Category Archives: Collecting Rock Art

Rolling Stones posters: top picks from 14 On Fire

Rolling Stones posters are prized by fans: the best posters look as attractive now as they did when they were first printed.

You can pick them up for a song. And, after framing, a good Rolling Stones poster will grace the home of any fan, however grand or humble. If you attended a gig, the poster will always have extra resonance for you.

Rolling Stones tour posters

Rolling Stones poster, American Tour 1981

My favourite Rolling Stones poster has always been the achingly beautiful, Art Deco-inspired artwork for the American Tour 1981. You can see it on the Stones Archive website, where it’s now employed as the album cover of the “official bootleg” mp3 release of the Hampton Coliseum gig, and also on the new 2CD/DVD box of the same show.

Rolling Stones posters promoting the UK Tour 1971 (vintage sports car), and A Bigger Bang 2005-07 (Stones lips logo exploding) also figure amongst my favourites. These, and several more, are design classics.

Not all Rolling Stones posters were created equal, though. The music from the Brussels 1973 gig might be incandescent, but the cover art for the “official bootleg” mp3 release, based on the European tour 1973 poster, is, to my eyes, little more than adolescent smut.

Rolling Stones posters from 14 On Fire

The recently completed 14 On Fire tour continued the tradition of outstanding Rolling Stones posters, with some delightfully distinctive artwork promoting the individual shows.

Rolling Stones poster, Roskilde, 14 On Fire tour

Rolling Stones poster, Roskilde, Denmark, 2014

Every Stones collector will have a favourite poster from 14 On Fire. Those which caught my eye were the posters promoting the shows in Paris, Sydney (Bennelong Point ie site of Sydney Opera House), Pinkpop (Netherlands), Perth (black swan) and Roskilde.

Posters such as these immortalise a unique grand event by visually linking the location with the band’s appearance there. Essential for a promo vehicle, they make an immediate impact. And the design and execution of the artwork ensure that owners will enjoy living with the posters for many years.

Rolling Stones posters, individual 2014 shows and box sets

If you missed buying the 2014 On Fire posters at the gigs, some slightly smaller limited editions – Tour Lithos – are scheduled for publication soon, at £40 each from the official Rolling Stones website. I’d guess they’ll be snapped up quickly.

Rolling Stones memorabilia - tour poster, Perth, Australia, 14 On Fire

Rolling Stones poster, Perth W.A., Oct 2014

Although they’re being sold as “limited editions”, there’s no indication on the site of the size of the edition. Without knowing the edition size, you’d buy them for pleasure, not as “investments”.

Better-heeled collectors of Rolling Stones posters might be more interested in the De Luxe European box set (21 shows) at £630, the De Luxe Asian box set (7 shows) at £220, or the Bundle of both sets at £850. Again, there’s no indication of the size of the limited edition, though the sets are individually numbered.

Posters for the Australia/NZ shows are only available as individual Tour Lithos.

Rock show posters: worth buying?

In general, posters for rock shows can be a worthwhile, if low value, investment, though they are best seen as nice-to-have collectables.  Original posters for shows by big-ticket acts like the Rolling Stones are occasionally sold for four figure sums – but they need to be in mint condition, and to advertise shows held long ago.

You have to be careful with tour posters, though – the market is swamped by cheap reproductions, only some of which are officially sanctioned. And fakes abound; some of them look authentic.

If I were a more committed Rolling Stones rock art buyer, I’d seriously consider buying the 2014 De Luxe Bundle, alongside artworks like Richard Hamilton and Andy Warhol limited edition Mick Jagger portraits and The Rolling Stones, the new Taschen limited edition book.

The new Rolling Stones posters for 14 On Fire demonstrate once again that the Stones are the unrivalled masters at monetising talent.

The new releases continue the win-win tradition of pleasing fans and collectors while enriching the enterprise: the Rolling Stones posters for 14 On Fire will appeal to many budget collectors and not a few well-heeled investors.

Mick Jagger portraits: a guide for beginners

Mick Jagger portraits are everywhere.

Visit any major art gallery with a contemporary collection and Mick Jagger will probably be there to greet you. Spend ten minutes in a high street gallery dealing in art for your walls, and you’re likely to come across the Rolling Stones singer.

Mick Jagger portraits vary, both in quality and price. Here are four examples of paintings and mixed media artwork I’d consider if building an ideal rock art collection. You can see the first two pieces in national galleries in London, the other two in selected high street outlets.

Mick Jagger portraits #1: Andy Warhol

Andy Warhol’s Mick Jagger portraits are the pick of the crop.

Why? Because they are intrinsically attractive. And because they have the art world’s official seal of approval – I shot the photograph below in the prestigious National Portrait Gallery, London.

Mick Jagger portrait by Andy Warhol

Mick Jagger portrait, National Portrait Gallery, London © Andy Warhol

Like all artwork by Andy Warhol, Mick Jagger prints are reassuringly expensive – auctioned by leading houses like Christie’s and Sotheby’s, they achieve prices of tens of thousands of pounds.

You need to do your homework, though – there are many variant limited edition prints of images from the same Andy Warhol project.

