Beautiful Burnout: The Art of Underworld

Rick Smith and Karl Hyde of Underworld

The halcyon days of extravagant music biz shindigs – like those legendary Columbia Records’ parties that featured a full buffet, open bar and a few A-List bands you’d actually pay to see – might be a thing of the distant past, but once in a while I still get invited to a pretty good party. Last Thursday, I dragged my perpetual Plus-One, also known as Geoffrey, to the Jacobsen Howard Gallery on East 68th street to attend the private reception for an exhibit called Beautiful Burnout, featuring the multi-media art of Karl Hyde and Rick Smith of the band Underworld. It was a pretty fun hang where we saw lots of fantastic photography by Rick and Karl, who I discovered are unbelievably nice, approachable guys. There were also plentiful, tasty snacks, cool peeps and I got drunk for free! Wee! Another fun evening in the New York City! The exhibit runs in conjunction with the All Points West Music and Arts Festival.

Beautiful Burnout

The New York Art Jam will produce an intoxicating confluence of graceful macro-photography, compelling videos and film, lush and mesmerizing sound, layered collages of street snapshots and a poetic diary of painting, images and text. Underworld will be playing live at the All Points West Music and Arts Festival on August 8th.

Underworld and Tomato, the visual Beautiful Burnout, 2008, handmade silkscreen on art collaborative, is a UK-born genre-defying force consisting of, among others, Karl Hyde, Rick Smith, Simon Taylor (tomato) and John Warwicker (tomato). Their Oblivion Ball ArtJam in Tokyo last November (the all night, multi-band jam that, with the help of 20 assistants and in the spirit of “happening” godfather Allan Kaprow, saw the design and painting of a 42.5 meter long and 7 meter high wall in just sixteen hours). The exhibition at Jacobson Howard will be the same ongoing process in multi-media form.

“We’ve always been asked, “where is the edge of Underworld and where is the edge of Tomato?” as if it needs to be conventionally ‘boxed.'” For us, it’s just our daily process of making things in whatever medium is at hand. Beautiful Burnout is the dynamic expression of this process”. (John Warwicker, Underworld Creative Director & Tomato Co-Founder)

Art Of Peace Foundation: As a show of solidarity with the Dalai Lama and Tibet, 20 artists have come together to release a historic double album on the eve of the Beijing Olympics. These recordings – some original for the project and some acoustically driven recordings of previously released songs – express our common vulnerabilities and experiences in pursuing happiness, peace and freedom. Collectively, these tracks represent a heartfelt message of support for the path of compassion and non-violence championed by the Dalai Lama. Begun in May of 2008 and completed in two months, the outpouring of support from all corners of the world was unparalleled. Funds raised from the album by the Foundation will go to support peace initiatives and Tibetan cultural preservation projects important to the Dalai Lama

Underworld are proud to be part of this recording, and have invited the Art of Peace Foundation to launch this campaign on August 7th at the Beautiful Burnout ArtJam.

The All Points West Music & Arts Festival at Liberty State Park runs from August 8-10 with Underworld performing Friday August 8, and also at the Virgin Festival in Baltimore on the 9th.

Jacobson Howard Gallery, 33 East 68th Street, NYC. Hours: 10-6, closed Sunday.