Austin Spare - the biography
Looks like the long-awaited bio by Phil Baker is into the final furlong:
Austin Osman Spare: The Life and Legend of London’s Lost Artist by Phil Baker. This long-awaited biography charts the rise and fall and rise again of British art’s darkest star. He was the enfant terrible of the Edwardian art scene, but by the time of his death in 1956 he was living in squalor and all but forgotten. What happened? Fascinated with mysticism and spiritualism from an early age, Spare practiced automatic drawing before the Surrealists and developed a unique system of magic. By the 1930s Spare had retreated from fashionable society, living out the second half of his life in poverty and obscurity, but he never stopped working. Holding shows in pubs, he painted local Londoners and film stars from fan magazines, as well as weirder, more personal visions. And as Spare the artist went underground, so the myth of Spare the magus began to grow… Illustrated with colour plates and b/w images, Austin Osman Spare will initially be published in a reasonably-priced collector’s hardback edition in late October.
Great news. Thanks for posting the link.
Just received my copy today - lovely sidereal portrait on front and back cover.
Favourite quote so far...
"Spare certainly remembered Crowley with a distaste that included his use of cosmetics: his comment on seeing Crowley in Piccadilly one day, made up like a male prostitute, was, "My God, if I had to go to all that effort to attract 'em, I'd give up the ghost.""
Mine arrived two days ago.
Just thought I'd chip in that the reproductions of Spare's art within the book are gorgeous. True, I've got several of these images in other books, but none as clear or sharp as within the pages of Barker's biography.