Friday, August 28, 2009

Natty Brooker to debut work in U.S.

British artist Natty Brooker, best known for his collaboration with legendary UK bands Spacemen3 and Spiritualized is debuting his life’s work in the United States in October 2009 at Substrate Gallery, Los Angeles.

This run is the first in a series of shows in art capitals around the world, including New York, London and Berlin, where Brooker’s work will be seen as a whole for the first time.

Curated by friend and former band-mate Will Carruthers, the show is the culmination of a lifetime’s work for Brooker. “Natty is a genius, pure and simple. His influence as an artist on the British music scene was far reaching. What many people don’t know is that Natty now has terminal cancer, so this will be the first and last time people will have the opportunity to see his amazing work as a collection.”

Brooker was responsible for much of the Spacemen3/Spiritualized aesthetic. He introduced founding members Pete Kember and Jason Pierce (aka J.Spaceman and Sonic Boom) to blues and gospel; played drums on the first Spacemen3 album Sound of Confusion; and also appeared on the classic demos release Taking Drugs to Make Music to Take Drugs To.

It was Natty's iconic Devil and Angel design that adorned the first Spiritualized album cover Lazer Guided Melodies and it was his endlessly recurring threes that graced the last Spacemen3 album Recurring.

Putting the show together has been a labor of love for Brooker and Carruthers, having spent months collecting the original art work from around Europe.

“Natty had a tendency to give his work away once finished. We’ve spent the last 6 months tracking down his friends and asking for the work back so that we could get it scanned and make it available to other people.”

Often Brooker painted on wooden boards, plastic sheets, and other discarded objects with whatever was at hand; in biro, felt tip or leftover emulsion paint. Between the scavenged materials and extreme subject matter, Brooker’s work is peculiar, unsettling, humorous - and always tipping a wink to mortality.

“Spacemen3’s music was once described as ‘music to blow your mind inside out’” says Carruthers, “and that’s exactly how Natty would describe his art now. It’s a rare pleasure to be able to show the public Natty’s life’s work, particularly at this time.”

The LA opening will take place on the evening of October 3rd 2009. Los Angeles’ shoegaze band THE MEEK will be spinning a DJ set of the genre’s classics. Prints of all the works are available as a signed and numbered set of 14 for $1600. Individual signed and numbered prints are available starting at $200.

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