Punk legend Ray Rossi turns to abstract art

We are incredibly excited to be working with punk legend Ray Rossi and to be giving our clients the fantastic opportunity to add his Pollock-style abstract canvases to their collections. 

You may not associate Rock-star Rossi with exquisite hand-painted masterpieces, but this founding father of the punk revolution has painted pictures for a number of celebrities over the years and built up quite the portfolio of his works in his studio. 

Known for his excellent PR skills and obvious ‘gift of the gab’, Rossi managed his brother’s band, Slaughter and the Dogs, helping them become one of the most iconic punk bands of the 70s. Rossi was responsible for designing the famous poster featuring Slaughter and the Dogs as the headline act for the 1976 gig at Manchester Lesser Free Trade Hall. Sex Pistols were the support, and The Buzzcocks were left off the poster.

When Malcome McLaren, the manager of the Sex Pistols, saw the poster, he was initially furious but later applauded Rossi, calling him a ‘marketing genius’. The gig went down in musical history as “the gig that changed the world” and led to the book and documentary “I swear I was there.”

Following the gig, Rossi negotiated a deal with Decca records, making Slaughter and the Dogs the first punk band to sign a major record deal. He subsequently got in touch with Granada presenter and Factory Records founder Tony Wilson, telling him they would sign their contract outside the Wythenshawe dole office as they’d thrown the band off the dole believing they were making a fortune. 

The band were filmed signing the back of Ray’s gas bill (the actual contract had gone back to London), which went out on National News. How very punk rock!

Rossi always had a passion for painting, which took a backseat while he focused on his musical career. Now, Rossi has carved out an art career and has recently hand-painted five large canvases in original poster colours that will be exhibited at Red Eight Gallery on Thursday 26th January. 

If you’d like to attend Ray Rossi’s exhibition, please get in touch.