Tear Life to Pieces
signed with the artist's initials and dated 'BH 86' (on the reverse)
oil on panel
28 x 18in. (71 x 45.8cm.)
Executed in 1986
Private Collection.
Anon. sale, Dreweatts London, 3 April 2019, lot 244.
Acquired at the above sale by the present owner.
Rendered in oil on panel, Tear Life to Piecesis a vivid, evocative work by the visionary British artist, writer and musician Billy Childish. Painted in 1986, Childish depicts himself with Tracey Emin, the artist with whom he had shared a relationship with during the early 1980s. The title hints at the tumult and intensity of their time together. Here, we see the couple in embrace, stood in a dark hallway illuminated by a single lightbulb above them. In an almost voyeuristic intimacy, the viewer is transported into the scene, bearing witness to the couple’s quiet and private moment. The swirled, Expressionist brushstrokes and stark colour palette, characteristics which bear reference to Vincent Van Gogh and Edvard Munch, invigorate the canvas, adding cinematic suspense to Childish’s personal, passionate memory. Childish and Emin have had an immense impact on one another’s work, with Childish’s name famously being featured in Emin’s fabric tent Everyone I Have Ever Slept With 1963-1995 (1995).
Special notice
Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Please note this lot is the property of a consumer. See H1 of the Conditions of Sale.
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