Wyman Shoots Chagall
Wyman Shoots Chagall is a unique book about Marc Chagall, born of an unlikely meeting between two artists who had achieved greatness in their respective fields. This charming limited edition volume about Chagall and Chagall paintings, restricted to 1,500 copies worldwide, presents the portrait photography and extensive reminiscences of the former Rolling Stones bass player Bill Wyman. Every copy is signed by Bill Wyman and individually numbered.
“We were living all over the place. Keith went to Cap Ferrat, up the coast towards Monte Carlo. Mick was in Biot, which is near Antibes. Charlie had a farm in Arles, while I was in a rented house, the Bastide St Antoine, which was near Grasse, where they make the perfume, a few miles away from Pablo Picasso’s house in Mougins. Mick Taylor was up north behind me. So we were quite spread out, but we liked that. Well, I did. We saw a lot of each other, though, because we were making a double album, Exile on Main Street, for most of the first year there. We had the Stones mobile studio situated in Keith’s house, and we would go to work there most every weekday for months,” says former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman.
When all the members of the Rolling Stones relocated to the South of France in 1971, it was initially a temporary measure, but Bill Wyman ended up staying for nearly a dozen years. In Vence, he bought a plot of land, built a house, and made new friends among the artists, musicians and sportsmen in the area.
In 1976, Bill Wyman was introduced to the great artist and local celebrity Marc Chagall, celebrated for his dream-like paintings, ceramics and stained-glass windows. Chagall was in his late eighties by then, but he and Bill quickly established a warm friendship, meeting regularly for afternoon tea.
“The first time I’d met Marc Chagall, he said, ‘Oh, your hair’s too long!’ I responded: ‘Yeah, but we started it in 1962 – we were the first pop musicians with long hair.’ ‘Ah,” Marc Chagall said, ‘you’re the originators. That’s OK.’ He’d thought we were copyists, and in the art world you don’t copy,” says Bill.
Since his childhood former Rolling Stone Bill Wyman has been a keen photographer and in France this talent blossomed. Over several years he captured Chagall in informal and intimate images, which have now been faithfully reproduced in the book Wyman Shoots Chagall. Also captured by Bill’s lens in Wyman Shoots Chagall are artists Arman and César and poet André Verdet, alongside Charlie Watts, Brian Jones, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Elton John, Ray Cooper and other celebrities, as well as members of Bill’s family, views of his house in Vence, some stunning landscapes, and examples of his more abstract photography. In all the book includes over 120 of Bill Wyman’s personally selected images.
Bill has provided a commentary of more than 20,000 words to accompany the pictures, reflecting at length on his friendship with Chagall, life as a Rolling Stone in the South of France, his long-term love of photography, and his musical influences. This text is interspersed with short chapters in which Bill tells Chagall’s life history.
Wyman Shoots Chagall is accompanied by a special CD of solo recordings made by Bill Wyman in the early Eighties at the time he knew Marc Chagall. Featured are Chagall Suite, a series of linked orchestral pieces composed by Bill with Mike Batt and recorded by the London Symphony Orchestra, which have never been commercially released; and Nuclear Reactions, Bill Wyman’s futuristic pop song about astronomy, a passion he shared with Chagall.
This CD is being specially pressed and is available only as part of this book/CD set, making Wyman Shoots Chagall a highly desirable item for those who follow Bill’s career in all its aspects as well as lovers of Chagall’s extraordinary art.
Wyman Shoots Chagall exhibits the standards of content, design and production for which Genesis is now well known. The familiar team of Genesis and London design house Wherefore Art have worked closely together to present Bill’s work in classic style.
The Wyman Shoots Chagall runs to a total of 168 pages (trimmed size 240mm x 168mm), printed onto three different types of paper: the main body of 144 pages is master-printed in full-colour throughout onto uncoated acid-free paper, with a pair of additional 8-page sections printed on matt art stock, each of these bookended by a sheet of tracing paper printed in royal blue.
This handsome volume is quarter-bound in Mediterranean blue leather with silk-screened white canvas front and back boards.
Together with the specially-designed CD, the book is presented in a blue cloth slipcase which is silk-screened in yellow and edged in blue leather.
“A unique book, born of an unlikely meeting. The photography and reminiscences of the former Rolling Stone, Bill Wyman. In 1971 all the members of The Rolling Stones moved to the South of France, where they recorded the classic album Exile on Main Street. They moved abroad as a temporary measure, but Bill ended up staying there for a dozen years. He bought a plot of land, built a house, and then found himself near to the great artist Marc Chagall. At this time Chagall was in his late eighties, but he and Bill quickly established a warm friendship, meeting often for afternoon tea.
As well as candid and charming shots of Chagall, an extensive personal selection of Bill’s other photography down the years is also included. The author also reflects at length on his friendship with Chagall and his life as a Rolling Stone in the South of France. Wyman Shoots Chagall is accompanied by a special CD, including solo material that has never been commercially released. 1,500 copies bound in quarter-leather and canvas with slipcase. Autographed by Bill Wyman.”
WYMAN SHOOTS CHAGALL
- (Genesis Publications)
- Published (UK): December, 1998
- Limited numbered edition (1,500 copies worldwide) – 168 pages.