So You Want To Be A Rock & Roll Star?

October 10, 2019

Memento: Dejected Glory of Rock ‘n’ Roll, an exhibition of new paintings by Andrew Dykes.

‘Oh no love, you’re not alone’, David Bowie pleads to the melancholy artist trudging the streets in ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Suicide’, the smudged lyrics of which are chalked onto a blackboard in Memento. Bowie both sees and mourns the self-destruction and understands the lacerating shadows that an artist must live and work with in order to create something immortal.
The paintings of Andrew Dykes reinterpret iconic portraits of great stars who struggled with self-destruction and in many cases were overpowered by it to the point of death. There is irony in the contrast between the resilient, creative self-invention (and re-invention) of artists and the way in which, after death, their images are re-interpreted as symbols of a latent tragedy. Are Amy Winehouse’s famously exaggerated dark-lined eyes speaking of sadness or wry courage as she gazes out at the viewer? Is Billie Holiday, with her head thrown back in song, demonstrating her power or her terrible vulnerability? Dykes’ paintings are part haunting memento mori; after death, there can be no new images, no new music, no more invention, we have to make do with going over and over what is left behind. And yet the portraits reach beyond morbidity. They are not death masks, they are an invitation for interpretation.
Memento is an interactive exhibit, in which the audience views the paintings whilst in an immersive musical soundscape created by Dykes. The artist listened to hundreds of hours of rare interviews, lost recordings and studio sessions with the stars he depicts. The result is a haunting and hypnotic mix of the familiar and unfamiliar; iconic tracks from David BowieMarilyn MonroeRiver Phoenix collaged with their voices intimately musing about personal and creative struggles. Painting, music, and words refract upon one another; is an artist foretelling their own destruction in their words, or do we see tragedy in everything after a death? Should creation stand alone from the flawed, destructive human being who created it, or are the two indissoluble? As with every loss, there is no single answer, Dykes allows the process of interpretation to be open-ended. Every time the viewer looks at a painting they will hear and see and feel something different. The death of the artist is not the end; they are mourned but live on through the audience.
Memento will be exhibited at  One Art Space, New York City between October 10th and October 15th, 2019. There will be a panel discussion with the artist on October 12th, 4 pm – 6 pm. You are warmly invited to the show’s opening reception, Thursday, October 10th, 6-9 pm.

The exhibition will run from Thursday, Oct 10 – Tuesday, Oct 15, 2019.

Exhibition hours:
Thursday, Oct 10, – 11:30am-9pm (6pm-9pm reception)
Friday, Oct 11, – 11:30am-5pm
Saturday, Oct 12,- 1pm-6pm (4pm-6pm Artist talk)
Sunday, Oct 13,- 1pm-5pm
Monday, Oct 14,- 11:30am-5pm
Tuesday, Oct 15,- 11:30am-5pm


23 Warren Street, Street Level Gallery 1
New York, NY 10007
646- 559-0535

Press and sales:
Andrew Dykes Studio:

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