A painting using the blood of Amy Winehouse and Pete Doherty as a medium has sold for £35,000. The collaboration titled Ladylike was one of around 20 “blood” paintings on show representing Doherty’s work at the Cob Gallery in London. The portrait of Winehouse was estimated to sell for between £50,000 and £80,000 when auctioned at the end of the run of the show. The lower price achieved was a result of an after bid at the sale. It was for sale alongside several other paintings, guitars, clothes and diaries belonging to Doherty.
Many of the other paintings were executed using the artists blood to draw the pictures. “Blood plays the starring role in my work. Sweat and tears are often waiting in the wings,” Doherty stated of the auction.
Since the untimely death of Ms. Winehouse sales of her album far outreached those which could have been predicted during her career, yet she never fully found her feet in the contemporary art world. As for Mr. Doherty, he is no new kid on the block in terms of selling seemingly graphic and grisly images. In February, Doherty sold a number of paintings incorporating his own blood letting technique, some for a handsome sum of 7000 pounds. Another piece included in the collection features a collaborative piece with French rock heiress Charlotte Gainsbourg created during the filming of ‘The Confessions of a Child of the Century’. “Amy was on the phone to her dad when she did that [painting],” Doherty told the Independent. “She said, ‘Dad, I’m with Pete and he’s making me draw with my blood!’ He didn’t like me much, her dad.” Doherty takes great pride in his artworks’ “arterial splatter”, for which he cuts his finger or fills a syringe with his own blood. “It plays the starring role in my work,” he told the Independent. “Sweat and tears are often waiting in the wings.”
Before Ms Winehouse’s death from acute alcohol poisoning last July, the soul singer had struggled with a drugs and alcohol problem. Her relationship with Mr. Doherty, a fellow musician was deep and they remained close friends. During their close relationship they worked on the painting “Ladylike,” which Ms. Winehouse executed a stylised self-portrait which used an artistic technique Mr. Doherty calls “arterial splatter”:drawings made with blood from a syringe and or a cut-open fingertip to draw the content.
An undisclosed percentage of Ladylike’s sale price will be donated to the Amy Winehouse Foundation. The auction followed a 10-day exhibition of Doherty’s work, ‘On Blood: A Portrait of the Artist’, At the time of the original show we weren’t selling any of those things. But people really wanted to be able to purchase them. So we thought we’d do an auction and make it open to the public rather than price it up.”