Symbolic London Brings Rolling Stones-Inspired Exhibition to Broome Street Gallery, Opening Today
Symbolic London, one of the world's greatest collections of twentieth-century pop culture, presents a collection of fine art works inspired by The Rolling Stones and the artists that have supported them in a worldwide exhibit entitled 50 Years of Rocking the Art World- A Celebration of The Rolling Stones which opens to the public today, 7 December 2012 and runs through Monday, 4 February 2013 at 498 Broome Street at West Broadway in New York City. Gallery hours are from 10am to 6pm, Monday to Sunday. Private appointments also available.
Symbolic has presented the exhibition in part to recognize The Rolling Stones 50th Anniversary as the "Greatest Rock and Roll Band in the World". The exhibition includes paintings, drawings and limited-edition prints available for sale, many of which have never been seen before by the public.
Throughout the band’s vivid history, they have consistently showed support of the arts by directly commissioning artists to create their logos, album covers, and related content for their tours. The show will highlight artists, who have used The Rolling Stones brand logos and their iconic individual appearance to create their own works of art. The celebratory exhibition will feature works by Rolling Stones member Ronnie Wood, including new never before seen mixed media pieces, as well as drawings and lyrics created while on tour with the band.
In 1971, “The Tongue,” one of the most iconic and recognizable logos ever created for a band, was released by artist John Pasche. Pasche’s original vision of the logo was first featured on the Sticky Fingers album cover, and will be on display, in conjunction with one of five modern versions created in 2007. Described as the most visually dynamic and innovative logo ever created, Pasche late sold the image rights to the Stones.
According to Pasche: “Face to face with him (Mick Jagger), the first thing you were aware of was the size of his lips and his mouth. The design concept for the tongue was to represent the band’s anti-authoritarian attitude, Mick’s mouth and the obvious sexual connotations. I designed it in such a way that it was easily reproduced and in a style I thought could stand the test of time.”
The Victoria and Albert Museum in London now owns the original design and one of the 5 recently created works.
The celebratory exhibition will feature works by Rolling Stones member Ronnie Wood, including new never before seen mixed media pieces, as well as drawings and lyrics created while on tour with the band.
Other noteworthy artists participating in the exhibition including Hubert Kretzschmar and Peter Corriston, the original designers of the Some Girls album cover, which became one of the band’s best-selling albums in the U.S. and remains a staple of their live shows. It was one of their most controversial album artworks, as it showed surprisingly unsightly representations of female celebrity.
Another key Rolling Stones inspired artist, celebrated during the exhibition, is Sebastian Kruger. Known for his detailed life-like portraits, in particular of Keith Richards, Kruger has been praised for "capturing the essence of his subjects" with his pieces, which are sure to draw you in.
Adding to the show’s enticing subject matter, Andy Warhol’s famous limited edition print of Mick Jagger, signed by both Andy Warhol and Mick Jagger, will be featured for viewers to admire. In addition to the Mick Jagger screenprint Andy Warhol collaborated with the Stones on several projects including the Love you Live album cover and Sticky Fingers.
Like the cinematic efforts of Robert Frank and the Meisel brothers, these artworks exist within a continuum of collisions and collaborations, which reflects what the Stones are all about; what they stood for then, with their youthful brashness, and what they stand for now, in all their seasoned legacy. The exhibition will feature events highlighting each of the artists and their works, as well as appearances by notable Rolling Stones supporters of the last 50 years.
The original artwork for The Rolling Stones logo was created by John Pasche (British, b. 1945) in 1971 and remained the property of the artist until it was acquired by the Victoria & Albert Museum in 2008. Due to the fact that Pasche sold the copyright to the Stones in 1984, no other production rights of the logo were given to the artist. In 2009, Pasche reached an agreement with them permitting him to produce just five original and unique artworks based on the original design. A copy of the agreement between The Rolling Stones and the artist is available on request and serves as a provenance of the pieces.
