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‘I was terrified’: British pop star Robbie Williams steps out of his comfort zone to show the world his paintings

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With record sales in the millions, countless awards, and sold-out concerts all under his belt, it might seem like British pop star Robbie Williams has it all. But there’s still at least one area where the “Angels” singer has felt insecure, and she’s performing as a contemporary artist over the weekend at London Gallery this year.

“I was horrified because in the UK, you’re not allowed out of your box, and my box is definitely pop world. So I’m worried about the kick in my head that I’m going to get for straying out,” Williams told Artnet News during the inaugural invite-only reception Thursday night. My path.” “But at the same time, I’m forced and obsessed, so I’m going to do it.”

Along with his creative partner Ed Goodrich, Williams has unveiled 14 black and white paintings the two have worked together in the New Bond Street space in Sotheby’s, ahead of London Gallery Weekend, which kicks off today in the British capital. Technical collaborators also sponsored a Road-jumping exhibition for the three-day eventIt has five galleries in central London.

Sharon In their first exhibition “Black and White Paintings” at Sotheby’s London. Courtesy of Sotheby’s. ” width=”1024″ height=”683″ srcset=”https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/05/TF16244-1024×683.jpg 1024w, https://news.artnet.com /app/news-upload/2022/05/TF16244-300×200.jpg 300w, https://news.artnet.com/app/news-upload/2022/05/TF16244-50×33.jpg 50w” sizes=”(max) -width: 1024px) 100vw, 1024px”/>

Robbie Williams (left) and Ed Goodrich pose in front of their drawings Sharon In their first exhibition “Black and White Paintings” on Sotheby’s New Bond Street. Courtesy of Sotheby’s.

Each of the 14 works, created under the Williams Goodrich moniker, is named after a famous woman from the 1980s, ranging from Jeanette And Without ato Tracy And trish. The oversized panels on polystyrene feature detailed shapes resembling a cross between strange cartoon faces or secret symbols written in white brushstrokes on a black background. According to the art duo, the works available through private sale at Sotheby’s are the fruits of five years of work.

“Ed came to Los Angeles, where I had a huge garage,” Williams said of how the partnership started. The pair bought “loads of paint and tons and tons of canvas and wood” that Williams had added, and brought them to the garage. He said, “We just stood there with the paints on, and we thought, ‘What next?’ “We made one mistake after another, until mistakes became something like a thing.”

The couple first met when Goodrich, an interior designer, designed the pop star’s London home 10 years ago. “We clicked creatively. We developed our technique and learned to work together. The pair worked on about 10 paintings at the same time, so Rob could be there, and I could be there — sometimes next to each other,” he added. “The fact that this is Made of polystyrene explains why we get that amazing smoky feel.”

Williams said the couple, who was born in 1974, took the development process seriously, but wanted to keep their art “eccentric and absurd.” There is also an element of nostalgia embedded in the black and white paintings, with subtle references to the music scene in which they grew up.

“I’m moving from the pop world to doing art… I’ve done a lot on whims,” ​​Williams said. “This is who I am, what I want to be, and I know the art world is a very dangerous world. But that’s not me, and that’s not what we are. If you don’t look at it and think about ’80s cartoons, or how it would feel to walk in Straight into a cartoon, you kind of miss the point.”

Robbie Williams performs in the X Factor Italy 2019 Final at Mediolanum Forum.  Milan (Italy), December 12, 2019
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Robbie Williams giving a presentation at the X Factor Italy 2019 finale at the Mediolanum Forum. Milan.

But have the duo argued over technical differences over the past five years? “Not arguing…” Goodrich said, “I…” Williams intercepted her: “Bossy.”

“Here’s the need. He’s bossy at best, because his eye and what he wants to do, with what he’s looking at, I trust 1,000 percent,” Williams added. If he does something well, it is on purpose.”

Despite his self-consumption, Williams has been making a name in the art world lately, as a collector and artist. Pop star exhibited Banksy’s artwork trio from his private collection earlier this year to raise funds for his other creative projects. One work has been withdrawn, but the other two paintings have been withdrawn elusive A total of $9.5 million at Sotheby’s in March. The auction house declined to reveal the price of the Williams Goodrich Collaborative paintings now on display, but a work by the couple has been sold at the gallery. Curated by Contemporary Selling in April for £40,320 ($49,116, including fees), nearly double the pre-sale estimate.

Williams noted that the black and white paintings are among the many art projects in the pipeline. But in order to get things moving, the duo will need guidance “on what happens next,” he added. “We have a lot of ideas, but we both have ADHD. We need an adult to capture our best and execute them for us, or we will have a thousand ideas, and none of them will get done,” Williams said.

He said that making art is like “having a superpower.” “But I just don’t want them to be those paintings on the wall, and the next day, it’s over, that’s it. I want to build a hotel. I want to do the interiors. I want to put a restaurant and art in the hotel.”

How about opening his own gallery? “Maybe,” Williams thought. “good idea.”

The Black and White Paintings show runs until May 25th.

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