The Idea Generation Gallery in London is currently holding an exhibition (from June 18-July 4) paying tribute to the life and works of iconic rock n’ roll cartoonist Ray Lowry. Lowry has worked on everything from NME to Private Eye and created The Clash’s iconic ‘London Calling’ album cover, and so to celebrate 30 artists have contributed their interpretations of the classic image.
This image was created by Harry Hill, the triple Bafta-award winning comedian, author and television presenter. Each piece in this exhibit is an interpretation of cartoonist Ray Lowry’s famous 1979 album cover for The Clash.
This painting is from John Butterworth, whose pieces reflect the psychological impact personal events have left on him. Most recently, he has been painting his and other people’s shoes.
John Squire, the lead guitarist of The Stone Roses and founder of The Seahorses, created the artwork for the former’s debut ‘The Stone Roses’ in 1989. In 2007, he announced that he was giving up his music career to pursue art, and has since held solo exhibitions. This is his interpretation of the legendary album cover.
Ray Lowry used to contribute cartoons, strips and illustrations for NME. This interpretation comes from artist John Spedding.
This image comes from Johnny Green, a former road manager for The Clash. Green’s book documenting his time on the road with the band, ‘A Riot Of Our Own’, was illustrated by Ray Lowry.
This image is from Justin King, group Chief Executive of Sainsbury’s, who asked artist Livvy Iller create a piece for him.
Artist Christopher Agnew’s art practice has drawn comparisons to Lowry’s, as they both use art to observe and comment on the relationship between society and culture.
John Hyatt was the singer for The Three Johns, a band that once supported The Clash. He was also a contemporary cartoonist with Lowry, drawing for ‘Underground’ music magazine and the cover for the Arts Council’s British Art Show of 1985, which represented the best of British Art.
Billy Childish is known for his painting, poetry and songwriting. He has published 40 collections of poetry, four novels and nearly 2,500 paintings. He has also been in bands such as The Pop Rivets, The Milkshakes and Thee Headcoats, releasing 100 full-length albums.
After the exhibition, all of these pieces will be auctioned for the Ray Lowry Foundation, which supports further education projects for the underprivileged. This painting is from London-based artist Magda Archer (wife of artist Harry Hill), who also produced the artwork for ‘The Beatles Anthology’ in 1996.
Jules Balme worked for Stiff Records at the time ‘London Calling’ was released, and he remembers his very first listen to his pre-release copy of the album. He says: “What had they done with the Vince Taylor classic ‘Brand New Cadillac’? Rockabilly played with punk attitude. It still remains my favourite track on the album and I’ve always suspected, it was Ray Lowry’s too.”