Ahead of Buy Art Fair 2017, we talk to the Happy Mondays star about Sex Pistols pop art and Last Supper with Al Pacino

A leading figure in in the ‘Madchester’ movement of the eighties and nineties, Shaun Ryder has never been one to conform to the norm. The Happy Mondays star, latterly Black Grape, has collaborated with everyone from Russell Watson to Gorillaz and Peter Kay, and in 2010 was a runner-up on ITV’s I’m a Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!

As we found out on speaking to Ryder ahead of this year’s Buy Art Fair, this eclecticism applies to his taste in art too. From a pop art Jonny Rotten to post-apocalyptic Deansgate, the art-loving Salfordian has built up quite a collection over the years.

Here, he shares what he looks for when it comes to art, and tells us about some of his favourite pieces…

I used to collect album covers. We’ve got all the original artwork from Happy Mondays, Black Grape covers and Gorillaz - a lot of them were gifts from the artists. They were the first pieces of artwork I ever collected.

I’m just a humble songwriter. But early on I bought this great piece of Pop Art, it’s of the Sex Pistols Jonny Rotten with the year ‘1976’ written all over it. I got it from Buy Art Fair several years ago.

The most I’ve ever paid is a couple of grand. I just buy bits of art for fun - anything that just grabs my attention. I own about twenty pieces now.

2017 10 19 Shaun Ryder 1
Shaun and Jo Ryder

Post-apocalyptic Manchester, Deansgate crumbled. That’s a complete set of works, which I think are just great, and they’re the most expensive art I own.

Marlon Brando, Robert De Niro, James Gandolfini, Uma Thurman and Al Pacino. They’re all sitting around a table like it’s the Last Supper. It’s my favourite piece of art, a cool bit of Pop Art with all my favourite actors in (pictured above).  

If I could own one piece obviously it would be something by Pablo Picasso. Why? Well, because I’m really abstract myself!

Andy Clayfield (Buy Art Fair’s director) is a mate of mine and my wife, Joanne. She’s the one that drags me along to all the art shows, including Buy Art Fair every autumn in Manchester.

I’ve made no regrettable purchases. You might think all my collection’s regrettable but I like it!

There’s some brilliant stuff in Manchester. I did a photo-shoot a few months ago at an art gallery in the centre of Manchester, near Spring Gardens (Manchester Art Gallery). It had all the classic paintings in, it was the first time I’d been in there in my 55 years of existence. I just thought it was beautiful, some brilliant stuff in there.

Just go with what floats your boat. My choice of artwork is absolutely reflective of my personality, anything pretty wacky really!

Buy Art Fair & The Manchester Contemporary

Already the country’s largest and most prestigious art fair outside London, Buy Art Fair is gearing up for an even bigger event this autumn as it takes up new residence in Manchester Central. The tenth edition (27-29 October 2017) will see 100 exhibiting galleries and artists fill the historic railway-turned-exhibition centre, alongside an extended programme of talks and demonstrations and the first ever Buy Art Fair Fringe.

The Manchester Contemporary is an invitational art fair that gives a platform to emerging exhibitors and their artists: bringing together art lovers and buyers with the best of contemporary art, as well as offering guided tours and visitor programmes.

More info at The Manchester Contemporary and Buy Art Fair. Confidential readers can access free tickets to this year’s event using the promotional code 'Gordo'