Mick Jagger portraits #2: Richard Hamilton – Swingeing London

Richard Hamilton, the leading English exponent of Pop Art, is the other top artist with Mick Jagger portraits in his portfolio.

Swingeing London, an iconic image based on a press photograph of Mick Jagger in handcuffs, was reproduced in a series of mixed media limited edition prints.

Mick Jagger, poster boy for Richard Hamilton exhibition, Tate Modern, London, 2013

Mick Jagger, from Swingeing London by Richard Hamilton. © Tate Modern, London 2014

I’ve seen variants of Swingeing London in leading London galleries such as Tate Britain, as well as smaller spaces like the Serpentine Gallery, Christie’s Mayfair and Alan Cristea.

My photograph shows the poster for the recent Richard Hamilton blockbuster exhibition at Tate Modern, London.  The inspirational exhibition has since been shown at Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía, Madrid.

Mick Jagger portraits by Andy Warhol and Richard Hamilton are fundamental building blocks of any representative collection of rock art. I’ll be profiling them in more detail here on ROCK | ART | EDITIONS: you can ensure you don’t miss them by subscribing to receive new posts by email (subscription sign-up at top right of this page).

If Andy Warhol and Richard Hamilton prints are beyond your budget, though, you can pick from a wide range of Mick Jagger portraits at more affordable prices. Here are two examples which caught my eye recently.

Mick Jagger portraits #3: Kate Gibb – Electric Mick – Two

Kate Gibb’s Electric Mick – Two is a striking piece. On a leisurely summer outing to Brighton, as I passed Art Republic (13 Bond St, Brighton), it almost sucked me in off the street!

Mick Jagger portrait, Electric Mick 2, by Kate Gibb

Electric Mick -Two © Kate Gibb 2014

The image here is of a signed (by the artist) silkscreen limited edition of 50. It was priced at £1100 in the shop. You can buy it online from Art Republic – directly and via Amazon.

Electric Mick also comes in several other editions, using different colours.  Electric Mick – One is presented in a blue palette, for example.  And in different sizes.

Mick Jagger portraits #4: Louis Sidoli

And Mick Jagger portraits just keep on coming. The most recent example is this giclee on paper limited edition (of 495) by Louis Sidoli (£399), which I saw last week at Castle Galleries, St Christopher Place, London W1.

Mick Jagger portrait by Louis Sidoli, Castle Galleries, London

Mick Jagger © Louis Sidolio

Any collector of Mick Jagger portraits faces an embarrassment of riches. And apart from a host of paintings and mixed media artworks like those featured here, you have to consider photographs.

Mick Jagger has few equals in attracting the camera lens, so there are probably more extant photographs of him than of any other rock musician.

I’ll be profiling the most collectable Mick Jagger photographs here on ROCK | ART | EDITIONS: if you have any suggestions, please email me and I’ll include them.


Rock Art: what to see in July

Early Rolling Stones photograph

Early Rolling Stones by Terry O’Neill, on show at Izzy Gallery, Toronto, Canada, © Terry O’Neill 1963?

There’s a wealth of Rock Art exhibitions running around the world at the moment. Here are some of the most promising.


TERRY O’NEILL: The Rolling Stones plus many other 1960s musicians and other celebs on view at Terry O’Neill: The Man Who Shot the Sixties, Izzy Gallery, Yorkville Avenue, Toronto, Canada. 27 June-24 August.


PETER BLAKE: A new permanent mural, Appearing at the Royal Albert Hall, on display near the Cafe Bar, Royal Albert Hall, London. Free. Gathers 400+ performers who have appeared since the Hall opened. Notable rock musicians include Bob Dylan, David Bowie, Jimi Hendrix, Queen, The Rolling Stones, and The Who.

Peter Blake will be best known to many readers of ROCK / ART / EDITIONS for his celebrated artwork on the cover of the Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

BOB DYLAN: photographs by Daniel Kramer, Paulucci Space Theatre, Hibbing Community College, Hibbing MN. To 23 August. Free.

PATTI SMITH: a dozen or so photographs in the Robert Mapplethorpe exhibition, Le Grand Palais, Paris. To 13 July.

GREAT BLACK MUSIC: Michael Jackson, Cesaria Evora, Marvin Gaye, Billie Holiday, Fela Anikulapo Kuti, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Myriam Makeba, Oum Kalsoum, among many others. La Cité de la Musique, in NE Paris. To 24 August

RONNIE WOOD of the ROLLING STONES: Ronnie Wood: Art and Music, William Benton Museum of Art in Storrs, University of Connecticut. To 10 August. Free.

AMERICAN COOL: 100 “cool Americans”, including musicians Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Miles Davis and Jay-Z, film actors like Lauren Bacall, and writers such as Ernest Hemingway. National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian, Washington DC. To 7 September. Free.

(You are strongly advised to check details with a venue’s website before travelling – some shows require advance booking and details can change, often at short notice)

Have you seen any of these shows? What did you think of it?  Your comments are very welcome.

Have we missed an important show?  Visitors and galleries: please tell us of any show we have missed, for inclusion in next month’s round-up.

Please send comments/details of shows to ROCK / ART / EDITIONS via “Leave a reply” at the top of this post.