An exhibition showcasing the works of Bernie Taupin, Elton John’s songwriter and collaborator, is coming to Buckhead.
Titled “Lost and Found,” the exhibition will be at the Lowe Gallery and opens Oct. 25 with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. Taupin originally was going to attend the reception but had to cancel his appearance due to a Golden Globes Award event tied to “Rocketman,” the movie about John’s life and his longtime collaboration with Taupin.
The exhibition, which closes Nov. 30, coincides with John’s Nov. 1 and 2 concerts at State Farm Arena in downtown Atlanta, his last public performances in the city as part of the “Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour.”
According to Taupin’s website, his art consists of “sculptural constructions off and through the canvas and bound with cord and wire.”
“Expressing with found objects and repurposed material and artifacts, Taupin’s multi-layered creations include manipulated flags, scorched paper, wax, wire, wood, corrugated cardboard, fabric, bubble wrap and resin,” the site stated.
Bill Lowe, the gallery’s owner, said he’s excited about the exhibition, which was “a long time in the making.”
“The initial dialogue originated about four and a half years ago, and it was in part at the suggestion of Elton John,” Lowe said. “Elton had recommended the gallery to Bernie and Bernie reached out to us. It was at Elton’s suggestion because he’s been a longtime collector of the gallery since the early ’90s. They were discussing how to accelerate Bernie’s exposure in the gallery arena. We’re trying to find the best areas in the country to promote his art.”
Taupin was not immediately available for an interview, but according to his website, he’s “a lifelong visual artist.”
“In the early 1990’s, painting became the main thrust of his creative endeavors,” the website stated. “In his early work, Taupin was inspired by groundbreaking Abstract Expressionists including Hans Hoffman, Franz Kline, Anselm Kiefer and Robert Rauschenberg.”
In a message posted to the website, Taupin said, “As in any creative field, we start by emulating work we like, following the path that ultimately leads to finding our own vision, a style we feel is original and unique in its own beliefs, on its own merits.”
Lowe said Taupin’s exhibition, which has 38 pieces, is also personal to him because of the impact Taupin’s songwriting has had on his life.
“The way he approaches his lyrics and his art do have threads that tie them together very organically,” he said. “I’m exhilarated beyond belief, in part because he has written words that have really become a significant lane in the soundtrack of my life and our culture’s life. Then, to see the visual manifestation of that and to be given the opportunity to do the first major presentation (is huge).
“He’s had (smaller) shows on the West Coast and in New York, but this is the first major show. It’s really emotionally satisfying and it honors a 50-year devotion to his creative spirit. I’m 66. The first time I ever heard ‘Goodbye Yellow Brick Road,’ I was 19 and with my girlfriend in Alabama. (That experience) was transformative in my psyche. It felt to me, when I heard that song, that somebody had kind of peered into my soul. … I never imagined I would do a major show of Bernie Taupin’s work.”
A list of Taupin’s previous exhibitions posted to the gallery’s website shows they have mostly been in California, where he lives, and New York. But he did have one previous Atlanta show at the Callanwolde Fine Arts Center in DeKalb County in 2017.
Lowe said Taupin’s art, which includes American flags, old records, tapes and CDs and guitars, today may be considered folk art.
“A lot of the imagery was influenced by his love of blues of the Deep South and folk music, and it translates into a distilled or stripped-down homage to Americana,” he said. “Even though he’s from England, when he first came to America, he said he felt more at home in America than England. He’s been a U.S. citizen for decades now. He’s got an unbridled opportunity, an ambiguous commitment to ‘liberty and justice for all’ chord that drives our national conversation. He’s deeply patriotic in more of a Woody Guthrie way than a Norman Rockwell way.”
The gallery is located at 764 Miami Circle, Suite 210 in Atlanta. For more information, visit www.lowegallery.com.