Saturday, July 2, 2011

Stone Roses Rocker John Squire Paints Lady Gaga, Savages Celebrity Culture

By Mark Beech

UNITED KINDGOM - The world is drowning in celebrity culture, says artist John Squire. It’s time to protest against being bombarded with images of stars, he says. Lady Gaga, Rihanna, Lindsay Lohan, Keira Knightley are becoming gods. Squire knows about fame. Before turning to painting, he formed U.K. rock band the Stone Roses, whose debut album was voted by Observer critics in 2004 as the greatest of all time. His latest exhibition is full of paintings named after well-known people, good, bad and ugly -- David Beckham, Woody Allen, Cheryl Cole, Albert Einstein, Phil Spector, Tracey Emin, Harold Shipman, Magda Goebbels. “I tried deliberately not to represent these people,” says Squire, wearing a blue shirt and jeans, staring at an image titled “Richard Pryor” in London’s Idea Generation Gallery. “I made sure the composition stood on its own, and then found a name that seemed to fit.” Squire, 48, is fascinated by the abstractions in Islamic art, which is rich in symbols such as eight-pointed stars and shuns depictions of Allah and Mohammed. [link]