Monday, 20 October 2014

Obscure and Obvious

The fifth and sixth signed prints are Ernie and T.T. at St Louis Airport and Donald Duck meets Mondrian:

I suspect that Ernie . . .is to be viewed just as the very pleasing composition of images and pattern it is – I have been unable to deduce to whom/what ‘Ernie’ or ‘T.T’ refer: any suggestions welcome.

Donald . . . is clearly straightforward in terms of external reference and a good example of Paolozzi’s love of combining ‘high’ with ‘low’ brow imagery.  As for the iconography, it’s notable that both Donald Duck and the painting style of Mondrian are instantly recognisable however apparently artlessly they are represented.  That must be a good test of how deeply ingrained into our consciousness a 'brand' has become, something I was exploring in my own painting back in 2003 - see example below, Turkish Delight:

In 1987 Paolozzi said: It is now acceptable to talk seriously about Mickey Mouse as an icon, and even to mention Mickey Mouse and Jesus in the same breath; (Quoted in Eduardo Paolozzi; Writings and Interviews, edited by Robin Spencer; ISBN 0-19-817412-8).

Friday, 17 October 2014

Cover for a Journal, 1967, and current values

This is the fourth of the signed sheets, EA 483:

Single sheets from Moonstrips are offered on ebay currently as follows:

Text sheets - £15 - £45

Text with pictures - £30 - £95

Visuals - £95  - £100

Signed visuals - £595 - £675

Phillips, New York, sold a Moonstrips Empire News Portfolio in 2008 for $6,250, described as follows: 

The complete set of 100 photo-lithographs and screenprints in colours plus justification, on various wove papers and acetate, the full sheets,

15 3/4 x 11 in. (40 x 27.9 cm) (box) all sheets 15 x 10 in. (38.1 x 25.4 cm).  Eight signed and numbered 69/100 in pencil (the total edition was 500 plus 50 artist’s proofs), published by Editions Alecto, London (all with their inkstamp on the reverse), a few with minor creasing in places at the sheet edges, one with pale foxing at the lower sheet, otherwise all in very good condition, original Formed Acrylic magenta box (with large crack on the front and one side detatched). Estimate $3,000 - 4,000. 

Compare this from the same sale: 

Damien Hirst

The Last Supper: Steak and Kidney, 1999.  Screenprint in colors, on Somerset Tub-Sized Satin paper, the full sheet,  S. 60 x 40 in. (152.4 x 101.6 cm).  Signed in pencil, from the edition of 150 (there were also a small number of artist's proofs), published by Paragon Press, London, in very good condition, framed.  Estimate $5,000 - 8,000.  Sold for $5,625

So, one image - have a look at for yourself: for £3,343, or, alternatively, more brilliant images than you’ve got wall space enough for at £69 each, (and the text images free).

Monday, 13 October 2014

High Life

High Life is the third signed print.  It is one of Paolozzi’s images which is to me about layers of visibility/reality; it rewards contemplation without any reference to anything outside itself.

But . . . here are some cues to the outside world:
High Life is a pilsner beer brand of Millers, the American brewers.  It is very fizzy – could that account for all those black ‘bubbles’-like strata of carbonated beer in a glass which form the background of the print? 

‘High Life’ could also refer to ‘substances’ – it’s 1967 after all.  Those fuzzy horizontal lines in the centre rectangle could suggest weed-affected vision.  And, maybe, those sharp, brightly coloured diagonals are channelling us through those gates of perception apparently unlocked by Lysergic acid diethylamide.