Collection: Ceri Shipton
Believed to have been born in 1963, some say the illegitimate son of a prominent artist and a rock “n” roll star, in an undisclosed area of the south of France. Janis Joplin and Pablo Picasso always denied rumours and all paperwork has been lost. He was said to have been adopted by an American friend who took him to New York to avoid any scandal, where from the age of ten he was largely raised at Andy Warhol’s Factory by anyone who was there at the time. It’s said that Warhol did not like his presence and in return Shipton hated him. Suggestions that he stole a gun and gave it to Valerie Solanas to shoot Warhol have never been proved. It is true that in his time there he mastered screen printing, painting, drug taking and graffiti.
In his mid teens he was selling drugs to, among others, a band called The New York Dolls who introduced him to their manager Malcolm McLaren. McLaren was already planning his assault on the London music scene and asked Shipton to come to London’s Kings Road to print t-shirts and put a band together at his new venture, Sex, a clothes shop and meeting place for like minded people. Having taught the rudiments of screen printing to McLaren, his girlfriend Vivien Westwood, and four young drop outs who became the Sex Pistols, Shipton turned his attentions to his first love - graffiti and the Hip Hop, DJ scene.
In the following years he travelled widely to discuss his ideas with various artists and musicians and is said to have been hugely influential on a guy he met in Bristol, who was stacking shelves in Tesco, and called himself Banksy. He showed Shipton his drawings and Shipton told him “if he couldn’t get them into galleries he should put them on their walls where they couldn’t ignore them”.
At about this time he also travelled to the States where he met a young guy working in McDonalds flipping burgers called Marshal Mathers. He recognised the passion and dedication to his art that he felt in himself and took him under his wing, introducing him to people he had met previously through The New York Dolls.
Throughout this time Ceri Shipton was producing his own work and exhibiting widely under the pseudonyms of ether Ceri House or Nick Shipton, although this has never been confirmed. He is now thought to be living in a tent just outside Hertford in Mole’s Wood and occasionally shows new work at Brothership Studios.