CAROLINECOON

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Caroline Coon, the London born artist, has worked in the vanguard of cultural movements that have caused storms of social change: the hippie 'peace and love' underground, second-wave feminism and punk rock.

By the time Coon left art school in 1968 figurative painting was deemed 'dead', but she avoided fashion and 'cool' and continued to work figuratively in oils on canvas with a brush. She was not interested in painting in new ways or working with 'new' materials but in seeing and interpreting the world anew. Her painting is 'hot', usually structured around narrative and imprinted by Pop Art, Feminist Art and the politics of sexual liberation. In contrast to society's acceptance of the female nude, Coon's honest depiction of the male nude has been considered shocking - in 1995 the Tate Gallery banned her 'Mr Olympia' painting because it showed an erect penis. Recently Coon has been painting her Ladbroke Grove neighborhood in a series of narrative urban landscapes, including 'The Brothel Series'.

CUNST ART. Cunst Art is the ongoing feminist art/performance project publishing provocative art-errorist THORNS, most recently 'The Woman=Whore Questionnaire', 'Black is Gay', 'Abort The Pope', 'It Is Women's Duty And Right To Hate Religion', 'Burka - Swastika = Fascist Signs' and 'WOMEN+AMBITION'.

The Cunst Art pamphlet 'Calling Women Whores Lets Rapists Go Free' by Caroline Coon and barrister Amber Marks sets out the urgent need to legalise prostitution. It is because the profession of prostitute is considered despicable that all women are despised.

Punk Rock. Caroline Coon's design work can be seen in the make-up and style of The Stains and the musicians in the cult film that influenced the 1990’s Riot Grrrl movement, ‘Ladies and Gentlemen, The Fabulous Stains’ (Paramount 1982) on which she worked as special consultant. She designed the Global Revolution poster for The Clash second album 'Give 'em Enough Rope' (CBS 1978). Coon's photographs are published around the world and her sleeve covers include The Clash's first hit single 'White Riot' (CBS 1977), The Police's first hit single 'Roxanne' (A&M 1978) and Babyshambles 'Janie Jones/Strummerville' (B-Unique Records 2006). '1988: the New Wave Punk Rock Explosion' by Caroline Coon (Omnibus Press edition published in 1982) is her inside 'as it happened' story of punk, with musicians and fans speeking for themselves. Caroline Coon managed The Clash from 1978 to 1980, through the UK Sort It Out tour and the USA Pearl Harbour tour.

In 1971 Caroline Coon was one of the women to whom Germaine Greer dedicated 'The Female Eunuch'.

In the 1960's, Caroline Coon was the inspiration for Bob Dylan's song 'She Belongs To Me' and Robert Wyatt's song 'O Caroline'. In 1977 the New Musical Express stated that the Strangler's song 'London Lady' was written about Caroline Coon. In fact, the song is a woman-hating fantasy with lyrics indicative of what clinicians call 'small penis anxiety' and evidence of the sexism and misogyny that contaminates the male dominated music industry to this day. See: Caroline Coon's interview with Hugh Cornwell in '1988: The New Wave Punk Rock Explosion'.

Summer of Love: In 1967, while a student of fine art at Central St Martins College of Art, Caroline Coon founded RELEASE, the 24 hour 'underground welfare service'. The RELEASE BUST CARD - the first 'know your rights' bust card in the world - was designed, created and first distributed from Caroline Coon's studio in July 1967. The 'Peace Dove' logo that Caroline Coon designed for Release in 1967 was the Release logo until 2008. For more about the foundation of Release, see: 'The Unsung Sixties: Memories of social innovation' (Chapter 13) by Helene Curtis and Mimi Sanderson, Whiting & Birch Ltd 2004.

In 1966, Caroline Coon modelled nude for the great photographer George Harrison Marks. She starred in 'Amour', his black and white Nuevelle Vague influenced film about the emotions of two people making love.

The first painting Caroline Coon sold in 1967, aged 21, was 'My Beautiful Cunt' (1966) - her political response to pathological hatred and fear of female genitalia - to Clive Goodwin, the husband of Pop Artist Pauline Boty. 'Cuntucopia' (1970) was the first painting she exhibited, at the OZ Trial Benifit exhibition 'Ozject D'art' at the Clytie Jessop Gallery in 1971.

Political activity: Caroline Coon campaigns for international justice and human rights, especially for women. She continues to campaign to end prohibition of illegal drugs, including cannabis - bringing all illegal drugs within the law, licenced and controlled, like alcohol, nicotine and gambling. Violent criminality in illegal drug distribution is a symptom of 'market failure' due to prohibition. Don't Demonise Dealers, Licence Them! Caroline Coon occasionally uses cannabis for pleasure and as a medicament. She occasionaly grows her own, but has yet to find an effective organic solution to spider mite.

Education: Brunel University (PSE 1970-1972), Central St Martins College of Art (Fine Art 1965- 1967), Northampton College of Art (Fine Art Pre-diploma 1963-1965), Royal Ballet School (1955- 1961), Legat Ballet School (1950-1955).

Libel Action against Randon House - 1999/2000

See 'The Fight for Democracy' painting at: http://goo.gl/aGwzg

Photography at National Portrait Gallery: http://goo.gl/EoDIC

Artwork at Saatchi Gallery: www.saatchionline.com/carolinecoon

Artwork on ArtLyst: www.artlyst.com/Caroline.Coon

Personal Note: On 5th August 2016, a white male journalist aged 45 asked me this, a question fixed in status quo prejudice of independent women: “And your life now, how do you feel about it? You are not married. You have not had children. Do you feel any bitterness?”* Since I understand journalism and the limitations of print, here is a full answer to this man’s question: “My life has been blessed. Looking back at both the splendours and miseries I can only be profoundly thankful. I have benefited from the political and social revolutionary struggles that have provided me with many enlightened, human, civil and legal rights. I have been free to choose whether or not to get married. I have been free to choose whether or not to have children. I have been free to choose whether or not to have abortions. I have been free to choose my sexual orientations. I have been free to choose whether or not to have lovers. Free speech and feminism have given me the freedom to be an artist. For women in the West there has never been a better time, my lifetime, to live. My life has been of my own volition. My life has been everything I wanted it to be, and more. My life is the antonym of bitterness! To live my life truly and effectively I gave up the idea that I could, considering my limited talent, trying with hope to better my skills, also be financially wealthy. To live my own life according to my own independent vision was, and is, richesse a plenty – to which I owe my happiness. And, as far as I can, for the rest of my life, I intend to support all those who are steadfastly holding on to and improving and furthering this happy, liberationist and humanist agenda.”

*Verbitterung?


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