Kamikaze Press ~ England / France
(Simon Redington)

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University of Stirling: "Originally a painter of large expressionist oils, after ten years his focus of interest turned to the production of woodcuts and etchings influenced primarily by the work of the German expressionists, then later by the Japanese Ukiyo-e woodblock masters."
   
SHAKE - The Ballad of the Blue Jean Bop
By Simon Redington
Atelier Saint-Go, France: Kamikaze Press, 2014. Edition of 30.

12 x 15.5" (380 x 302mm); 48 pages. Letterpress printed. Bound in bright yellow leather with red leather spine and title in blue leather inlays. In slipcase of blue leather boards and title in red leather inlays. Signed and numbered by the artist.

Simon Redington: "I started with the idea of a book on Jazz or Blues using phonetic phrasings of scat or blues verse ... however it somewhere transformed into a homage to the Rock'n'Roll icon Gene Vincent, lacing his song 'Be Bop a Lula' around shapes and colours that have autobiographical resonances with my own childhood holidays on and around Brighton Pier."

Be-Bop-A-Lula is a rockabilly song first recorded in 1956 by Gene Vincent and His Blue Caps.

Timothy W. Booher, IMDb Mini Biography: "Rock 'n' roll pioneer Gene Vincent was born Eugene Vincent Craddock (Vincent Eugene according to some biographers) on February 11, 1935 in Norfolk, Virginia. He quit school at the age of 17 to join the Navy. His naval career was ended following a motorcycle accident while on shore leave in 1955. Shortly thereafter he heard an up and coming singer named Elvis Presley and decided on a singing career of his own. His excellent voice helped to hook him up with Norfolk disk jockey Tex Davis who pushed him through to Capitol Records where he recorded the million selling Be-Bop-A-Lula in 1956. While his first record earned him several movie appearances … and helped him to get a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, his success was short lived. His original Blue Caps band broke up fairly quickly and his fame in America dwindled as rebellious rockers of the 1950s were replaced by clean cut teen idols of the early 1960s. Vincent moved to Britain where he was a cult figure in 1959 and remained there for a decade when he returned to America in 1969 with a new record deal and enjoyed a brief revival amongst the hippy teenagers in California who revered him as a legend."
$1,600

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BOMB
a poem
By Gregory Corso
London: Kamikaze Press, 2008. Edition of 100.

11 x 14"; 24 pages. Letterpress with Baskerville type and various wood typefaces. Images composed from reduction woodblocks, woodcuts, and circular saw blades. Printed on Heritage 200 gsm (white) hand-wiped in an olive drab grey, 160 gsm (Bookwhite) and Diamant Transprint 170 gsm. Case bound in a slipcase and embossed in red metallic.

Kamikaze Press: "Bomb was written by Gregory Corso in 1958 whilst residing at the infamous 'Beat Hotel' at 9 Rue Git-le-Coeur in the Latin Quarter of Paris. Later that year this controversial poem was published by City Lights Books in San Francisco. It was originally designed as a 'concrete' poem and typeset in the shape of an exploding mushroom cloud. It has been described as an iconoclastic love song dedicated to the destructive power of a weapon of mass destruction, a heart felt homage to the terror of the H-bomb.

"The Kamikaze Press has reproduced this epic poem to mark the fiftieth anniversary of its first publication. Over these years metaphors of fear have shifted and images of prevailing carnage have become increasingly distorted and sinister. However the sentiment behind Gregory Corso's ironic message remains remarkably pertinent half a century later. The book concludes with Corso's self-penned epitaph."
$1,200

 

 


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The Ten Courts of the Kings of Hell
By Simon Redington
London, England: Kamikaze Press, 2002. Edition of 50.

20 x 36.5"; 20 leaves. Folio of ten copper-plated aquatint etchings printed on 300 gsm Somerset Textured, soft white paper. The name of each king has been inscribed on interleaving paper decorated with symbols of oriental Buddhism, beside oblique extracts from The Inferno by Dante Alighieri. Typeset in Perpetual on 160 gsm Fabriano Ingres 701 Gailetto paper. Housed in a lacquered box.

