Almost a week ago, this blog reported the shock news that, measured by sales of his paintings during his lifetime, The Artist formerly known as the IceMan (AIM) had sold three times as many paintings as Vincent van Gogh.
Further startling news reached my Inbox today – The Iceman/AIM has now sold another painting (numbered RFH 28) based on the block of ice he melted in the foyer of London’s Royal Festival Hall during Stewart Lee’s Austerity Binge: At Last! The 1981 Show which was held there in (yes it was) 2011.
The purchaser of the new painting, once again, is discerning art appreciator Maddie Coombe. AIM tells me the picture shows “the Iceman using superhuman strength to lift the Big Block.”
He tells me that “Mia Ritchie still thinks it could have been painted by a three-year-old.”
Mia Ritchie is a top netball player who, AIM tells me, “plays for England and has a robust and see-through attitude to art.”
Perhaps even more newsworthy is The Iceman/AIM’s revelation of his painting of the increasingly prestigious but sadly dead comedy legend Malcolm Hardee.
“It is a picture of me,” says AIM, “at Malcolm’s famous Tunnel Palladium venue. Malcolm is pissing on The Iceman’s penguin…
“I think it was to distract the audience and save The Iceman’s life when things got riotously confrontational. He was aiming for my stuffed and sweet small penguin – my iceistant – who had innocently exacerbated hostility in some sections of the audience.
“The Iceman’s performance art seemed to unintentionally provoke the well-known hackles of the Greenwich audience. A minority in the famous Tunnel audience, though, did appreciate The Iceman’s art and even understood it and were even entertained by more than one ice block
“Do not be fooled by the irate standing spectators in the painting – nor by the flying beer glass – The Iceman had much fear but put his art first – even before his personal well-being.
“Another famous Iceman block at the Tunnel Palladium was a LIQUID one – the block melted on a summer evening in a traffic jam in Blackwall Tunnel. The bus driver was neither amused by The Iceman’s icequipment nor by the puddles ensuing from the melting block. He did not realise the privilege of seeing the warm-up process. The passengers were slightly more appreciative – in fact, they were a more empathetic crowd than the actual Tunnel fraternity.”
There is a video on YouTube of The Iceman almost – but not quite – performing at the Hackney Empire in London during a Malcolm Hardee tribute show in January 2007.