James Cauty Profile
"Cauty does for Brit Art what the Artic Monkeys did for music stores - satisfies the punter and not the industry. His images are becoming incredibly collectable and increasing in value faster than almost any current artist."
"Cauty demands your attention; his humour embedded counter-culture world is a distorted mirror of ours, which seems to make more sense. Cross over now and enjoy the trip - but buy it quick."
What have The KLF, The Turner Prize, burning one million pounds and a copyright battle with the Royal Mail got in common? The answer is James Cauty.
Cauty, a quiet and unassuming man, is no stranger to controversy in many forms of media. In 1987 The JAMMS (James Cauty and Bill Drummond) debut album was withdrawn because of ABBA copyright infringement (yes, sampling used to be really illegal). On their way home, after failing to talk directly with ABBA, the band burnt most of the remaining copies of the album in a Swedish farmers field before throwing the rest over the side of a ferry.
The pair went on to form the hugely successful band The KLF (Kopyright Liberation Front) with umpteen chart hits and lots more controversy. They dumped a dead sheep at the after Brit's party, buried their award (Best British Band) in a field near Stonehenge, pretended their car was behind their Dr Who/Gary Glitter Timelords single (presumably to avoid further copyright issues) and presented themselves as the lost tribe of Atlantis (horns and all). They also recorded what must be the best ambient record ever 'Chill Out'. Cauty also founded The Orb with Alex Paterson and remixed many of the top artists of the day.
In 1994, after disbanding The KLF they created The Other Turner Prize under the banner of the K Foundation (an anti-art establishment art movement). They awarded a £ 40,000 prize to the worst new British artist, Rachel Whitbread (who also won the 'real' Turner prize that year).
In 1994 they decided to burn 1 million pounds on the island of Jura, the money was earned through their KLF record sales and the burning was an art statement against the music industry, allegedly.
In 1995 the pair formed a plant hire company 'K2 Plant Hire Ltd' to take forward several art projects together, and under other guises, their own projects separately.
Since this time Cauty has developed his artistic, musical, mechanical and controversy skills further with projects such as Advanced Acoustic Armaments (acoustic weaponry), Deep Shit (massive paintings which have been destroyed), car destruction and remixing for U2, Marilyn Manson, Placebo etc.
In 2003 Cauty established The Blacksmoke Organisation 'a multimedia art collective dedicated to the propagation of audio visual noise'. It was here that Cauty expanded on his feelings towards environmental issues and terrorism. It was also here that Cauty produced the first 'Terror Aware' images of the Queen that have caused so much controversy resulting in legal wrangles with The Royal Mail over breach of copyright.
He has subsequently left Blacksmoke to spend more time developing stampage that subtitles our lives.
In June 2003 Cauty released the now famous 'Queen with a gas mask' stamps as a protest against the British involvement with the Iraq war. The Royal Mail alleged a breach of copyright and the rest is history. The war goes on, but at least there is one less piece of art complaining about it.
War, Terrorism, Environment, Consumerism, Mobile Phone Masts, Guy Fawkes, Used Car Sellers, Disaster Relief, David Beckham, Copyright and 'Stamps Of Mass Destruction' - you'll find them all appropriately commemorated on official CNPD (Cautese National Postal Disservice) stamps.
Check out cnpdonline.com for all the history and the latest satirical and controversial work.