While wandering though Hanoi's Museum of Fine Arts in 1997, Simon Redington first encountered The Ten Courts of the Kings of Hell as a series of dark, deteriorating lacquer paintings. The ten 300-year-old works depicted a series of courts, each with a placid judge-like figure overseeing scenes of torture and suffering that would have made Hieronymus Bosch proud.

The artist, who had recently abandoned London, had stumbled onto one of the elemental visions of Buddhist thought. A bit more than smitten, he was off on a spiritual-philosophic-artistic quest that would occupy him for years. Ten prints from copper plates one summer, working on the tones of his prints the next. Then, he picked up Dante's Inferno – and added more.

Suzanne Lecht: "This is a culmination of six years of research with Vietnamese artists and Buddhist scholars. Simon has produced a portfolio of ten prints based on Buddhist and Oriental beliefs concerning The Circle of Life, the law of causality. The addition of quotes from Dante's Inferno brings these traditional ideas into a western context that has surprisingly modern relevance."

Simon Redington: "The Ten Courts of the King of Hell are no light testament. It was their serious, quiet solemnity that first beguiled and intrigued me, and makes them particularly relevant today. They are representations of the acceptance of a natural order, the order that confronts us all. If we are to believe in remorse and redemption then we must also believe in the consequence of our actions. The awe-inspiring sense I gathered from the myth displayed in these images however does not just come from the consequences of one's own actions. It is also a lesson in the acceptance of another's point of view, the core of Buddhist sentiment."

Naomi Lindt, "Kings of Hell" Asian Art News July/August 2005: "Rich in black, grays, and impressive range ofshades and textures, each print is its own involved composition of characters and symbols. A sublime, Confucian-looking king sits behind a desk at the center of each print (which follows an up-down perspective), meting out punishment to the faceless, sexless souls that are rendered in the simplest of lines — almost stick-figure like. Ghastly ghouls, grisly gremlins, and dark-faced demons, cast in ominous shadows, carry out the kings' brutal biddings, while other characters, symbolic or metaphorical, perform various activities, like waving bits of paper in the air or holding conversations.

"A dizzying industriousness takes place around each court, with calm mandarins looking on as souls are sawed in half, decapitated, impaled, and locked in boxes. Some figures appear in great detail, with animated facial expressions and intricate costumes, while others are mere shadows or vagueforms.

"While all the etchingsare rendered in black ink, they vary in their overall lightness and darkness and can be easily distinguished from one another."

$6,000


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The Selfish Giant
By Oscar Wilde
London: Kamikaze Press, 1999. Edition of 60.

513 x 15"; 32 pages. Letterpress with Walbaum type and various decorative wood typefaces, including 14 woodcuts (7 colour and 7 black-and-white blocks). Printed on 200 gsm Stockwell cartridge paper. End paper handmade in Vietnam by Doa Van Chi. Case bound with blind embossed slipcase. Book and slipcase in black bookcloth.

Redington's bold woodcuts accompany the Oscar Wilde's tale of a once selfish giant who welcomes children to his previously forbidden garden.

Jim Anderson, Printmaking Today, 2001: "Among the works in Simon Redington's London studio are two self-portrait etchings showing the artist posed against the kaleidoscopic townscape of Hanoi, where he now spends half of the year. Figures framed in urban backgrounds are nothing new in this artist's work, but the spiky tensions that have for a decade characterised his London imagery have relaxed somewhat. The real giveaway is in the letterpress slogans slapped boldly across the images. One says, 'Zen Baby'; the second reads 'Nguoi Nuox Ngoai', Vietnamese for 'Foreigner'. Happily uprooted from his native UK, the artist sees the world from a new viewpoint. His new book - a woodcut illustrated version of Oscar Wilde's The Selfish Giant suggests a happier frame of mind. Gone are the harrowing Kirchneresque psychodramas of 1989's Hangman and the mordant social satire of the Bust and Hostel series from the mid 1990's. In their place is a more supple, rhythmic style, suggestive of puppet figures and folk art, with one foot in Oriental traditions. It is no surprise that Redington has been immersing himself in the imagery and mythology of Vietnamese art and culture. What is surprising is that this has prompted him to tackle a classic Western text."
$1,200


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BUST
By Simon Redington
London: Kamikaze Press, 1994. Edition of 30.

