Ella Guru: Stuckist Artist
Living in the age we do, when politicians are found to be corrupt, when city bankers have shafted us all, and when the world as we know it is headed towards the Hellish depths, we often wish - or I do anyway - how good it would be if we could give those bastards a sound thrashing. It's wishful thinking, but Ella Guru, the American Stuckist Artist, has actually done this. She once thrashed - and thrashed hard I hope - the fat wobbly bottomed politicos who run this country. It was sterling work and her efforts are to be applauded, but it seems that the lash of her whip instilled no discipline. The bastards ruined this country despite her best efforts. But at least she tried. And so we ask ourselves who is this heroine? Who is this public spirited individual?
She is first and foremost an artist. And good one too, one who can slap paint on a canvas and create a recognisable image. And maybe it was because of this, because she can paint a good picture, that she joined the Stuckists. She is most definitely a figurative artist. Her pictures are nearly all portraits, and she paints those on the edge of society: the hedonists, the outsiders, and the individuals.
Her study of transvestites in big wigs is well worth a gander. She paints them warts and all; hard angular faces topped with glamorous beehives. Then juxtaposed is her collection of wildlife pictures. Fowls and beasts - my favourite being the Red Kite. I recommend visiting her website and seeing for yourself. Check out the Pelican Blonde, it reminds me of 1930s' decadence. (Don't ask me why!)
But there is more to Ella Guru than portrait painting. In the days of the Big Breakfast, and when the great John Peel was still alive, Ms Guru was part of an Indie combo called the Voodoo Queens. They achieved some success and had a number one in the Indie charts. The Voodoo Queens are no more, but Ella Guru has not shunned music, and today plays with the Depford Beach Babes. Their music is available from RIM records - as is a lot of good stuff that is original and imaginative.
She is also a writer and traveller, and once hitch-hiked around Zimbabwe with China Miéville, the weird-fiction writer. An account of her story can be found in the book, No Such thing as Free Ride. Other journeys have been cycle rides to Lithuania and trips around Holland.
Ella Guru has lived an interesting life. She has even had tea with Quentin Crisp who honoured her by calling her weird. And she accepted that honour, and honoured him, by painting his portrait. And because Ella is proud to be weird, proud to be different, when she married her husband, Sexton Ming - Sexton was the bride and Ella was the bridegroom.
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