Preview: RCA Secret - Royal College of Art, London

Click to follow
The Independent Culture

The former Stone Roses guitarist turned full-time artist John Squire has just finished a series of three postcard-sized artworks for this year’s RCA Secret exhibition and sale.

This annual contemporary show includes about 1,500 original mini artworks made and donated by famous artists, designers and illustrators, including David Bailey, Tracey Emin, Mike Leigh, Olafur Eliasson, Thomas Ruff and Yoko Ono, aswell as RCA graduates.

The postcards, signed on the back, go on sale for £40 without the identity of the artist being revealed until the postcard is purchased. All proceeds go to the RCA Fine Art Student Award.

“Without giving away too much, my postcards of ghostly graphite forms are recognisable as my work,” Squire says. “I’ve not tried to disguise my signature style, which usually involves masking, layering and hiding using curving linear forms. I am working in pencil rather than paint as oils take about a month to dry.”

Known for his Jackson Pollock-style paint splashes forRoses album sleeves, Squire immersed himself in painting in 2004 after bringing out his second solo album, Marshall’s House, inspired by the American realist Edward Hopper.

Squire does not intend to make any more music. “I amcurrently working with fabrics. I’ve sourced used garments in English fabrics such as tweeds and checks from thrift shops and eBay andI’m incorporating them in paintings. The fabric has a life of its own. The smell of tobacco or perfume fuels the fantasy about the previous owner.”

All the RCA Secret postcards are bought on a first come, first served basis, although there will be a raffle for buyers to win one of the first 50 places in the queue. “Last year’s themes included a lot of veiled women. We had a couple of years of terrorist activity.

This year, there are a lot of horses,” says RCA Secret’s curator, Wilhelmina Bunn. “Most of the artists don’t disguise their work. Although the signature is on theback, the real signature is on the front.”

16-24 November (020-7590 4186;