Author(s): Joyce Morgan
Martin Sharp's art was as singular as his style. He blurred the boundaries of high art and low with images of Dylan, Hendrix and naked flower children that defined an era. Along the way the irreverent Australian was charged with obscenity and collaborated with Eric Clapton as he drew rock stars and reprobates into his world. This richly told and beautifully written biography captures the loneliness of a privileged childhood, the heady days of the underground magazine Oz and the exuberant creativity of Swinging London and beyond. Sharp pursued his quixotic dream to realize van Gogh's Yellow House in Australia. He obsessively championed eccentric singer Tiny Tim and was haunted by Sydney's Luna Park. Charismatic and paradoxical, he became a recluse whose phone never stopped ringing. There was no one like Martin Sharp. When he died, he was described as a stranger in a strange land who left behind a trail of stardust.
Joyce Morgan is a former arts editor of The Sydney Morning Herald, an arts journalist and a published author (Journeys on the Silk Road, Picador Australia 2011, and Lyons Press, USA 2012). As a Sydney-based arts journalist for 20 years, she knows many of the artists and figures whose lives and work were shaped by Martin Sharp.