Happy Little Fat Man

Mr. Fish's fishhouse, 2003, 30x40cm

I am busy working on our Crowdfunding pitch for ‘Happy Little Fat Man – The Art of Kevin Coyne’.  The idea is to generate pledges of cash in return for rewards so we can achieve all our ambitions for this project.  we have (just) about enough to get the work here to Derby from Nurnberg in Germany but to do the project justice we need to raise a tidy sum.

I got involved in this a few months back when my friend (and until recently, fellow studio holder) Paul Warren, a long time friend of Kevin’s asked me if I’d help out as the idea of the show, to mark the 10th anniversary of Kevin’s death in 2004, had run into difficulties.  We now have it back on track and with help from Kevin’s supporters we may yet do him the justice of proper recognition in the city of his birth this November.  Below is the detail on the project…and if you want to help…seek out ‘Happy Little Fat Man’ on Crowdfunder from tomorrow!

KEVIN frame grab

HAPPY LITTLE FAT MAN – Art from Kevin Coyne

 In Nov 2014 we are opening an exhibition of Kevin Coyne’s art in Derby. Be part of this project and help make the show a massive success!

 An exhibition of over 50 paintings and drawings by Kevin Coyne will open from 21st November 2014 and run until 7th February 2015 at Déda, the Dance and Arts Centre in Kevin’s home city of Derby.   And an accompanying exhibition of further work by, and associated with, Kevin will run at the University of Derby’s Markeaton Campus in the city from 21st November until 19th December.

Kevin Coyne (1944 – 2004) was an important player in the contemporary music scene in the late 1960’s and 70’s and became a cult figure thereafter. Alongside his prodigious musical output (over 40 albums in his lifetime) he continued to paint, draw and write throughout his life and the exhibition will cover all facets of an amazingly fertile creative force. Alongside the display at Déda the University of Derby’s College of Arts will host more work including rarely seen and unseen footage of Kevin in performance and discussing his work. This is the first ever exhibition of Kevin’s artwork covering his whole career and we want to make it a really positive experience.

This celebration of one of the city’s most creative and widely recognized forces in the 20th century is the idea of a group of enthusiasts and supporters in the place of his birth. They came together with the idea of mounting this large display in recognition of his importance on the anniversary of his death at the age of 60 in 2004. We are three local to Derby arts people and passionate enthusiasts for Kevin Coyne, his music, his writing and his art. We have one of Kevin’s oldest friends on board, with the other two of us with years of experience of putting together arts events and the venues are fully committed. There is support from Kevin’s family, in the UK and in Germany where Kevin was based for the latter part of his life. We already have enough backing from our key venues for the show to go ahead but with your help we can make the project bigger and better. Amongst our ambitions that your support will allow us to achieve is a catalogue to accompany the show, we plan a weekend celebration with the exhibition opening, films, readings and live music over two days.

Our passion has been recognized and supported by Déda’s Director, Stephen Munn and Professor Huw Davies, Dean of the College of Arts at the University of Derby who have offered the venues for the event. Professor Davies says “it is fitting that Kevin should be celebrated here, as he was a student at the Derby School of Art for four years in the 1960’s”. And Stephen Munn commented “it is a fitting exhibition to show off the newly expanded and renovated Centre that will be sure to attract national and international attention”.

In return for your support you will receive ahead of the event a priority VIP invitation to the exhibition launch with drinks and delicious nibbles. Further pledges of support include a limited edition of post cards of some of Kevin’s paintings, a tee shirt, catalogue, free admission to our celebration weekend of performances, a limited edition framed print and for our top level pledgers a special Kevin ‘Teddy bears ‘pack (teddy bear, tee shirt, limited edition print) all to be ready for you at the exhibition launch and the special celebration weekend event.

9 thoughts on “Happy Little Fat Man

  1. Reblogged this on sarahrkey and commented:
    This is a great opportunity to show support for a real one off eccentric artist. That’s what it’s all about really, isn’t it?
    This exhibition will be fantastic, along with the extra events. Great stuff…

  2. I site Marjory Razorblade as the most important album of my life time. A subjective opinion, I grant you, but it is the sound track of my formative years. There’s a cafe in Hackney that plays it frequently still.

    As a teenager in west London in the 1970’s I would spend my lunch hours in (the first) Virgin Record shop. On hand written signs in the window would be the sales figures of their artists. Whist everyone was being wrapped up in Tubular Bells I was joining the 400, or so wise guys who bought KC’s MR.

    When they eventually get round to inviting me on to Desert Island Discs there will be a a Coyne for sure. Marjory Razorblade, Eastbourne Ladies, Marlene, House on the Hill? I’m not sure, though whichever, it’ll be the one I save when the wave rolls in.

    Never seen his paintings, but as someone who makes paintings I will certainly take a look.

  3. Hello Stephen,

    Thanks for the terrific comments! We go ‘live’ with our Crowdfunding pitch tomorrow 12noon @ http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/Happy-Little-Fat-Man-by-Kevin-Coyne/

    Like you I first knew Kevin’s work all those years back. I’d rather lost track of all his work over the years but since getting involved with this project have chased down a fair few of the 40 (!) albums he made…many of them quite superb. Kevin’s art is as visceral and direct as the music (and his writing the same) and though it doesn’t have a huge technical repertoire it comes straight from one of the most amazing creative talents. We are hoping to do justice to his legacy with the show plus some live events.

    1. I sent over a small contribution earlier this PM. Should appear at some point I trust…

  4. Thanks Stephen…I’m off to the local radio station to ‘spread the word’ and also hoping to pick up some national radio coverage later this week to push the project on. It is great to get your support…much appreciated.

    1. Hi David

      I made a donation, as mentioned, but it has not appeared on on the line of pledges showing the differing bands yet. Please can you confirm that you have received it. Thanks Stephen

  5. Hi Stephen,
    I just checked and I think its there…and I hope I posted a thanks! Anyway we are really grateful and having your pledge pushed us past 20%! Am off to the local Radio station now to do a plug… Thanks again.

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