Destroy by Rankin

As part of Youth Music's 10th Anniversary, more than 70 of the world's biggest musicians and artists create artwork out of their original Rankin portraits.

‘Destroy’ Joe Strummer by Damien Hirst
Youth Music Week organised by children's music charity Youth Music is in full swing at the moment and to celebrate Youth Music's a10th Birthday, they have teamed up with Rankin to ask 70 musicians and visual artists to effectively 'destroy' their own portraits taken by the iconic photographer, and create original pieces of art. The stellar roll call of names includes Joe Strummer, Ian Brown, Marianne Faithfull, Andre 3000, Michael Stipe and Kylie Minogue as well as bands like Pete and the Pirates, The Enemy and The View, inspired by Rankin's son Lyle and his love of music.

Most of the portraits have been 'destroyed' by the artists themselves. For example, Florence Welch has taken to drawing over her portrait with a metallic pen, inspired by her school days of decorating photos from magazines and Debbie Harry has burnt, masked out, painted and stitched-up her picture to make a series of six 'destroyed' portraits. For Joe Strummer though, Damien Hirst was asked to paint over the portrait, reflecting his feelings on Strummer. “I tried to keep it about him as a person. I kept looking at the thing on the hand, where it said ‘Joe’. Joe Strummer was a great guy who I met, who was much more of a hero in real life. You don’t meet many people like that,” explains Hirst.  

Youth Music and Rankin's Destroy project have taken over Phillips De Pury in London for an exhibition which opened last night and 20 of the 'Destroy' portraits including including Damien Hirst’s ‘Joe Strummer’ will be up for auction on November 14, hosted by Rankin and Simon De Pury with a performance by Jarvis Cocker.

In addition to the exhibition and auction, a 1,000 limited edition hardback book edited by Dazed & Confused editor Rod Stanley has been produced that is available from Youth Music. It includes an exclusive behind the scenes DVD featuring interviews with Rankin and more than 25 of the featured artists (a taster can be seen below). There are also exclusive essays by Rankin and Fred Deakin (Lemon Jelly / Airside), and interviews including Jarvis Cocker & Peter Saville, Jefferson Hack & Michael Stipe, Beth Ditto & Miranda Sawyer, and Mike Figgis & Marianne Faithfull.

'Destroy by Rankin' exhibition open 9 - 21st November 2009 at Phillips de Pury, 9 Howick Place, London SW1P 1BB
Auction on November 14 2009.
Book available to buy online (1st 20 copies signed by Rankin)
Find out more events on Youth Music Week on the website

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