Observations: Musicians rip it up and start again for Destroy Rankin

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The Independent Culture

If you had your portrait taken by Rankin, would you turn round and destroy it? Didn't think so. And yet, that's exactly what 73 musicians have done for Destroy Rankin, part of the 10th anniversary celebrations for Youth Music Charity. Alex James has given an old Dazed & Confused cover a lavender and thyme hairdo and beard; Alanis Morissette has burned a hole in hers, and Alex Zane has used his medical-school training to turn half his face into a colourful skin and bones zombie.

The images, which will be exhibited at Phillips de Pury in London from 9-21 November alongside the originals, are being auctioned on eBay, except the 25 most exclusive (including an oil portrait of the late Joe Strummer by Damien Hirst), which are being sold at a live auction on 14 November. Clearly those involved relished the chance to get creative: Debbie Harry has stitched her image together, U2 have given themselves strange blue halos and Kylie Minogue has dripped nail varnish on herself.

"There's a weird part of my sense of humour that likes the idea of destroying my own work," explains Rankin. "It's an interesting assessment of personal identity".

The eBay auction opens at 8pm on 11 November and runs until 21 November; www.youthmusic.org.uk/rankin