5ft Canvas 'Behind the Sofa' Tom Watkins


Fourth quarter 20th Century

United Kingdom

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5ft Canvas 'Behind the Sofa' Tom Watkins

Enormous, purple beast of a canvas by the Pet Shop Boys manager Tom Watkins. extravagant textures across the entire painting, scratched int the paint to create forms, in particular the central red x. two 'windows' in red, white and dark grey. Hand applied typography.

Thomas Frederick Watkins ( 21 September 1949 - ) Greenwich, London, Watkins attended Sir John Cass School of Art, Architecture and Design and went on to study art and design at London College of Furniture, London Metropolitan University

After graduating from the London College of Furniture, Watkins worked as a designer for Terence Conran and Rodney Fitch. In the early 1980s Watkins and business partner, Royston Edwards set up the graphics/interior design company, XL Design with studios in Welbeck Street, London

Commissioned by Jill Sinclair and Trevor Horn, Watkins designed the interior of Sarm Studios in Notting Hill where ZTT Records was born

The XL Design agency was responsible for creating some of the most iconic logos, music advertising graphics and record sleeve art of this period including those of Frankie Goes To Hollywood, Orchestral Manoeuvres in the Dark (OMD), Art of Noise, Wham! and Pet Shop Boys.

In the 1980s Watkins entered music management He managed the Pet Shop Boys from 1984 to 1989, Bros from 1987 to 1991, and East 17 from 1992 to 1997.
Watkins also worked with Grace Jones, Billie Piper, Art of Noise, Faith Hope & Charity, 2wo Third3, Martine McCutcheon and North and South. Watkins was also a songwriter and music producer. He worked in collaboration with Nicky Graham under the deliberately confusing alias, The Brothers.

In 2000, Channel 4 produced Mr Rock & Roll, a four-part documentary series looking at the lives and the careers of the most powerful, most outrageous and most astute managers in the history of Rock and Roll. The series featured the stories of Tom Watkins, Colonel Tom Parker, Don Arden and Peter Grant.

Tom lives in East Sussex

CM: 152 x 152
Inches: 60 x 60
Medium: Oil on Canvas
Provenance: British School
Date; Late 20th Century
Condition; Very Good


Fourth quarter 20th Century

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BARNSTAR is run by Mark Greenwood and Kitty Hope, who source beautiful mid-century paintings from around the world, they are happy to take on sourcing commissions.

Mark began trading in the antiques and salvage world in 1985 with three London strores selling furniture, decorative and architectural antiques.  Mark was head hunted by Chesney's to buy and sell 18th and 19th century chimneypieces, including opening the Chesney's Atlanta showroom in the ADAC Centre.

Trained in graphic design and illustration, Kitty worked for publisher Macmillan, as a senior designer and is responsible for the design of the classic children's book 'The Gruffalo'.  Kitty has worked for many years as a vintage and food stylist, she has a keen eye for stylish mid-century decorative pieces.  She has written and styled 5 books including the best selling Sweets Made Simple, the companion book to the couple's BBC TV show of the same name.

The couple argue incessantly through Kitty is wise enough to know that one should let your man think he wears the trousers.

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