simon Withers, Graham Smith, Graham Ball, christos tolera, sade adu, peter marilyn robinson, gaz mayall, midge ure, gary kemp, steve dagger,Denis O’Regan, andy polaris, john maybury, cerith Wyn Evans, iain webb, jeremy healy, david holah, stevie stewart, worried about the boy,Yet from this black hole burst an optimistic movement the press dubbed the New Romantics, based on a London club called the Blitz. Its soundtrack was a pounding synthesised electro-pop created for the dancefloor by a studio seven-piece called Visage, fronted by the ultimate poser, Steve Strange. He and other fashionista Blitz Kids were picked by Bowie to represent their movement in his 1980 video for Ashes to Ashes (above). But the live band who broke all the rules were five dandies with a preposterous name: Spandau Ballet.
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As the last of the Baby Boomers, the Blitz Kids were concerned with much more than music. In 1980 they shook off teenage doubt to express all those talents the later Generation X would have to live up to — leadership, adaptability, negotiating skills, focus. Children of the age of mass TV, these can-doers excelled especially in visual awareness. They were the vanguard for a self-confident new class who were ready to enjoy the personal liberty and social mobility heralded by their parents in the 60s.
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For Britain, the Swinging 80s were a tumultuous period of social change when the young wrested many levers of power away from the over-40s. London became a creative powerhouse and its pop music and street fashion the toast of world capitals. All because a vast dance underground had been gagging for a very sociable revolution.

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“From now on, this will become the official history”
Verdict of a former Blitz Kid.

➢ THE MENU AT TOP leads you into this Aladdin’s Cave.
➢ THE BLOG POSTS on this front page report topical updates which also link to the background pages in the menu.

Below: View Blitz Club host Steve Strange in all his poser glory in the promo video for Fade to Grey (1982), also starring the club’s cloakroom girl, Julia Fodor, aka Princess

CLICK HERE to run the anthemic 80s video ♫ ♫ from Spandau Ballet and feel the chant:

nightlife, st moritz, club for heroes,le kilt, wag club, beat route,hacienda, cha-cha, holy city zoo, rum runner, camden palace, scala cinema, studio 21,crocs, le palace, white trash, fac51, Dirt Box, mud club, batcave, barbarella's, croc's, electro-pop, synth-pop, Chant No 1, kid creole, blue rondo, animal nightlife, visage, duran, depeche mode, ultravox, human league, gentry, ABC,soft cell, bolan,vince clarke, haysi, wham!, mclaren, heaven 17, yazoo, foxx, omd, bauhaus, phil oakey, jay strongman, Martyn Ware, martin fry ,altered images, 20th-century box, vivienne westwood, PX, axiom, body-map , foundry, sue clowes,demob, seditionaries, acme attractions, i-D, the face, new sounds new styles, Korniloff, andrew logan, kahn & bell, biddie & eve, toyah,

July 2, 1981: Shooting the video for Chant No 1 at Le Beat Route club in Soho, “down, down, pass the Talk of the Town”. Photograph © by Shapersofthe80s


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