VIEW Two’s first major exhibition of the year at 23 Mathew Street sees Paul Terence Madden becomes the gallery’s new artist-in-residence for a lengthy season.
Eager to show his paintings for what will be his debut show, the firsr wraps come off this Friday (March 28). Except Madden is racing ahead with new works which won’t be ready for some weeks.
It means Rock Boys…And? Is an exhibition in two parts, the second and most intriguing part coming early in May.
Brought up on an Ellesmere Port council estate, based in Liverpool and now residing in Chester and well travelled in between, Paul Terence Madden charged head-first through the dizzy world of the music business. His days were spent on graphic design, his nights watching rock bands like the Sex Pistols.
He played in numerous bands as lead guitarist managed late 1980s band Boys Wonder.
Madden studied first at Chester Art School (where he and Deaf School bassist Steve 'Mr Average' Lindsey became life-long friends).
Lindsey went to Liverpool School of Art, Madden headed to the London College of Printing. Madden says he wonders to this day whether his life would have taken a different direction had he jumped on the ferry and headed, with Lindsey, to Hope Street. “I would loved to have experienced the Eric's scene,” he says.
Instead, the bright lights of the capital beckoned and a graphic art studio in Soho became his workplace, surviving on four hours sleep a night.
I charged headfirst through the dizzy world of the music business since the day I picked up an electric guitar in 1968, learning how to emulate Eric Clapton by playing Cream albums at 16rpm.
“During the late 1970s when I wasn’t working as a graphic designer (I had recently designed the cover of the Buzzcocks CD 'Flat Pack Philosophy') I was writing live reviews for NME of bands like Wire, Tom Robinson Band and other new wave and punk acts. Some nights, even after twelve hours at work, I would go to three or four different gigs.
“At the time I was also playing lead guitar in various bands — all of which failed to secure a record deal. But that changed when in 1986 I managed Boys Wonder. Ten years before Britpop, Boys Wonder were a kind of amalgamation of Oasis, Blur and Pulp in one band, way ahead of their time. The fact their CD on Sire Records was never released is a major loss for rock.”
A decade ago Madden embarked on his passion for paintings, all in gloriously expensive Golden Acrylic paints. The result is a collection of almost 40 works, Bowie, Sid Vicious and Strummer, are all there along with McCartney, Lennon and even Kraftwerk. More are on the way.
The paintings of Madden’s rock heroes are more than pictures. Look closely at the faces on the canvas and read the stencilled lyrics, embellished with touches of semi-legible graffiti – a fusion of art and calligraphy.
“This endless exhibition is a true homage, a reflection of my life connected to the world of music. The paintings are of people I love and admire. They are a reflection of that real dream world which I am lucky enough to live in and enjoy,” says Madden.
ROCK BOYS…AND? paintings by Paul Terence Madden. View Two Gallery is open Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays noon until 5pm, private viewings by appointment. Further details on www.viewtwogallery.co.uk