Friday, 8 November 2013

The Kontroversial Peter Harris exhibition at Konk Studios

Last night I went to: "Ray Davies Presents: Peter Harris - A Rock 'n' Roll Fantasy" at Konk studios (49 Church Lane, N8) just half an hour from my house! The show is open Monday to Friday 4pm - 8pm till the 7th of December but it's probably best to book an appointment with almarayk@hotmail.com rather than just turning up. Before The Kinks Ray was a student at the Hornsey School of Art and recently he curated a Meltdown festival on the South bank. This show is his personal pick of Peter's paintings. As a special treat Ray came and gave a little speech about how much he respected Peter's work and then performed a track from The Muswell Hillbillies album called "Here Comes The People In Grey"
(Above: Ray with The Rebel magazine logo painted by Peter Harris & John Strutton)
Above: "Cheers!"
Above: Peter has a bit of a "I can't believe it's really him" moment
(Above: Ray's speech)
(Above: Artwork by Harris, Shaw & Strutton)
(Above: Artist Matt Calderwood)
(Above: Ray goes unplugged)
(Above: "people take pictures of each other"
(Above: Jared Fisher)
(Above: Roger Evans, Thom Driver, John Strutton. Below: Harry William Pye and Ray Douglas Davies)
I first came across Peter Harris in 2000. I immediately became a fan of both the man and the work. His show Touche featured him making collaborative works with several different artists including John Strutton, George Shaw and Matt Calderwood. I'd left art school in 1995 and had the last 5 years writing about art, interviewing artists, doing fanzines and events. Although I'd made collaborative paintings and drawings that were along the same lines as what Peter was doing but I'd never thought of exhibiting them. Peter was definitely an influence on me and he inspired me to exhibit my own collaborative stuff. The Van Gogh image (painted by Harris & Strutton) became the logo for The Rebel Magazine. Peter was the first artists to put me in a show (he curated Funny at the Andrew Mummery gallery in 2000 which featured work he'd seen in my fanzine)I returned the compliment and Peter's work featured in several group exhibitions I curated including For Peel, 100 Mothers, Viva Pablo, Elvis, I Love You Because, Enough or Too much - and Peter's contribution often turned out to be the most talked about piece in each show. I've always loved The Kinks so it was surreal being in Konk studios listening to Ray Davies read out a speech about why he liked Peter's work and then dedicating a song to him. After the performance Peter cheekily asked Ray if he'd collaborate on a painting with him and Ray seemed interested. I really hope they make a painting together. And I hope Ray also gets to hear the excellent Piper's Son c.d. (which features both Peter's artwork on the sleeve and his pedal steel guitar)

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