If you thought that the late Ian Dury was famous for his music, including such celebrated hits such as “Sex and Drugs and Rock ‘n’ Roll”, “What a Waste”, “Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick”, “Billericay Dickie” and many more, you might be surprised to learn that Dury was in fact a very talented artist. He painted a large collection of paintings in the 1960s before giving up art to dedicate his career to his other passion, music, whereupon he formed his first band called “Kilburn & The High Roads” in 1971 prior to forming Ian Dury and the Blockheads a few years later.
Now, for the first time ever, Dury’s collection of art is being put on show at the Royal College Art. The new show has been curated by Dury’s daughter, Jemima, who has brought together 30 artworks painted by Dury in the 1960s.
Ian Dury studied painting at the Royal College of Art between 1963-1966 and he was particularly interested in the pop art scene. Many of his works were in the pop art style and these have been hidden away for the last 50 years in an old plan chest – until now. Ian was heavily influenced by his close friend, the artist Sir Peter Blake. It was Blake who encouraged Dury to paint with expression and to use anything he loved as the subject of his artworks. Dury immersed himself in the popular culture of the time and took images from music, film and fashion and fused them with stencils and other media techniques creating bright colourful patterns and imagery. This was a style that was evocative of the 1960s and lives on to this day.
Once he graduated from the College, Dury found some success working as a freelance illustrator for The Sunday Times and London Life magazines, shortly before he embarked on his musical career which proved ultimately to be very successful. Dury’s life was turbulent and he endured many ups and downs along the way. He was also partially disabled following the contraction of polio as a young child but it did not hold him back. He was a colourful and controversial character in many ways and this is is reflected in his art that the public is now able to view at the new show.
The show at the College has been funded by Robbie Williams, the record label “Demon Records, the College itself and also through a fundraising campaign (called “Kickstarter”) which raised over £10,000. It runs from 23rd July to 1st September and admission is free.
You can buy from a large selection of pop art prints at Modern Canvas Art. Take a look now.