You've Heard His Music, Now See His Art: Elton John Lyricist Bernie Taupin's Art On View in Atlanta

Nov 1, 2019

You'll find it at the steps of the Capitol, hung from front porches, draped over the caskets of fallen soldiers, and splashed across bathing suits and ball caps: the American flag. It's a symbol of patriotism, unity and power — and a central component of artist Bernie Taupin's work.

Does the name sound familiar? Well, you might include some of his other work, which includes songs like "Tiny Dancer," "Candle in the Wind," and "Rocket Man."

That's right; it's the same Bernie Taupin whose lyrics and more than 50-year partnership with Sir Elton John have created some of the most influential and successful songs in music history.

In his art, Bernie Taupin features American flags that may be crumpled up or even burned. This, he says, comes from a place of patriotism, and families of fallen servicemen have even given Taupin their flags to incorporate into his art.
Credit Courtesy of Bill Lowe Gallery


Both men are on their way to Atlanta: Sir Elton John, for his Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour and Bernie, for a new exhibition of his visual work. The exhibition, called "Lost & Found," showcases Taupin's multi-media assemblages. His artwork combines a variety of materials, such as wood, chicken wire, guitars, vinyl records, scorched paper and, a recurring symbol, the American flag. It's on view at the Bill Lowe Gallery in Atlanta through Nov. 22.

"I've always enjoyed getting my hands dirty," Taupin said. "I'm not the sort of person that puts up an easel on the side of the road and gets out his water colors and does a very sort of genteel landscape. That was never really in the cards for me; I always wanted to do the kind of work that I'm creating now."

Before heading to Georgia, Taupin spoke with On Second Thought to talk about his illustrious career in both music and art, his inspirations and background, his partnership with the acclaimed Elton John, and his thoughts on the film Rocketman.

"I'm just along for the ride," Taupin said. "I thought Jamie [Bell] did an extraordinary job. I mean, and to have an actor of his stature portray me was just the icing on the cake."

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