Bill Wyman: Reworked at Rook & Raven
This intriguing photographic collection marks another facet of the highly regarded musician and original Rolling Stone, Bill Wyman.
Wyman’s photos exude a candid whimsy beneath a rock ‘n’ roll sheen. Held in Oxford Street’s open plan Rook and Raven gallery, the collection is given room to breathe, granting the viewer space to peruse the images with time and ease. The first piece is a seated John Lennon, smoking a cigarette, dressed head to toe in denim. The photograph captures a very human moment amid the whirlwind of fame by using depth of field to draw the eye to a key point of the image – a noticeable trait in Wyman’s work.
Gone, but certainly never forgotten, guitarist Brian Jones features moderately in the collection, testament to the respect Wyman had for his band mate. A highlight, simply entitled Brian in Mirror (Milan, Italy 1967) shows Jones slack mouthed in the back of a car; again, fogged dimensions create a tunnel view and emotional ambiguity.
Wyman has allowed various artists to rework his pieces via their chosen medium. Charlie ‘Five Years Work & Twenty Years Hanging Around’ is reworked by current favourite Penny, whose work consists of real butterflies and abstract compositions, showing Wyman’s eye for modern style. Wild Deer (Gothenburg, Sweden 2011), a large panoramic photograph of four deer standing in a cold winter scene, captures a moment of intimacy amid the vastness: a touching scene.
Mick on Bus reworked by Pam Glew, shows an image from 1997 of the Rolling Stones front man relaxed on the band’s tour bus, transposed onto a bleached union jack flag. Painted by the artist to compliment the photograph’s natural shades, it forms an inventive display of the intrinsic “Britishness” with which The Stones are synonymous. Keith Barefistin’ & ‘Barefootin’ (Massachusetts 1981) epitomises the overall feel of the exhibition – a highly personal display of life on the road. Keith Richards is poised in overblown animation in a topless fighting stance, a smiling Mick Jagger in the background – a moment captured forever.
This glimpse into a generally mysterious world is peppered with personal spurts of creativity, creating an interesting collection of musical observation.
Bill Wyman: Reworked is at Rook & Raven until 30th of March 2013. For further information visit the gallery’s website here.