Untitled, a performance piece created live on the Clash's 'Combat Rock' tour, circa 1983 signed, spray paint on board 123 x 244cm (48 7/16 x 96 1/16in).
The Clash's interest in black urban culture is well documented. The band was formed after Joe Strummer and Paul Simenon witnessed street clashes between the West Indian community and police at the 1976 Notting Hill Carnival. In recognition of the event, the lyrics from their first track, 'White Riot', was a call to arms to white youths to demand social change and the end of injustice by any means necessary. Although primarily a punk band their music absorbed aspects of reggae, ska, dub and later on Hip Hop. In 1980, several years prior to Malcom McClaren's foray into the genre, the Clash released 'Sandinista', an album which included two tracks inspired by the rapping and music that had started to emerge out of New York city. The following year the Clash invited Hip Hop MC Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five to support them on stage for their New York gigs, and graffiti artist Futura 2000 was commissioned to paint the set banners. Futura was a pioneering graffiti artist who had been painting subway trains since the early 1970s. For this reason few of these early works have survived; most having been cleaned or destroyed. He subsequently worked on a number of projects with the Clash including several sleeve designs, and also on the backdrops for their Combat Rock tour, which he painted as the band performed on stage. The present lot is an example from this tour and depicts a large and stylised 'tag' of the artists name. It is believed to be the only work to have survived. It was acquired by the current vendor from Don Lett's production company.