UK rocker Doherty displays blood paintings in London

Mon Feb 27, 2012 3:01pm EST
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By Dominique Vidalon

LONDON (Reuters) - British rocker Peter Doherty has reinvented himself as an artist and is showing paintings drawn in his own blood at a London gallery this week.

The show called "On Blood: A Portrait of the Artist" displays artwork produced for his 2009 solo album Grace/Wastelands, as well as a dozen canvases scattered around Camden's Cob Gallery.

There may be something gruesome or just plain morbid about painting with blood.

But the show's co-curator Rachel Chudley told Reuters: "If you look at art through the ages, the subject matter has always been life. We all die and painting in blood is a reminder of our mortality. It's a universal media. I don't think there is anything gory about it."

In a recent interview with The Independent newspaper, the turbulent Babyshambles frontman and former The Libertines co-leader referred to his unusual technique of squirting blood with a syringe onto a canvas as "arterial splatter".

Most of the paintings on display are quite spare, combining brownish blood streaks with collages, poems and song lyrics.

Doherty, 32, whose well-publicized drug abuse and shambolic lifestyle has often eclipsed his music, has included several collaborative pieces with his famous friends.

The late singer Amy Winehouse used her own blood to paint herself on a canvas alongside the word "ladylike".   Continued...

British musician Pete Doherty performs on stage at Debaser Medis during a concert in Stockholm January 11, 2010.  REUTERS/Ander Wiklund/Scanpix