Paul Simon’s fifteenth solo album ‘Seven Psalms’ has been universally heralded as a stunning late career highlight, critics and fans alike stirred by Simon’s artistry on the 33-minute thematic suite of music. Now Paul Simon and celebrated artist and best-selling author Charlie Mackesy unite their creative talents as they marry the worlds of music and art with a unique new project. The duo delve further into Seven Psalms’ concepts and emotion with a new exhibition of Charlie Mackesy’s sketches, which were inspired by Paul Simon’s latest record.
The two-week exhibition ‘Paul Simon’s Seven Psalms – Illustrated by Charlie Mackesy” will be free and open to the public at No.9 Cork Street, Frieze’s premier gallery space in the historic heart of Mayfair, London which has previously featured exhibitions by Rasheed Araeen (Grosvenor Gallery), Jimmie Durham (Galleri Opdahl), James Nares (Kasmin Gallery) and many more. Gallery opening hours are 10am-6pm Tuesday – Saturday, with the exhibition running 13th to 27th September.
A lifelong fan of Paul Simon, artist, illustrator and author, Charlie Mackesy is best-known for his beloved book ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’. As one of the first people to hear Simon’s new record before it was released, Mackesy was inspired to craft seven original sketches – one for each “psalm” – presenting the album as re-imagined through his art.
Charlie Mackesy adds, “I’ve loved Paul Simon’s music all my life. I used to draw while I listened to his songs when I was a boy and still do. When I was asked to work with him on Seven Psalms I was surprised, grateful and overwhelmed. It’s without doubt one of the greatest privileges of my life – not just to be asked, but to be trusted to do them. The album is unique, beautiful, honest and full of questions. I love it. It’s been a joy getting to know Paul, he is kind and wise and unbelievably gifted. I really hope I do him and the album justice.”
Paul Simon says, “It’s been a pleasure to get to know Charlie through this collaboration. His art is beautiful and atmospheric, and he’s also interested in social justice and ecology, which resonates with me as well. His book [The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse] was about taking a journey, and the search for home. My album is in some ways about seeking and questioning. So when the opportunity presented itself, I felt we were working in similar worlds, and knew Charlie’s aesthetic would complement Seven Psalms well. When it comes to my music, I truly believe ‘the listener completes the song’, so I was happy to let Charlie follow his own inspiration to re-imagine my music through his sketches.”