'Musicians portraits'





‘Musician Portraits’ is a series of paintings of famous singers and musicians who have all sat for Joe Simpson. They have been exhibited all over the country, including a solo exhibition at The Royal Albert Hall in June 2012 and they are now on display for the first time in Manchester at Artisan.


Over a year in the making, the project has been as much a challenge in making contact with the subjects and has taken Joe all over the country; visiting the musician’s homes and studios, to backstage at arena concerts and festivals and as far as Las Vegas to meet Brandon Flowers.

Joe’s portrait of Maxi Jazz from this series was shortlisted for the prestigious BP Portrait award 2011. The painting has been exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery in an exhibition which was the most popular show in the gallery’s history. (*CCA has limited edition prints of the Maxi Jazz painting for sale.)


Speaking on the idea behind the paintings, Joe said “I’ve tried to root each painting in a tradition of painted portraiture. Each piece has a quiet, still and almost introspective feel to them. I’d tried to capture the way that each person help themselves when I met them, usually I didn’t give the musicians a great deal of direction, or plan how I wanted the piece to turn out. These paintings have a physicality to them that you don’t get with a photograph, the paint has a specific weight and application. You can see layers and brush-marks in the hair and skin tones. I’m really excited to see all the paintings on display in Manchester.”


Limited edition prints of all the ‘Musician Portraits’ are also available to purchase.

The archival quality prints are printed on 310 gsm Hahnemuhle etching paper.

Each print is SIGNED and NUMBERED to a Limited Edition of only 50. 

Dimensions: 46 x 46cm / 40 x 40cm (actual image size) and cost £150 (unframed).

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Mark Ronson - Oil on Canvas, 60x60cm