Sunday, 15 December 2013

Martin Sharp, 1942 - 2013

Martin Sharp, Mister Tambourine Man, 1967
Martin Sharp died on 1 December 2013.
Hearing of the death of Martin Sharp took me back to hairy, adolescent days, to what was undoubtedly a formative engagement with visual culture.  As a schoolboy ‘agent’ for selling posters (‘Big O’?), recruited from/suckered in by the ads at the back of New Musical Express I pored over the catalogue in which Sharp’s Dylan and Van Gogh posters stood out. But the one that made the deepest impression was his Max ‘The Birdman’ Ernst: this was certainly my first introduction to the work of Ernst – though it was some time before I twigged that the image was not actually the invention of Sharp but culled from Ernst’s brilliant 1933 collage novel Une Semaine de Bonté. Though my taste later turned more to Ernst than Sharp those early posters (and Cream album covers) made a deep impression.
Read obituaries by Marsha Rowe, Richard Neville (ce-editor of Oz, for which Sharp was art editor) and in The Telegraph.
Martin Sharp, Vincent, 1968
Martin Sharp, cover for Cream's Disraeli Gears, 1967
Martin Sharp, Jimi Hendrix, 1967
Martin Sharp, Max 'The Birdman' Ernst, 1967

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