Elton John lyricist Bernie Taupin to stage to start with British isles visible artwork demonstrate | Art

Ora Sawyers

They are one particular of the most profitable songwriting duos in pop audio, but when the musician Elton John is the supreme flamboyant showman, the lyricist Bernie Taupin has normally favored to be out of the highlight.

On the other hand Taupin, who has been producing music with John for extra than 50 percent a century, will now just take centerstage – as a visible artist – with his to start with British isles exhibition having spot next month at the Iconic Photos gallery in central London.

In a uncommon job interview, he informed the Guardian: “I’m by no signifies Greta Garbo, but I could not do the kind of items that he [John] does. He’s most likely one of the most identifiable figures in the globe and it is tough to stay in that bubble. I could not do that.

“He’s certainly exemplary at it, but I like to be capable to go to the market on my very own and go and get my coffee in the early morning. I keep really a great deal to myself. I’m a very non-public individual. I really do not love movie star that significantly,” he added.

Muhammad Ali – The Legitimate Identity of Superman. Photograph: Terry O’Neill/Iconic Illustrations or photos, reimagined by Bernie Taupin.

Artwork has been a lifelong passion for Taupin and, if he had not bought fortunate as a songwriter, he may very well have pursued it as a career. The son of a farmer from Lincolnshire, he fulfilled John in London in 1967, right after they each individual answered the similar record enterprise advertisement for songwriters. Taupin was 17 and could not compose melodies, and the singer and pianist John – then still identified as Reginald Dwight – was 20 and could not publish lyrics.

They hit it off immediately, starting to be the closest of musical associates, the lyricism of Taupin’s words and phrases inspiring John’s melodies. Their a lot of vintage songs include things like Rocket Guy, Crocodile Rock, Candle in the Wind, Sorry Looks to Be the Toughest Word, Goodbye Yellow Brick Highway and Daniel.

The duo have always written individually. Taupin states he has written dozens of new tunes, but they are in an early phase and he has nevertheless to clearly show them to John: “Too early to say something about that right now,” he adds.

Audrey Hepburn – Hippy Hat.
Audrey Hepburn – Hippy Hat. Photograph: Terry O’Neill/Legendary Photographs, reimagined by Bernie Taupin.

Considering the fact that 1970, Taupin has lived principally in the US, where he has experienced exhibitions of his abstracts and mixed-media pieces with located objects, between other functions.

His display at the Legendary Pictures gallery is influenced by his buddy, the photographer Terry O’Neill, whose shots captured the spirit of the pop and movie worlds of the 1960s and 1970s.

Named Taupin and O’Neill: Two Sides of the ’60s, the exhibition capabilities 15 blended-media paintings, just about every a pop-artwork reworking of one particular of the photographer’s visuals of well-known faces of the decade, such as Audrey Hepburn, John Lennon and Queen Elizabeth: “The 1960s have been quite alive and vibrant,” says Taupin. “Times ended up transforming fast and these had been the people that ended up on the cusp of that adjust … They had been the lights that burned brightest.”

Paul Newman – Made in the USA.
Paul Newman – Manufactured in the Usa. Photograph: Terry O’Neill/Legendary Photos, reimagined by Bernie Taupin.

In advance of O’Neill’s death in 2019, they had collaborated on the venture, Taupin claims. “[Terry was] very keen … We didn’t definitely know how or when to existing them. That’s why they acquired pushed into the qualifications for a although.”

Discussing the reworked photographs, he said: “The portrait of Paul Newman, for instance, is a mix of acrylic spray paint and bubblegum wrappers … [With] the portrait of the Queen and Prince Philip, I took out the tapestry which is in the rear of them and crammed it in with [a collage of] factors that are wholly English [including Marmite and custard wrappers].

HRH Queen Elizabeth – Confectionary St.
HRH Queen Elizabeth – Confectionary St. Photograph: Terry O’Neill/Iconic Images, reimagined by Bernie Taupin.

“The issue about this unique exhibition is it’s all completed in wonderful excellent humour … Hopefully, [it’ll] make you smile.”

Although Taupin speaks of feeling a “little gun-shy” about unveiling his work in the Uk – “I’m always wary of how folks respond to things” – he pays tribute to O’Neill: “Terry was these types of a dynamic photographer … When you did a photo session with Terry – usually photo classes are laboured and time-consuming – he made them pleasurable. It was like acquiring your picture taken by an East Conclusion barrow boy. He obtained the incredibly ideal out of the finest. You can see that fully in his do the job.”

Sophia Loren – Oh What a Night.
Sophia Loren – Oh What a Evening. Photograph: Terry O’Neill/Legendary Visuals, reimagined by Bernie Taupin.

When Taupin is working on his artwork, he listens to new music, anything from jazz to blues: “I’m not much of a pop man.”

He does not pay attention to music that he co-wrote with John: “I assume you have to be of a sure ego to sit all over listening to your very own.”

Taupin and O’Neill: Two Sides of the ’60s from 15-29 April at the Iconic Photos gallery, London

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