t might seem unlikely, but the charmed synergy between Robbie Williams and Ed Godrich has sparked a unique artistic adventure over the past five years. This May, the pair will be presenting a selection of new works at a selling exhibition at Sotheby's — a momentous occasion for the pair, as it marks the first time Williams/Godrich art has come to the market. And ahead of the sale, to whet our appetites, the pair have slipped a brand-new work into Contemporary Curated in April — a new piece, fresh from their Los Angeles studio.
This dynamic duo's passion and enthusiasm for making and enjoying art echoes their respective life experiences to date. Robbie and Ed's work is influenced by their numerous interests and loves — across contemporary art, street art, music, pop culture, graphics and design, all rendered with an irresistable, vivacious positivity.
Read on to find out how the collaboration came about, why the pair decided to show their work publicly with Sotheby's and their pick of the Contemporary Curated sale this April...
Why have you decided to host an exhibition now?
Robbie Williams: Our art has been five years in the making, but nobody has seen it publicly before. This is the first time we’ve released any works for sale.
Ed Godrich: Doing a show gives the work a chance to breathe outside of the studio. We hope the exhibition will start to draw new relationships between the paintings and that encountering the works together will be a voyage of discovery for us as artists, as well as the viewers. The paintings will find a new life beyond our control in an exhibition context, and we are excited by this.
Is there something you’d like people to feel when they view your works?
RW: I’d like people to feel positivity. I want them to be intrigued and feel a sense of light-heartedness. This is the opposite of pretentious — I’d like them to wonder why and how.
'I’d like people to feel positivity. I want them to be intrigued'
EG: Perception is the key and everyone will see something different in each of these pictures. Also to see the influences of the music that has been listened to while they have been painted. But while there is joy in them, there are some darker undercurrents too...
Is there a particular artist who got you into art in the early days? How did you start collecting?
RW: Music is the road to art for me. The first bridge I went across was Peter Blake because he did the album art for The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band. I started collecting when I wrote Angels — that gave me the financial capacity to collect.
EG: This might sound a fraction simple, but, both Rob and I really remember an iconic TV show in the 1970s/1980s presented by Tony Hart [Take Hart]. Part of his TV show included a section called The Gallery, showing works that kids sent in. I tried to get my pictures into this and he never did select anything! I am a determined little fucker and 47 years later, I have some work in a gallery for the first time. In 1987, I saw Richard Wilson’s show at the Saatchi Gallery when it was on Boundary Road. It blew my mind. I also bought a very inexpensive print in a cardboard tube from an art fair, it stayed in that tube for ten years. It was Weston Super Mare by Banksy.
Which type of artworks / artists are represented in your collection?
RW: My favourite pieces in my collection include works from Banksy, Peter Blake, Hockney, Haring, Eddie Martinez, Jonas Wood, Alan Macdonald, Christopher Page and Morris Wade.
EG: Tracey Emin, Christopher Page, Jim Page Roberts, Lydia Millward, Jonas Wood, Michael Craig Martin and Huw Jones (an Anglesey-based artist). I also have works by artists that are unknown, that I bought from degree shows and who didn’t continue with an art career. (Rob and I have similar taste in art and collect the very same artists, by the way).
If you could offer a piece of advice to a new collector, what would it be?
RW: Buy what you like — it hasn’t let me down. It’s important to engage with the art you buy, and you have to have an emotional reaction to the piece.
'Save up and wait to buy something that you love and can't live without...'
EG: James Gould, a close friend and someone I respect, told me not to ‘magpie buy’. Save up and wait to buy something that you love and can't live without.
Contemporary Curated: Robbie Williams and Ed Godrich
What message do you hope to convey through your Curated edit for the auction?
RW: That we know what we’re doing.
EG: That we have a varied and broad range of art that we enjoy.
Why have you joined up with Sotheby’s for the Contemporary Curated sale?
RW: Sotheby’s is the gold standard for auctions in the whole of the art world. It’s an honour to be in such esteemed company. Over the last few years, our main focus as artists has been in the studio creating. However, the opportunity to curate a selection of works by other artists for sale, sounded like a lot of fun.
'Sotheby’s is the gold standard for auctions in the whole of the art world...'
EG: When ‘the world’s largest internationally-recognised firm of fine art auctioneers’, invites you to curate a sale — and suggests a show of your own work too - you drop everything and you do it! We have followed Contemporary Curated for some time now and feel very proud to be joining the list of previous Curators.
Black & White Paintings | Robbie Williams x Ed Godrich