the art of riots

that photo of prince charles and camilla fascinates me…

i can’t help comparing it to an iconic1960’s shot of mick jagger and the art dealer robert fraser, being hauled off to court on drug charges.
i bet you any money that in time you’ll see that picture of charles and camilla hanging in an art gallery…
it’s one of those images that just begs for a modern artist to fuck with,like what happened to the mick n robert shot.
the similarity doesn’t end there…
both parties are forms of royalty……
i love the irony of how within the protective cage of a car, they become even more vulnerable and exposed to the chalkface of reality,
and then there’s the thing of being held up as public examples….
in the 1960’s it was only the likes of rolling stoners playing the role of questionable outsiders,
but fifty years on it’s the friggin royal family themselves being held up for ransom and example….
the mood of the times seems to be ‘if you’re rich and dressing up,keep yer head down till yer indoors’.

i can’t help wondering if we’re a country finally turning in on itself.
the day that picture of charles and camilla was taken,the busiest street with the biggest shops in the biggest city, on the busiest day of the shopping year was blocked from making it’s biggest money during a big recession.
are we only momentarily shooting ourselves in the foot?
or in the larger cosmic scheme of things are we in a very natural process of rebirth or implosion?
or am i just disappearing up my own arse over two very lively photographs?

the chap in the photo with mick jagger ran the indica gallery in london’s mayfair…
that’s where john lennon first met yoko ono….her work was being exhibited there for the first time .
he,robert fraser was also one of the first men in england to die of aids…
they say he was seriously charismatic…great fun…nervous and unpredictable,but bright as buttons.
many won’t have heard of him but his influence on1960’s british pop culture was immense.
he had a very VERY good academic education…
that iconic apple record label the beatles used, was the influence of robert,who gave paul one of renee magritte’s paintings of…… an apple..
and he also suggested peter blake for the sgt peppers artwork..
infact the initial artwork was crap and tacky..
like the rubbishy magical mystery tour sleeve…but robert got them to trash it, and implored them to get peter blake for the job…
imagine how different sgt peppers would sound if it was in a less grand sleeve?…
think about it…
ziggy stardust and hunky dory are seen as hugely different records,
but if you listen,they sound more similar than we realise..same engineers…same studio…same everything…
hell…there’s even a track on hunky dory called ‘life on mars’ …
but they sound different because of the picture on the cover …
the sleeve artwork effects the way we perceive the sound….stuff like that fascinates me.
i could talk about this kind of thing forever.
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11 Responses to the art of riots

  1. tony wood says:

    Great blog and better with the pictures – your musical background knowledge makes this piece, I think 3 years for the Charles & Camilla photograph to be turned into a piece of artwork is optimistic, in this day and age I think there are probably people already doing arty things with that image – its such a memorable picture


    • hi tony…oh i’m sure there are people doing *arty things* with that image as we speak….but*arty things* isn’t the same as high art,tony….and itdoes take time regardless of the new technology ect…there needs to be a distance of time and all sorts of things before an image gathers some other magic..also the viewer needs to be in a place of ‘looking back’….you look at any journalistic photography,no matter how instantly powerful the image is,it can only gain that strangeness with a bit of time…

      ..there’s a huge difference from someone with some fun photoshop software doing *arty things*, and a true well rounded artist, who has all the disciplines in place, taking on a photo or a piece of news reel……
      there was a dozen or so treatments of that mick n robert picture hanging in the serpentine this summer…it’s taken four decades for that to happen,so i’m maybe wrong that i figure it will happen to that charles and camilla shot within only three years…but who knows!…you can’t second guess the talent that’s out there…anything can happen i suppose.


  2. Will Youds says:

    Hello Mary. What is this strange new place I find you writings in? It seems a good find! I shall have to investigate.

    It was quite a moment eh with that Royal couple. I can only see it as a good thing. After all, turning on the uber rich seems the natural thing to do. It was the high flyers and bankers who made us poor…they just take their bonuses and disappear and here comes the trickle down effect…

    As for the Royals. well, we stand at a point where housing benefit is now being capped and the poorest now stand to lose their homes and the biggest family on benefits is the Royals who will remain unscathed. They should look to Holland where the Royals are just moderate living figure heads of state.

    But yes! what a picture! As iconic as THAT crash in Paris no doubt. The British public love the visceral and beautifully exposed vulnerability of the so called untouchables…

    I’m more likely to see it as a change. Every Empire falls to make way for the next. Marx said we can know our future by studying our history. Feudalism made way for Capitalism…maybe Capitalism and all it’s flaws will make way for the next natural progression as you say.

    I welcome it. Change is good! as my favourite performance artist Justin Bond often says ‘DON’T GET TOO COMFORTABLE!’

    Hope all is well with you Mary



  3. hi will…yes…i see it as a good thing too…..the tories need to know that the public aren’t a benign entity……..for all the strikes or whatever, it’s quite rare that the public take to the streets in such a way,but when they do,something is learned……the government get to know about what we really really care about.
    i have no problem with people getting rich…i just want people to HAVE THE CHANCE if they’re driven to take some direction with their lives……that’s why i ruminated on robert fraser a lot…here was a guy that had an interesting influence on things,but he was a product of a good education….same up there in manchester with the late tony wilson…his education played a big part in him being able to have done the great things he did…it had many knock on affects………it takes these educated ones to put things in place for those who maybe have talent or something to offer,but not so much of an academic background…..i love that sort of thing.

    yes will..this is ‘wordpress’…i like it cause it’s simple…it’s clean and there’s no freeway noise, if you know what i mean….just people blogging for the love of it.

    maybe you’ll create your own account.i’d love you to write and tell us about your new living abode…i hope it’s all going smoothly and you’re all coping with the cold during this very very very strange time of year.


  4. Robert says:

    So excited to be reading you again! I’m on Facebook, Twitter & Tumblr…ha!


  5. Robert says:

    ah, if you’re so inclined…you might give a listen


  6. T-Bend says:

    have you read harriet vyner’s book about robert fraser? it’s called groovy bob. it’s a great read… there’s no real narrative, it’s built out of quotes and interviews with thems that was there – but not in a pulpy way. i think you’d enjoy it. Fraser claims to have fucked Idi Amin when they were both in the King’s African Rifles in 1955…. what a glorious story if it’s true. i wonder who did who? i guess we’ll never know now..

    T-Bend. x


  7. T-Bend says:

    nope. i shall get my nose poked into it this weekend i expect. 🙂


  8. John says:

    I didn’t realise how much you’d done, love the music and the videos especially the finished version of the New Ghost. Look forward to the next one.


  9. thanks john…lovely to hear from you!


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