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A Painter's Life

Anthony Reynolds talks about five painters he likes

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by Lee Paul, for outsideleft.com
"I know very little about painting and realise I'm coming to all this as an amateur- I'm no critic in this department- and that's how it should be."

Anthony Reynolds fronted and founded the band Jack in the early 1990s. He has released numerous albums under a variety of guises in subsequent years as well as writing books on Leonard Cohen, The Walker Brothers and, most recently, two critically acclaimed volumes on the band Japan. In addition to this he has published two volumes of poetry and starred in an award winning short film. His new album, A Painter’s Life, is imminent on the Rocket Girl label. It’s an album that harks back to the kitchen-sink symphonies of Jack and their pop-skewed spin-off band Jacques. Guests include Robert Dean (Japan), Carl Bevan (60ft Dolls), Richard Glover (Dub War), Fiona Brice (Midlake, John Grant), Gary Le Strange and Kirk Lake. Ahead of the release, and in recognition of the stunning title track, a mordantly witty examination of the artistic life, we asked Anthony to tell us about his favourite painters.

FIVE FAVE PAINTERS – ANTHONY REYNOLDS

Caroline Walker
I love the voyeuristic aspect of her work among other things. The paintings depict innocent enough scenes but the perspective is as if from that of a sniper.

So you got a mix of the beautiful and the foreboding.

I know very little about her. Until recently I could only find one book on her, 'In every Dream home' although it seems there's a new one on her out...

I recently looked for prints of hers to buy but could only find some by another Caroline Walker who paints Cows. Artists should have different names as with Actors joining equity. The Cow artist could be called Ccaroline Walker...Caroline Walker SunsetCaroline Walker: 'Sunset' 

 

David Hockney
He and his work make me temporarily happy.

I love his attitude - I've been trying to interview him about Smoking for years - but I prefer his later paintings to his 'early' ones. I recently saw the 'classics'- the Pools etc in the flesh for the first time and I thought they worked better as posters than paintings. I love his Polaroids too. I've been waking up under a massive 'Pearblossom highway' for years.
Garrowby HillHockney: 'Garrowby Hill'

 

Frank Sinatra/Miles Davis/David Bowie/Paul McCartney
I love paintings by people who needn't paint.
It's interesting how one is perceived according to what one is best known for.
If Bowie hadn't made it as a singer..would he be more revered as a painter?

I know very little about painting and realise I'm coming to all this as an amateur- I'm no critic in this department- and that's how it should be.

I've got books of the paintings of all of the above. Sometimes you can see a connection between the music and the painting- as with Bowie and Miles - but Sinatra's paintings are intriguing. His landscapes are desolate and as for the Clown paintings...look for yourself.

Sinatra Clown

Sinatra: Clown

 

Basquiat
I see a lot of his stuff as music in paint. You've even got the lyrics on there...

When I look at them they pulse.

In person they are massive and that made me think about the relationship between the medium and the work. As prints, his work can only be shrunk so far before they lose their potency. It's like they degrade from being a live performance to an MP3.

Astoundingly, soon after his death a number of 'Lost' Basquiat's were found 5 minutes from where I'm typing this in Cardiff. They were fakes of course but of all the places...
Basquiat Red RabbitBasquiat: Red Rabbit

 

Picasso
Art has to have a function for me. If I have a painting on the wall I need to be able to have a conversation with it. I've had this massive print of 'Dora and the minotaur' on my wall for 20 years and I'm never bored by it, I still 'see' it every day.

Of course Picasso is an ideal artist. He was always 'on'. His intoxication came from his work, there seemed to be no separation between his work and his life. It's like he surrendered totally to his creative impulse. I can't imagine him every worrying about anything but the work he was engaged in...an utterly enviable state to be in.
Picasso Dora and the MinotaurPicasso: Dora and the Minotaur


Anthony Reynolds “A Painter’s Life” is available to pre=order here
https://rocketgirl.co.uk/artists/649?fbclid=IwAR1SZrFvOGhewLlFHQuFqKQ00mm9nepvRK19JKdacyrXFdvUAA3nxUQL3G4

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