23rd June - 7th August 2016
This summer, Proud Chelsea is pleased to introduce Pure Evil on the Kings Road, an exhibition of original artworks by leading British street artist Pure Evil. This collection explores the cultural history of the infamous Kings Road, documenting icons of the swinging sixties, all of which played their part in London’s creative explosion.
Charles Uzzell-Edwards, better known as Pure Evil, takes inspiration from 60s icons with Warhol-esque portraits of Mick Jagger,Twiggy and Jane Birkin showcasing doomed and dripping portraits. These pieces feature his trademark 'tear' emblem which justifies his artistic excursions into the darker side of people and their social ills. This amalgamation of humour, art and malevolence is captured throughout this portrait of the Kings Road. From the early 1960s, Chelsea was a hubbub of creative activity and the epicenter of Swinging London. It was frequented by a large community of literary figures and artists, moving through the 70s and 80s with the
birth of the British punk movement and the opening of Vivienne Westwood's infamous ‘SEX’ shop alongside husband Malcolm McLaren.
Pure Evil fell into the group behind Banksy’s “Santas Ghetto” and started producing dark new prints and artwork, a style which has cemented the artist as a fearless image maker extraordinaire. When asked why these icons are crying, he has said “It’s an illustration of the heartbreak and sadness we have all experienced in relationships in the past.” To understand a bit about Pure Evil it is illuminating to know that he is a descendant of Sir Thomas Moore, the Lord Chancellor who wrote the controversial work Utopia and who was later beheaded by King Henry VIII. With this background it is only natural that Pure Evil should explore the darker side of the wreckage of Utopian dreams and the myth of the Apocalypse, a belief in the life-changing event that brings history with all its conflicts to an end.
In this never before seen exhibition, Proud Chelsea will celebrate the cultural importance and significance of street art, whilst revealing Pure Evil’s trademark tongue in cheek style of contemporary art which has since inspired a cult following. This exhibition will revisit the creative contemporaries who made the Kings Road legendary and commemorate Pure Evil’s unique street art sensibility that is admired and collected globally.
9th June- 24th July 2016
Proud Camden is delighted to present The Band Photographs 1968-1969, an exclusive collection of both iconic and never-before-seen photographs documenting the making of this group's first two albums, Music from Big Pink and The Band, through the lens of close friend and renowned photographer Elliott Landy.
Elliott Landy, the celebrated rock and roll photographer whose portraits grace the covers of both Bob Dylan’s Nashville Skyline and Van Morrison’s Moondance, is also responsible for the cover for The Band’s second, eponymous album. In 1968, aspiring photojournalist Elliott Landy was documenting the underground music culture in New York City, when Bob Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman, offered him exclusive access to photograph The Band during the recording of their first two seminal albums. Landy’s images of The Band documented the music scene during the classic rock-and-roll period and he soon became one of the first music photographers to be recognised as an “artist.”
Once in a while a photographer gains the trust of an artist or a band, and his work fuses with that of the artist in such a way that the two become united in the public consciousness. Landy’s privileged relationship granted him unprecedented access and enabled him to capture one of the most enigmatic bands as they created a new genre of music. In 1968, “Americana” was played by six musicians in the town of Woodstock; Bob Dylan and a group called The Hawks. They had been The Hawks for five years when Dylan pulled them out of a Tony Mart’s dive bar on the Jersey Shore and asked them be his band, later changing their name to The Band. The Band were instrumental in Dylan’s progression from folk to electric, with both parties providing a significant influence on each musical styles.
More than four decades after Landy captured some of the most memorable shots in classic rock history, Proud Camden will showcase a unique relationship between artist and subject that is rarely seen in documentary photography. Exploring one of the rising bands of this decade, The Band Photographs 1968-1969 will reveal candid and iconic photographs of an unassuming group that captured the attention of a generation.
28th July - 11th September
This summer, Proud Camden brings in the festival season with a nostalgic collection of photographs taken by the esteemed photographer, Baron Wolman. This exhibition explores the innovative genius of one man as he transformed music photography through his idiosyncratic style and spontaneous aesthetic, perfectly documenting the music, the people and the sheer hedonism of the legendary Woodstock Festival.
As the Vietnam War raged on, the Woodstock generation became more aware of their power to change the world by challenging cultural restraints, ideas and institutions. Public rallies, peace-protests and demonstrations created a unified feeling of hope and purpose and for the first time a mass culture saw itself as completely interconnected and began to take on a global rather than a local responsibility.
What was conceived as “Three Days of Peace and Music,” advertised for 50,000 people, soon became one of the most important music festivals in history, attended by over half a million people, and a defining moment for the counter-culture generation. Woodstock was the people’s festival where positive and like-minded individuals were brought together to celebrate their values, concerns and feelings for the world around them. The magic of Woodstock is a stunning demonstration of the true power of community and still holds an enduring influence today, becoming an inspiration for those who believed that things could change for the better. Even once the music was over and the people had left, Woodstock was not the end, but the beginning of music and pop culture as we know it.
Wolman was at the inception of Rolling Stone magazine, capturing icons of the 60s and 70s, including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and The Rolling Stones. His candid and evocative photographs of Woodstock offer a rare insight into this illustrious event, capturing the true essence of the celebrated rock ‘n’ roll festival. He would venture to the outskirts of the festival, taking photographs of the audiences and their leisure activities away from the music, explaining that “I ended up spending most of my time out in the wild with the crowd because what was happening out there was just too interesting not to explore.” Wolman gives us a vivid and honest view, documenting not only the music and performances but also the cultural and political aspects of people protesting against the war, animal killings and government.
With his unobtrusive approach, Wolman’s techniques resulted in photographs that captured the rawness and emotion of a generation. Woodstock by Baron Wolman brings together a collection of iconic images that have come to epitomise our collective cultural memory, showcasing a revolutionary moment in the history of music and one of the greatest events to have ever occurred.
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