A self-portrait by former Pink Floyd frontman Syd Barrett has been stolen from the Idea Generation Gallery in London’s Shoreditch where it was on display. It was painted in the 1960’s before he joined the group, that went on to be founded in 1965. Pink Floyd first became popular playing in London’s underground music scene in the late 1960s. Under Barrett’s leadership they released two charting singles, “Arnold Layne” and “See Emily Play”,with a successful début album, “The Piper at the Gates of Dawn” (1967). Barrett had arrived in London in the autumn of 1963 to study at the Camberwell College of Art. Waters and Barrett were childhood friends. The bassist had often visited Barrett as he played guitar at his mother’s house and was aware of his talents. In his book, Mason stated, “In a period when everyone was being cool in a very adolescent, self-conscious way, Syd was unfashionably outgoing; my enduring memory of our first encounter is the fact that he bothered to come up and introduce himself to me.”
The gallery described the exhibition as, “Syd Barrett – Art and Letters”, at The Idea Generation Gallery”. The show which closed on Sunday was the first and largest exhibition of its kind, offering a rare insight into the lesser known side to the original Pink Floyd frontman’s inspiration and creativity. The work included a series of previously unseen photographs ranging from intimate images from Syd’s childhood holidays through to the psychedelic hothouse of 1960s progressive rock, as well as personal love notes written during the early days of Pink Floyd. It was not only a stunning documentary of Syd Barrett, but the show featured a series of completely unseen photographs of early Pink Floyd, including the first ever images of the band playing live in Denmark and images by the photographer Mick Rock that were thought to be lost forever. The exhibition also included an extraordinary collection of Syd Barrett’s original artworks – the largest to date.
The work disappeared on Saturday at the busiest time of the weekend. The painting was completed by Barrett between 1961 and 1962 and owned by Libby Gausden the frontman’s former girlfriend.It had never been exhibited in public before it went on display in Shoreditch. The picture was described as a small painting approx 31cm (12ins) x 23cm (9ins). It is of great sentimental value to the owner. A reward of £2000 is being offered for its safe return. Barret died in 2006.
He quit the band in 1968 and after an erratic solo career turned his back on the music business devoting the rest of his life to art. The Gallery manager, Eloise Rowley said the painting was taken from the building in Chance Street between 2.15pm and 3pm.
If anyone has information Please contact: T. +44 (0)20 7749 6850 Idea Generation Gallery 11 Chance Street London E2 7JB No questions will be asked for the return of this painting. See Photo Of Stolen Painting