Sunday, 9 October 2022

Paul Simonon "Two Years: London and Mallorca" & Caroline Coon "Love of Place" Art Exhibitions

Caroline Coon at Paul Simonon's exhibition 

We went along to two Clash-related Art exhibitions on one afternoon in London recently. Firstly, it was to the John Martin Gallery to see "Two Years: London and Mallorca" which bought together an excellent collection of oil-colours painted by Paul Simonon during the pandemic from two very contrasting locations. There's the area around Paul's Paddington studio which is dimly lit by street lamps and exudes an almost Victorian-era atmosphere and then S'Estaca, a remote fishing village on the island of Mallorca which Paul has painted not only as the sun-kissed idyll you might expect but also grey and overcast, or bathed in moonlight. Both sets of pantings in their different ways, perfectly capture a slightly ominous sense of solitude and isolation felt during the various lockdowns. There's also a selection of wood carvings, something I've never seen at any of Paul's exhibitions before. By chance I noticed that former Clash manager, Melody Maker journalist, author and artist Caroline Coon was at the gallery too so I said hello and had a brief and pleasant chat. I mentioned that the first book I ever bought about Punk (and still one of my favourites) was her excellent "1988 The New Wave Punk Rock Explosion" although I forgot to ask her just what 1988 had to do with it, given that the book was published in 1982 and most of the action was from 1976 and 1977, anyway, that's a mystery that remains unsolved! Caroline mentioned that she also had a exhibition of her own art at the Stephen Friedman Gallery  just round the corner so we popped in to check that out too. In complete contrast to Paul's paintings of isolation, Caroline's "Love of Place" exhibition is full of huge canvasses packed with people. The paintings are a joyous celebration of the multi-cultural community of Ladbroke Grove in West London, a place also of course synonymous with The Clash and are bursting with vibrant colour. 

For more information, please check out the links below:

John Martin Gallery

Paul Simonon Art 

The Clash official web-site

Stephen Friedman Gallery

Caroline Coon

Paul Simonon with my Retro Man Blog colleague and Clash photographer,
Paul Slattery at the 
Black Market Clash Exhibition

Caroline's "Love of Place" exhibition runs until November 5th. Paul's exhibition has now ended.

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