CHRISTIAN FURR AND GERED MANKOWITZ: IN WONDER 21st April – 27th May 2023 RedHouse Originals Gallery 15 Cheltenham Mount Harrogate HG1 1DW
Legendary music photographer Gered Mankowitz has opened up his prestigious rock n roll archive for a collaborative series with acclaimed oil painter Christian Furr. Furr & Mankowitz’ have reworked images of rock royalty including Jimi Hendrix, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, which are set to go on display alongside unseen portraits of Kate Bush, PP Arnold and Marianne Faithful.
During the 1960s Mankowitz had unprecedented access to some of the most important and ground-breaking musicians of the decade. He was the Rolling Stones official photographer from 1965 – 67 and his portraits read like a who’s who of the key players at the time; Jimi Hendrix, The Small Faces, Eric Clapton, PP Arnold, Free, Traffic, The Yardbirds in addition to Kate Bush, Elton John, Slade, The Jam, Eurythmics, Duran Duran, Oasis and many more have looked down the lens of Mankowitz’ camera.
Christian Furr first gained an international audience in 1995 after becoming the youngest artist commissioned to paint Queen Elizabeth ll. He is dedicated to keeping the British tradition of oil painting “fresh and alive as a contemporary medium” and so his collaboration with Mankowitz was a natural progression.
After a friendship spanning more than a decade, Furr and Mankowitz have produced a collection merging both their considerable skill-sets. This stunning array of works features hand-worked uniquely painted original monoprints with subjects including ‘The Rolling Stones’, ‘Jimi Hendrix and ‘Marianne Faithful’; combining Furr’s distinct painting style with some of Mankowitz’s most iconic photographs.
Furr: “It probably goes back to when we first became friends. I painted a portrait of Gered and Gered took a photograph of me in my studio in Kingston upon Thames. We had this idea to work together as artists and try and fuse the world of photography and art and do something with that as an idea and I just think Gered’s amazing archive has really lent itself to us creating a whole new thing together…”
Mankowitz: “We discussed a basic concept and then Christian came to stay with me in Cornwall where we thrashed out a framework, tested some ideas and generally got excited about the project. We both wanted to create unique hand finished pieces and I was keen to produce the original prints myself. We liaised on an almost daily basis, bouncing ideas off each other, sending snaps. The first results were stunning and so exciting; it was difficult to see where I ended and Christian began, the work merged so naturally… what I was seeing was not similar to anything else that had ever been done… a true collaboration.”
The series is part of the In Wonder exhibition open until 27th May at RedHouse Originals Gallery. These new artworks will go on display alongside original darkroom photographs by Mankowitz and recent diamond dust paintings by Furr alongside a film of the artists in discussion about the collaboration.
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