Los Angeles-based artist David Byrd (American, b. 1941) has had a prolific career in graphic design and illustration. Upon graduation from Carnegie-Mellon University where he earned both his Bachelors and Masters degree in Painting and Printmaking, Byrd moved to New York City in 1967 where he helped establish Fantasy-Ultd., a multi-media collective. The group segued Byrd's involvement with Bill Graham's Fillmore East theatre in Manhattan's East Village where Byrd took on the role of exclusive poster and program designer. The position marks the beginning of the artist's reputable career of designing show posters for rock icons such as Jimi Hendrix, Jefferson Airplane and of course, the Rolling Stones to name a few. Over the next twenty years, Byrd would create many campaigns for Broadway and Off-Broadway shows and receive nation-wide renown for his modernist appropriation of Art Nouveau used within his conceptions. With a heavy-weight career under his belt, Byrd worked as the Senior illustrator for Warner Bros. Creative Services until 2002 when he decided to return to freelance work and continue his tradition of ingenious designs today.
Jeff Koons (American, b. 1955), known as a cultivator of pop-art ingenuity, is well-versed in working with celebrity imagery and pairing them often with seemingly banal objects. For the Rolling Stones 'Forty Licks' tour in 2002, he had designed the band's tour logo which served as the stadium show backdrop. With the mural, Koons had made implicit the very essence of the band; sex, drugs and rock 'n roll. Plastered behind the Rolling Stones while they had performed on stage is Koon's collage of an inflatable dog, a trash can, a pair of red-lacquered lips and a hot pink thong stretched from each side of the piece. While the artist did not have the intention in replacing John Pasche's iconic 'Tongue and Lips' logo, Koons regards his design as "a new type of lips that can be associated with this tour."
Russell Young (British, b. 1950) began his career early on as a photographer, receiving training from Chester Art College and Exeter Art College. However, it was his time assisting the photographer Christos Raftopoulos that Young was inspired to develop a personal aesthetic and helped push him to pursue personal projects. Young heeded Raftopoulos' direction and began shooting live club shows of R.E.M., Bauhaus and the Smiths. His photographs garnered a great deal of positive attention and he quickly picked up work for magazines and record companies, eventually shooting portraits of Morrissey, Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Diana Ross and many more music legends. By 2000, haven established himself within the commercial world, Young began to feel confined within the limits of photography and resolved to pursue a more creative career as a painter and an artist. He continues his practice today, working between Brooklyn and throughout the California coast.
Born in Karlsruhe, Germany in 1954, Hubert Kretzschmar began his career as a graphic artist and illustrator after studying visual communication and painting at Essen‘s Folkswang University in Düsseldorf, under Willy Fleckhaus and Helmut Sundhausen, and with Josef Beuys. In 1978, he moved to New York and devoted himself to illustration and pioneering works of photography, video, sculpture and computer graphics. During the 1980s he participated in and extensively documented the movement of the graffiti-art scene off the streets and into New York‘s fine-art galleries. He has designed iconic album covers for legends of rock and pop music such as the Rolling Stones, Led Zeppelin, Iggy Pop, and Kraftwerk, as well as graphics and designs for most major record labels. His commercial client roster includes Apple, TimeWarner, Viacom, Sony, Nike, and Thurn und Taxis.
New York-based photographer, Timothy White (American, b. 1957) received formal training from the Rhode Island School of Design which culminated to a BFA 1979. Upon his move to New York City shortly after graduation, White quickly proved himself within the field of contemporary portraiture as one of the industry's most prolific and skilled photographers. His images have been published numerous times in magazines such as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stones, Esquire and Playboy as well as movie posters for Sony, Paramount and Universal. His work has travelled internationally in museums and galleries and is recognized by several awards including a 'Lucie' award for international photographer of the year.
As a student of Braunschweig University of Fine Arts, Sebastian Krüger (German, b. 1963) made a career for himself as a designer of cover spreads for German print media and as an illustrator of various LP covers. That career path soon became redundant to Krüger and he began to pursue fine arts in the direction of ‘New Pop Realism’. His portraits, featuring a large roster of celebrities from Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones to Charlie Brown, are not only a celebration of pop culture legends, but also a creative reflection about the apparatus of media presentation and an investigation on the obsessive iconography of contemporary picture production. Krüger continues his practice today with a studio in Hanover, Germany and in California.
