Artist and musician, Martin Creed is notorious, in the main, for winning the Turner Prize in 2001 for his uber-minimalist, ‘Work No. 227: the lights going on and off’, essentially an empty room in which the lights were turned on and off every 5 seconds. Other, perhaps infamous works have included ‘Work No. 79’, consisting of a ball of bluetack, kneaded and depressed against a wall and ‘Work No. 850’, a performance piece in which an athlete ran up and down Tate Modern’s Turbine Hall every 30 seconds all day, every day.
Creed is, however, also a successful musician much beloved by Franz Ferdinand and The Cribs. First forming a band, Owada, in 1994, Creed released Double AA side single, ‘Fuck Off’ and ‘Die!’ in May of this year, in advance of the album ‘Love to You’, a ‘collection of 18 love and hate songs’ out now on Moshi Moshi Records.
Creeds deems his life’s twin loves, music and art ‘inseparable’ and indeed it seems as though making music for Creed has had a positive impact on his practice, ‘If you think about doing a recording, I usually work with a producer and with people playing instruments and stuff, and I’ve started doing that with my paintings. So it’s like a recording session. I get a load of people to come to my studio [where] I’ve got a load of ideas and instructions and in a day we do loads of different paintings, so it’s very much like a recording session’.
He says of the dichotomy between the minimalism of much of his artwork and the emotive, chaotic nature of ‘Love To You’ that ‘works like ‘The Lights Going On and Off’, they’re like the tip of an iceberg ,…[my] very minimal work was honed down from a load of material that’s underneath the sea which you can’t see. In recent years i’ve been trying to show more of the stuff that goes into the work because [otherwise people only see the thing that I have]… worked and worked and worked… until there is almost nothing left apart from a tiny little perfectly polished thing’.
Creed’s Work No. 1197 ‘All the bells in the country rung as quickly and as loudly as possible for three minutes’ will usher in the London Olympics on July 27th.
‘LOVE TO YOU’ is out now on Moshi Moshi Records, click here for more information.