8.75 x 6.75" closed, 8.75 x 52" extended; 9 unnumbered pages. Concertina style book with the signature ANTICHRIST set in Rockwell lengthwise down the spine and across the folds. Original ANTICHRIST photograph by Peter Grant. Printed using large headline wood type in red and blue dusted with silver powder on Bread and Butter (270 gsm) paper. Additional type set in Helvetica. Case bound.

Kamikaze Press: "The street slag vernacular contained in this book relates to a certain time and place located in the early 1990's and collected while I was working for the St. Mungo's Association. Blue Grenada refers to Tenants Super lager, Bullring Box-up was a toxic cocktail made up of waste alcohol including aftershave and hair spray, mixed in a gallon plastic container, shaken and passed around. The Bullring was a large homeless settlement underneath the Waterloo roundabout in London. Jack or Blue is undiluted Methylated Spirit. Shed Shot – an adjective describing oblivion, provided in many different ways. The photograph of Charlie Jnr. the self-named ANTICHRIST passed out after Huffing Glue, bag still in hand, a Christ like symbol of dereliction and decay. 'I am the Antichrist!' he would boom. BUST is an invocation of the lost and dispossessed falling between the covers of this book in a chaotic barrage of language."
$300


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And That There...
Poems and Songs by Fred Tohill
Woodcuts by Simon Redington
London: Kamikaze Press, 1993. Edition of 100.

10.5 x 12"; 40 pages. Monotype cast in Perpetua. Handset in Broadway and various woodtype faces on Canaletto (210 gsm) paper. Case-bound. Signed by poet and artist.

Kamikaze Press: "Based on the transcript taken from a tape recording of Fred Tohill reciting his poems and singing his songs. The book exhibits his eclectic range of mentors and influences from the works of Shelley and Robert Service, from Peggy Lee and Ella Fitzgerald to Frank Sinatra and Perry Como.

Paul Bell, October 1993: "The poems and songs you are about to encounter have a long history. They have been heard many times but no one, not even their author, has ever read them before. Because until this book they have never been written down. They reposed complete in their construction, in the head of Fred Tohill – sometime working man and seasoned drinker. Sired in bars and bleak bedsit rooms they tell of bawdiness and pleasure, of tenderness and pain, of love as it flourished or fails to flourish. Like favorite volumes they are pulled out, dusted down, and handed round when the drink and the company are merry, or down and nearly out."
$300

 


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What's so Funny About Peace Love & Understanding?

By Simon Redington
Vietnam: Kamikaze Press, 2008. Edition of 1000.

9.25 x 11.75"; 20 pages plus covers.

Printed on the occasion of Redington's exhibition October 2008 at Art Vietnam Gallery in Hanoi, this booklet served as his artist's statement for that exhibition. The illustrations for the book were taken from details of a folio of limited edition printed posters, BOLT-117, by Redington. The portfolio was the first work to be produced at the new Kamikaze Press studio in South West France.

Art Vietnam review of the exhibition: "The current collection is comprised of a series of stunning poster-style prints, oil paintings, and confrontational sculptures. BOLT 117, the title of print series, takes its name from the original 'smart bomb,' an ironic acknowledgement of how devilishly might has come to replace intellect as the true measurement of power. As the viewer examines carefully the provocative posters they are confronted with the absurdity of mindlessness, the absence of careful consideration, and the tendency of the public to retreat into a silent mental torpor. The oil paintings with their bright colors and highly graphic compositions are almost garish in their dark humor. They create a carnivalesque atmosphere with an unmistakable and all too familiar menacing undertone. The collection ends in a final flourish of carefully constructed
ear. The mannequin's ghoulish mocking, expressions emphasize the closing message, 'Wake up before it is too late.....

"With this body of work, some of Simon's most provocative to date, the artist hopes to stir the sleeping public, to awaken the critical mind. He asks with acute awareness, wry wit, and a deep sense of compassion....

"What's so funny about peace, love, and understanding?" or as one might conversely say, What's NOT so funny about peace, love and understanding?"
$30


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Page last update: 02.02.16

 

   
  
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