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Auction of Original Works of Art by Gerald Scarfe for Pink Floyd, Pete Doherty of The Libertines, Hassan Hajjaj and Shem to raise funds for The Margate School




Wednesday 24 April 2024, 1pm

Forum Auctions - click HERE to visit the website and bid


On behalf of The Margate School, Forum Auctions offers an original watercolour by British artist Gerald Scarfe (b. 1936), the artist commissioned to create the artwork for the legendary rock band Pink Floyd’s iconic album The Wall, which included the acclaimed song “We Don’t Need No Education”. The album became one of the band’s most successful albums when it was released in November 1979. 


Devised by the band’s bassist Roger Waters (b. 1943), The Wall was a rock opera centred around the character of Pink, a disillusioned rock star who builds a psychological ‘wall’ of social isolation to protect himself. Waters based the character of Pink on himself and former Pink Floyd member, guitarist and song-writer Syd Barrett (1946-2006). The album was a huge commercial success, topping the US charts for 15 weeks and reaching number three in the UK. It has been dubbed one of the greatest albums of all time. 


The artist Gerald Scarfe worked closely with the band on the designs for the album cover and was subsequently called on to create artworks for the 1982 animated film based on the historic album. As one of the world's best-known political cartoonists, having illustrated for The Sunday Times for 50 years and The New Yorker magazine for 15 years, Scarfe was the perfect choice to take on the task of creating visual representations of the album’s characters created by Waters of Pink’s mother, girlfriend and teacher in the lyrics.


The work offered here, in watercolour and pen and ink served as a preparatory work for the animation and is estimated to fetch £6,000 to £8,000. It is one of four works being offered in an auction titled Spring Selection: Modern and Contemporary Art and Editions at Forum Auctions on Wednesday 24 April 2024, to raise funds for bursaries for The Margate School in Kent, a not-for-profit postgraduate arts school, whose aim is to make arts education possible for all.


Eleanor Garthwaite, a specialist in Forum Auctions Editions and Works on Paper department, said: “We are thrilled to be offering these four works in our upcoming Spring Selection auction to raise money for The Margate School in Kent. Each artwork has been generously donated by the artist to support this important art school and its creative community. The Margate School is driving fundraising so that they may offer bursaries to students and can continue to make the arts accessible to everyone. They rely heavily on donations and we hope that this cause will encourage strong bidding on the day”.


Among the three other artworks being offered to raise funds for the school, is a work by the musician, songwriter and frontman of the band The Libertines, Pete Doherty (b. 1979). Founded by Doherty and Carl Barat, The Libertines have recently recorded and released their latest album All Quiet on the Eastern Esplanade, which, at time of writing, is at number one in the official album charts, has been album of the week on BBC Radio 2 and has been celebrated across the media.


While always remaining a musician, singer and songwriter Doherty broadened his creative repertoire, branching out into writing and art. In 2006 Doherty published his journals with Orion books. The culminating title The Books of Albion: The Collected Writings of Peter Doherty, was released in 2007 and included personal drawings, poetry and photos amassed throughout his career. In the same year Doherty exhibited his paintings for the first time at London's Bankrobber Gallery to great acclaim. More recently the janinebeangallery in Berlin curated an exhibition of Doherty's art, lyrics and artefacts titled ‘Contain Yourself (seriously)’, which opened in September 2022.


The painting being offered in the sale, titled Oui D'Accord Bien Sur was created by Doherty in 2011 and is a mixed media work featuring a range of motifs, such as song lyrics, ghostly outlined figures and a syringe on a white canvas. The work raises questions around the subject of addiction, which Doherty admits to have personally faced in his lifetime. The work carries an estimate of £1,000 to £2,000. 


Lovers (Male and Female) is the work of Hassan Hajjaj (b. 1961). Based in Marakech and London, he is one of Morocco’s most visible artists. His works are part of the permanent collection of major museums world wide, including: British Museum, Victoria & Albert Museum, Brooklyn Museum and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  He shot his first Vogue cover in 2020, featuring the musician Billie Eilish. 


Inspired by the photographic portrait studios of 1960s Morroco, Hajjaj styles the images with self designed wallpapers and clothing. Within the images he questions identity, in particular his view on the wearing of the veil, and realigns gaining control and expectations with the maximalist compositions. 

Lovers (Male and Female), sold as the pair, are c-type prints extensively hand-finished with acrylic painting and presented in the artist’s woven plastic and rubber tyre frames and carry an estimate of £5,00 to £7,000.


Shem (b. 1984) has a painting style evolved out of his kinaesthetic brain, listening as his eyes process the colours of life and blending them with his thoughts. 

Creating childhood child-like  images which were born out of the need to make sense of an unconventional upbringing, including a sometimes difficult nomadic lifestyle in London, the highlight of his early childhood years was Rastafarian schooling in Tottenham, rich in sensory experience.This creation of images continued in secret until he self-staged his first solo show in disused premises in London in 2019.

His work has been exhibited in London, Margate and Japan and Untitled, with an estimate of £400 to £600 is a combination of acrylic, spray paint, black pen and oil pastel.


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