Paul Simonon is presenting an exhibition of his paintings at the ICA Nash and Brandon Rooms on the 21.January-7.February 2015.
ICA (Institute of Contemporary Arts) is located on The Mall in the heart of central London. ICA opening times;
Entry to the ICA is with day membership, set at £1. Day Membership includes access to art exhibitions and displays, as well as use of facilities such as the cafe bar and free WiFi.
‘Wot no Bike’ is a series of new works by this seminal musician, artist and biker. The oils on canvas, depicts his own personal effects that include biker paraphernalia such as jackets, boots, helmets, and gloves, alongside his packets of cigarettes and books. The paintings are as much self-portraits as they are still lifes. By rendering possessions that he uses on an almost everyday basis, Simonon transmutes Wot no Bike into a visual diary in paint.
Wot no Bike with its continued references to self-portraiture, is inspired by 20th century realism and its documentation of the living conditions of the working classes, in particular the work of the American Ashcan School in turn of the century New York, and the ‘Kitchen Sink’ school of painters of 1950s post-War Britain. Each focused on the banal and ordinary while depicting the resultant misery, angst and, at times, violence. In Britain the fractious domestic and economic situation of post-war austerity gave rise to the emergence of the subcultures.
While Simonon is cautious about drawing parallels between his music and his painting, it is clear that British subculture of the 1950s, 1960s and 1980s has been, and remains, essential to both these aspects of his life and work.
Autobiographical in the modernist and realist painting tradition, Wot No Bike is Simonon’s personal exploration of British subculture and counterculture in the post-war decades.
To accompany the exhibition at the ICA is a limited edition hardback publication also titled Wot no Bike