I recently went to Lehmann Maupin, one of my favorite contemporary art galleries on 26th street in Chelsea, to see their summer exhibition titled, On Shuffle, a group exhibition of interdisciplinary underground cult figures in various mediums, which use and reference music.
One of the contemporary artists that held his own was UK-born Billy Childish. His portraits of turn of the 20th century composers Edward Elgar and Sergei Rachmaninov fascinated me because they reflected the artist’s own crossover from art and music. Childish himself is a prolific poet, musician and artist, so I was keen to see him depict artists in his own milieu.
Particularly interesting to me was his depiction of Elgar (shown above) resting across two chairs and taking a break, presumably his mind still over-working as reflected in the multicolored, erratic and psychedelic background.
Image credit: © Billy Childish | Elgar Sat on Chairs | oil and acrylic on linen | 2011 | 48 x 60 in. | 122 x 152.4 cm. | The artist is represented by Lehmann Maupin, New York.