Ronnie Wood – Raw Instinct at Castle Fine Art
Comprising original art works, embellished guitars, fragments of handwritten song lyrics, and brand new limited edition works, all of which belong to the never before seen collection of a private owner, Ronnie Wood: Raw Instinct is more a comprehensive curation of the artist’s life than of merely his work.
Born in 1947 to a musician father, an affinity with music was in Wood’s blood. After brief stints in various rock ‘n’ roll bands including The Birds and The Faces, Wood reached Olympian heights of fame when, in 1975, he replaced guitarist Mick Taylor in legendary rock ‘n’ roll band the Rolling Stones.
But before music, there was art. Receiving a formal training at the Ealing College of Art in west London, Wood has always had a deep love of art. Working with an array of media and adopting various artistic styles, from Cubism to Impressionism, Wood takes inspiration from a multiplicity of sources: “I love Caravaggio and Leonardo; I get on all these different kinds of kicks.’’
Boasting four floors and large rooms snaking off into smaller ones, the space of the gallery is labyrinthine. With a film flickering on a large white wall in one room, Stones memorabilia in another with a timeline running along one side of the room, the exhibition plunges you into the wonderful world of the Rolling Stones.
Whether engulfed by swirling flames or glitter-encrusted crowds, as in his most recent works, The Blue Smoke Suite – Ronnie (2013) and Electric Horses (2013), respectively, Wood’s brightly coloured paintings of his band mates on stage are visually most arresting and exciting.
There is also the room of muted nudes and colourful horses, which paint Wood in a more poetic and sensitive light. And, finally, there is Wood’s series of intimate self-portraits. Although composed of a few scratchy lines, each mark maintains some element of his inherent character: a cheeky twinkle in his eye, his cracked face, or that infamous knowing smile.
Fusing film, Stones memorabilia, sketch-like portraits, and iconic images of the band, rendered in a variety of artistic styles and media, the exhibition successfully and creatively sheds light on arguably one of the most famous rock ‘n’ roll bands of our generation, from the personal perspective of the band’s guitarist.
Ronnie Wood: Raw Instinct is at Castle Fine Art until 31st August 2013, for further information visit here.