As a master of trompe l'oeil, Ron English (American, b. 1966) is notorious for blending his skills as a realist painter with his commercially-fueled sense of iconoclastic satire. English has exhibited in galleries and museums worldwide for over twenty years, influencing a generation of artists and art lovers with his unique sensibility, in which the familiar is reflected through funhouse mirrors into something disconcertingly new. Recently his commentary and art were featured in the hit movie “Supersize Me,” widening his audience beyond the boundaries of intrepid art seekers, and he has appeared on television internationally. He is also the subject of an award-winning documentary, “POPaganda, the Art and Crimes of Ron English.”
Ronnie Wood’s renowned musical career has sometimes overshadowed the fact that he is a trained, highly talented and successful artist and a skilled draughtsman. World-renowned art historian Brian Sewell has called him ‘an accomplished and respectable artist,’ an opinion also echoed in Marvin Bragg’s prestigious Southbank show in 2004, which dedicated a one-hour special to celebrating Wood as an artist. Edward Lucie-Smith, the internationally acclaimed art historian has remarked, “Who says you have to be good at only one thing? Ronnie is in the top flight as a musician, but he’s also a fully trained artist and it shows. Wood’s trained eye has led to a series of well-observed sketches of some of the world’s greatest icons that are illustrative of close, personal relationships.” Symbolic collection boasts studies of fellow legends such as Jimmy Page (1983), founder of rock and roll band Led Zeppelin, and also Eric Clapton. The collection would of course be incomplete without Wood’s dynamic studies of The Rolling Stones, such as his 1979 drawing of Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and himself jamming on stage when touring with their 1975 album, Black and Blue. Also included within the collection are sketched portraits of Charlie Watts, Fats Waller, Blondie and Jerry Hall, depicted not as icons, but as friends Wood made throughout his career. The carefully selected works act as a pictorial biography of Wood’s thrilling life experiences, guiding us through half a century’s worth of rock and roll. Beginning the collection is a self-portrait of Wood (1962), from when he was receiving formal art instruction at Ealing College, looking serene and neatly presented. As well as offering us insight into Wood’s personal experiences, the works also presents us with an insider’s view into Ronnie's celebrated music career. It is fitting that one of the latest works in the exhibition (Essential Crossexion, Album Cover study 2005) is Wood’s personal attempt at recording his journey, illustrating his musical milestones with The Faces, The Creation, The Jeff Beck Group, The Rolling Stones, and his many solo efforts. Also included within the retrospective are original set lists and handwritten working lyrics for The Rolling Stones, The Faces, The Birds and The Jeff Beck Group dating back to 1968, which Wood sketched throughout his career. Symbolic’s remarkable collection also possesses a deft satirical caricature of notorious Peter Grant, the manager of Jeff Beck as well as The Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, who was famed for being “the shrewdest and most ruthless manager in rock history.” Images such as these highlight how Symbolic provides a rare and privileged invitation to contemplate a rock and roll star’s personal and exhilarating experiences from an otherwise restricted viewpoint.
Symbolic London specializes in artwork and investment collectibles from the worlds of fine art, pop culture, music and entertainment.Located in Mayfair, near Berkeley Square, Symbolic London has works by Andy Warhol, Pablo Picasso, Salvador Dali, and Ronnie Wood, among many others. The gallery is located at 34 Bruton Street, London W1J 6QX, United Kingdom. Phone: +44. 207.998. 1994. For more information visit www.symboliclondon.com.
BROOME STREET GALLERY
Broome Street Gallery is a pop-up exhibition space available for short-term rental. It is one of the spaces managed by Parasol Projects, a company that assists galleries and artists in staging temporary exhibitions in New York City. Located in the heart of SoHo, in New York City, Broome Street Gallery is a contemporary gallery space, featuring 2,000 square feet of floor space and 18-foot high ceilings. Parasol Projects / Broome Street Gallery: 212-682-4966 visit www.broomestreetgallery.com.