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HomeCultureThe Ingenious Paintings of Pink Floyd's Syd Barrett

The Ingenious Paintings of Pink Floyd’s Syd Barrett


We’ve had enjoyable had on the expense of the multi-hyphenate: i.e. “I’m an actor-slash-drummer-slash-makeup-artist-slash-brand-ambassador,” and so forth…. And, truthful sufficient. Few persons are ok at their one job to moderately excel at two or three, proper? However then once more, we reside within the type of hyperspecialized world Henry Ford may solely dream of, and think about ourselves extremely favored if we’re allowed to be simply the one factor lengthy sufficient to retire and do nothing.

What if we may have a number of identities with out being regarded as unserious, eccentric, or mentally in poor health?

Discussions of Syd Barrett, Pink Floyd’s founding singer and guitarist, by no means move irrespective of his psychological sickness and abrupt disappearance from the stage. However they hardly ever interact with Barrett as an artist post-Pink Floyd: specifically, his two underrated solo albums; and his output as a painter, the medium wherein he started his profession and to which he returned for the final thirty of his life.

If Syd Barrett have been allowed a task aside from loopy diamond (a task, we should permit, assigned to him by his former bandmates), we’d see extra of his work in gallery collections and exhibitions. One can’t say this about each well-known musician who paints. For Barrett, artwork was not a interest, and it referred to as to him earlier than music. It was in his scholar days at Cambridgeshire Faculty of Arts and Know-how that he met David Gilmour. From Cambridge he moved to Camberwell Faculty of Arts in London and started to supply and exhibit mature scholar work (see right here).

Barrett’s work “reveals among the benefits of an artwork college coaching,” wrote a reviewer of a 1964 exhibition. “He’s already exhibiting himself a delicate handler of oil paint who properly limits his palette to achieve richness and density.” (Barrett had already displayed a prodigious early expertise for attaining these qualities in watercolor — see, for instance, an spectacular, impressionistic still-life of orange dahlias, auctioned off in 2021, made when the artist was solely 15.)

His coaching gave him the arrogance to interrupt away from formal workout routines throughout this era and experiment with totally different kinds and topics, from the disturbing, primitivist Lions to the hollow-eyed, Munch-like Portrait of a Woman. Barrett’s first scholar interval ended within the mid-sixties, as Pink Floyd started to take off and Barrett “became a songwriter” (then-manager Andrew King later wrote) “it appeared like in a single day.”

After his spell with Pink Floyd and transient solo recording profession got here to an finish, Barrett moved again to Cambridge along with his mom in 1978, dropped the nickname “Syd” and started portray once more as Roger Barrett, eschewing any point out of life in music. From that yr till he died, he labored in a number of kinds and totally different media, portray placing abstractions and landscapes and even making his personal furnishings designs.

Whereas he burned many canvases, many from this time survive. See a specific chronology of his work within the video above and in the images right here. Attempt to put apart the story of Syd Barrett the tragic Pink Floyd frontman, and let the work of Roger Barrett the artist encourage you.

through BoingBoing

Associated Content material:

Syd Barrett’s “Effervescing Elephant” Involves Life in a New Retro-Type Animation

Understanding Pink Floyd’s Want You Have been Right here, Their Tribute to Departed Bandmate Syd Barrett

Watch David Gilmour Play the Songs of Syd Barrett, with the Assist of David Bowie & Richard Wright

Josh Jones is a author and musician primarily based in Durham, NC. Comply with him at @jdmagness.



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