I have blogged before about the comic performance artist legend that is The Iceman. The last couple of times he has cropped up, it has been as a fine artist (I use the words loosely) not a performance artist. As a stage performer, he has been described as:
“…a living saint” (Stewart Lee)
“…incredible” (Mike Myers)
“A figure of mythic proportions” (Independent)
“inexplicable” (The Stage)
“shit!” (Chris Tarrant)
“brilliant” (Simon Munnery)
“truly a performance artist” (Jo Brand)
He sent me an email this morning asking if I wanted to write another blog about him because he feels my blog-writing style has “sort of subtle undercurrents where sarcasm meets genteelness” and, where he is involved, has “a mixture of awe, bafflement and sneaking respect.”
Those are his words.
He added: “I think you should keep it short and pithy. Do you do short blogs? As my sales increase I am going to keep you very busy indeed so, for your own sanity, it should be more like a news flash.”
The Iceman – who now prefers to be called AIM (the Artist formally known as the Ice Man) – measures his fine art success against van Gogh’s sales of his art during his lifetime.
He told me that, yesterday, he “nearly tripled/then quadrupled/then quintupled van Gogh’s sales record… but, in the end, I just tripled it as the buyer couldn’t stretch to it…”
‘It’ being an “confidential but significant” sum.
He sent me photographs of the buyer – “discerning collector” and dramatist Maddie Coombe – who topped an offer by another buyer who desperately tried to muscle-in on the art purchase.
Ms Coombe says: “I bought a very colourful and bold piece of the Iceman’s work. I loved it because of its colour, composition and bold brush strokes. I will keep it forever as a memory of the time I have spent being his colleague – a man unlike any other!”
The Iceman says: “The sale was a formal business agreement born of an authentic appreciation of AIM’s art/oil paintings in a secret contemporary art gallery south of Bath – It’s in a valley.”
Explaining the slight element of mystery involved, he explains: “Being a cult figure I can’t be too transparent with anything,” and adds: “AIM is now painting not from photos but from specific and vivid memories insice the ex-Iceman’s head, resulting in even more icetraordinary imagices.
“One gallery visitor,” he tells me, “was heard to say It looks like it’s painted by a three year old which, of course I thought was a huge compliment.”