“According to American statements the decoration of car bodies was initiated there, painted cars were seen around London at least six months earlier with strident designs by BEV. Their car bodies tend to be more inventively adorned than those of their American counterparts, with designs used deliberately as an extension of the shape on which they are superimposed. The work of The Omega Workshops (1913-20) and that of BEV are the results of the same underlying intention. Although the objects were initially for their own use, they found their way into distinguished private collections, this manifestation follows directly, though unintentionally, the artist-craftsman tradition of the Omega Workshop, perhaps the major difference being that Omega was ridiculed and BEV accepted. The forms they employ derive from contemporary painting. It suggests that an entire art idiom of chromatic hard-edge painting where size seems arbitrary, could find an apt expression in Sequences on cars, trains and buildings. Here the differences between fine art and applied art are often marginal and are more concerned with semantics than the object of painting that has been created.” Jasia Reichardt,’Studio International’
“A car by BEV an assisted ready-made is a Neo-Dada contribution to polychrome sculpture.” Robert Melville,’New Statesman’
“It isn’t a car at all it’s a painting. The art worlds playing a new game with synthetic and flamboyant enamels, combining 1930’s style décor with pin-table pop art. This is art on wheels.” Pathe News
“When Tara Browne took delivery of his Cobra, he presented the new car to none other than Dudley Edwards and Douglas Binder, who by now had become two of the most important artists internationally of the 1960’s pop-art scene, and are credited by some art historians as being the creators of the entire look and movement.
Dudley Edwards’ and Douglas Binders’ style of art created the look of a generation… and it was in order to tap into this culture that Tara Browne commissioned his car to be turned into a work of art by Edwards and Binder.
Edwards’ and Binders’ 1960’s portfolio is immense, the look, style, feeling and “vibe” of the late 1960’s in London was very much a Dudley Edwards and Douglas Binder creation.” Quote from Coy’s auctioneer’s catalogue.
“An A C Cobra hand painted with the brush not the usual spray gun, and in candy colours, not Kandy Colors – by BEV represents a real and original contribution to the art of vehicle painting. The word ‘art’ is to be emphasised; this is not an extension of existing styles; it is the application of sophisticated techniques to a large area which happens to be shaped like an A C Cobra and not a canvas. That’s what makes it so uninhibitedly good to see.” Reyner Banham,’New Society’
MURALS AND STREET ART
Doug and Dudley also designed the mural for the British Pavilion at Expo 67 in Montreal other murals were commissioned by The Central Office of Information, The Ministry of Public Buildings and Works and a Conran interior in Woollands Knightsbridge Store. Then followed a façade for Wolf Olins first studio, followed by shop fronts in The Kings Road and Carnaby Street.
“We think that the brash, arrogant, yet traditional way in which these boys paint things in powerful colours could have great possibilities in the international field. It is something completely English – not influenced by America or Scandinavia.” Wallace Olins
“BEV’s involvement with popular art is not derivative, however intelligent the reappraisal, but active Fine Art in their case blurs effortlessly into the realms of decoration and design with no loss of impact.” Paul Grinke
“In this proto – Sergeant Pepper style, BEV, like Peter Blake and the Beatles, were perceived as arcadians of the mythical Swinging London metropolitan landscape, innovative cultural producers who could combine modernity and conservatism. BEV effected a combination of urban folkloric sumptuary ornamentation with the decors of contemporary consumption and excess.” Dr David Alan Mellor, Curator
“Although the Empire lies buried with Churchill. Though the colonies are all but gone with Suez and though the pound falters like the trade balance. BEV continue to expand English influence to all corners of the globe.” ‘California Living’
“They soon raised eyebrows and set tongues wagging, provoking enthusiastic panegyrics, gasps of amazement, and, from some of the more staid members of the art world, shocked abuse.” ‘The Financial Times’
“A communal polemic art, vulgar in the best sense and an international language.” Quote, Dave Hickey
BEV produced one of the first ‘major’ light shows ‘A Million Volt Light & Sound Rave’ aka ‘The Festival of Light’ at the Round House over two nights the initial one being the first all-electronic performance by Delia Derbyshire and members of the Radiophonic workshop together with Paul McCartney who made some electronic tapes specially for the event; Ray Anderson from The Holy See Light Show in San Francisco came over to assist with the Light Show. The second night being a live show with Jimmy Hendrix and The Soft Machine.
BEV also shared the billing with Yoko Ono and Mark Boyle for the light show at the 14 hour Technicolour Dream Show in Alexandra Palace.
When BEV disbanded, they had to sacrifice a number of commissions that were in the pipeline e.g., Sets for a Sadlers Wells Ballet, a mural at London Zoo for the architect Sir Hugh Casson and an exhibition at the RCA.
SOLO WORK – THE BEATLES MURALS
In late ‘67 Dudley went on to paint murals in the homes of Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr.
“Dudley Edwards undisputed star of the London rock scene. The great John Lennon spent many hours at the home of Paul McCartney, sitting admiring the murals painted by Dudley Edwards. The same artist who decorated the famous piano of Paul’s, and Ringo Starr admired to the point of commissioning a mural for his home.”
Quote, Emilia Romagna ‘il Fatto Quotidiano’