Andipa Stages Shane MacGowan’s The Eternal Buzz and The Crock of Gold

12 Oct 2022 – 29 Oct 2022

Regular hours

10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00
10:00 – 18:00

Free admission

Save Event: Andipa Stages Shane MacGowan’s The Eternal Buzz and The Crock of Gold

I've seen this

People who have saved this event:


Andipa Gallery

London, United Kingdom

Event map

Andipa is delighted to present The Eternal Buzz and the Crock of Gold, an exhibition by the acclaimed singer-songwriter Shane MacGowan.


His work, which has been described by the art critic, Waldemar Januszczak, as possessing a ‘demented, wild, fascinating, scabrous kind of energy’, will be represented by twenty small-scale drawings mostly dating from the 1980s.

Dubbed by Januszczak as the ‘Jackson Pollock of the biro’, this survey, which has been curated by the artist’s wife Victoria Mary Clarke, is drawn from a body of work that has never been shown in public before. Executed in a variety of media, predominantly coloured felt tip and biro, these highly idiosyncratic and sometimes disturbing drawings are scrawled and scribbled onto sheets of paper torn from foolscap jotter pads, hotel stationery and aeroplane sick bags, and were created largely whilst he toured the world with his band, The Pogues.

Das Boat depicts a figure in a deep sea diver’s suit floating in inky black water in front of a submarine and spiked sea mine. A note of danger is struck by the airline having become detached from the oxygen supply to the diver’s helmet. This sets the tone for the majority of the featured works, many of which were produced while MacGowan was intoxicated or under the influence of drugs, stimulants that lend a wild unpredictability to the artist’s hand.

Some of the drawings directly refer to Pogues songs, such as Hell’s Ditch, the name of the band’s 1990 best-selling album. New York City Sky brings to mind the poetic Christmas ballad, Fairytale of New York, and Thai Boxers and Thai Teenybop, the band’s single, Summer in Siam. Anger is an Energy, a refrain from the PiL song, Rise, appears to ape the circular marks made by a Spirograph, albeit in a more irregular fashion. Another, Bono Drinking Guinness is a portrait of the lead singer of the band U2, a long-time friend of MacGowan, and Grace, a rendering of the model and singer, Grace Jones.

Amongst these are bawdier offerings; drawings containing phalluses with spiralling testicles entering the mouths of purple-haired and befringed females. The word ‘GLORCH!’ appears around each of their heads and these Basquitesque flourishes appear in many of the works. The show also includes portraits: Lady Victoria features a pair of pale pink lips surrounded by hundreds of interlocking bubbles. Within this are love hearts, a ringed planet and a solitary crucifix can be found. Carolan sees the Angel possibly refers to Turlouh O’ Carolan, the 17th century blind Celtic harpist and has echoes of the German Expressionists. The Measure of my Dreams and Woman with Bottle are softer works, in which MacGowan employs watercolour washes, picking out the subjects figures in black ink.

Of MacGowan’s artwork, the actor and musician Johnny Depp, says: ‘Shane’s visions will speak for themselves. Sometimes they will invoke wonder, sometimes they might appear decidedly threatening, but, regardless of medium, his work will always be full of poetry.’

MacGowan’s artworks have been brought together in a 502-page, limited edition monograph. Entitled The Eternal Buzz and The Crock of Gold, it includes a critical essay written by the Sunday Times’ art critic, Waldemar Januszczak, along with contributions by Victoria Mary Clarke, Johnny Depp and Shane himself, as well as unpublished lyrics by the singer and photographs and essays by MacGowan written while he was a schoolboy.

What to expect? Toggle


Have you been to this event? Share your insights and give it a review below.