Former Stone Roses guitarist makes celebs faceless in Shoreditch art exhibition
The former guitarist of 90s rock band The Stone Roses will unveil a series of unseen paintings exploring fame and fortune at a Shoreditch gallery this week.
John Squire will present his new exhibition Celebrity at Idea Generation in Chance Street, Shoreditch, from this Friday (June 10)
The painter, who gave up music in 2007 following a long-running feud with bandmate Ian Brown, has given the likes of Cheryl Cole, Albert Einstein and Rihanna a new look – by replacing their faces with geometric shapes.
“The central theme is that celebrity has or is replacing religion,” the notoriously taciturn star said.
“I used traditional Islamic patterns to censor celebrity images because Islamic artists use these to avoid representing their deities.”
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He said his work had not been influenced by his time in the spotlight but his experiences as a consumer and a father of five.
“I was sick of celebrity culture. I think celebrity should be a by-product of influence.
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“I do pictures that are shambolic and off the rails.
“There are only direct correlations to the celebrities in a few of the works. You won’t be able to see the people, although I can.
“There are no characters - just confusion and disgust.”
The artist, who is largely self-taught, said he was expecting a strong reaction when his exhibition launched this week.
“There will be a lot of storming out.
“But I am really looking forward to seeing it. It is hard to stand back in the studio to look at the pieces together.”
John Squire: Celebrity runs until July 3. For more information go to http://gallery.ideageneration.co.uk.