Peter Doherty (1979-) is a notorious celebrity, famed for his high-profile relationship with Kate Moss and his addiction to heroin. While a noted creative talent, regular court appearances and jail sentences have come to overshadow his musical and artistic pursuits.
Doherty was one of the founders of the acclaimed The Libertines, and also founded Babyshambles.
He published his journals, some photography and poetry in 2007's The Books of Albion: The Collected Writings of Peter Doherty.
Since 2007, Doherty's paintings have been made available to the public. Like his personal life, these paintings have caused controversy due to his use of human blood, mostly Doherty's own.
This is canvas is a new discovery, never before offered on the private market.
The provenance is impeccable: A fan approached the singer at a gig in Wigan, 2010, and cheekily asked how he could make some money. Doherty said he would create a blood painting and send him £20; the money never arrived but the painting was sent a week later (with a drawn £20 note). The canvas measures 32"x32".
The text "For Alistair, love Peter" features prominently over half the canvas. This personal note becomes part of the artwork as it is inscribed in blood.
This self-portrait shows Doherty smoking, wearing his trademark hat. The artist clearly understands his own iconography and deftly records his most identifiable image.
A flurry of smudged pencil, pen and blood create a broken, textured effect. The mixed media piece features a number of novel techniques; splattered blood and dripping blood.
A concentration of blood curves outwards from the eye, downwards in dripping, criss-crossing lines.
Above the head, drawn across the hat, Doherty has included a syringe in blue pen. The highest level of detail is afforded to this depiction, inferring the item's importance. The level of detail also suggests that the item was drawn from observation, rather than memory. A blue rectangle, with the number 20, depicts a £20 bank note.
The choice of a different media for the drawing of the syringe may suggest a separate phase of work on the painting. It may also depict two states of mind or two sets of concern of the artist; one which is the artist himself, and one which is his addiction.
A London gallery recently held a sell-outof Doherty's work, demonstrating how sought after these paintings are.
Prices for the artworks varied from £2,500 for a signed print, to £50,000 for blood spattered canvasses.
Included in the sale price is a colour photograph of Pete Doherty measuring 11¾" x 8¼" signed by the man himself.
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