Ian Dury’s Eyeball Pleasers

More sides to the punk-era renaissance man unveiled at the RCA’s art exhibit.

Ian Dury’s Eyeball Pleasers

An exhibition of the irrepressible Ian Dury’s artworks, opened today at the Royal College Of Art in London. Co-curated by his daughter Jemima, punk face Kosmo Vinyl and Stiff Records art director Jules Balme, Ian Dury: More Than Fair brings together paintings and graphics created between 1961 and 1972, work that scored the sui generis future Kilburn & The Highroads/Blockheads frontman featured status at the ICA’s 1967 group show, Fantasy & Figuration, and illustration gigs at The Sunday Times and London Life magazines. Ian Dury and friend Kosmo Vinyl, who co-curates his exhibition.

Drawn from the collections of the Dury family and others, including Kilburns bassist and fellow artist Humphrey Ocean, the pieces reflect Dury’s immersion in pop culture, a typically earthy fascination with the ways of the flesh and his debt to the venerable British pop artist Peter Blake, one of his painting tutors at the RCA.

According to Robert Upstone, director of the Fine Art Society and curator of last year’s 175th anniversary exhibition at the College which featured Dury’s work, his “use of textual and photorealist elements, and his incorporation of celebrities, singers or showgirls, ally his pictures with major Pop proponents such as Peter Blake and Joe Tilson.”

The colourful, aptly life-affirming show will reward fans of Dury the musician, who died of cancer in 2000, and students of British post-beat and art-school culture generally.

Ian Dury: More Than Fair shows at the Royal College of Art, Kensington Gore, London SW7 and continues till September 1st, 2013. Hours: 11am–6pm except Sunday, 12pm to 5pm. Closed Mondays.