Her band were one of the leading lights of Britpop but when it all fell apart Frischmann regrouped in a quieter corner of the US and is now a visual artist
Jarvis Cocker has got his radio prove, Damon Albarn has his Chinese operas and Liam Gallagher has his garment label, but Justine Frischmann has maintained a low public profile until now. On a Thursday afternoon in New York art week, the former frontwoman of Elastica, an integral part of the Britpop pop boom of the mid-9 0s and arguably its coolest band, is hanging out in a booth at the Volta art fair, surrounded by greyish abstract paintings. On closer inspection theyre blown-up, blurred photographs that indicate the light playing on some mirrors; over the top are smudged white brush strokes. This is the Lambent series, Frischmanns latest collecting of paintings, which shes selling at the fair. Tell-tale red dots on the catalogue has demonstrated that she has already sold three and the fair hasnt even officially opened yet.
Does she have collectors? I do! says Frischmann in her excellently languid English drawl, unchanged from 11 years living in America. And some of them dont even know I was in Elastica. I did a short film for Volta and the guy opened by saying: I have to let you know, Im a real fan. I believed, Oh, he entails Elastica, and it turned out he was talking about the paints. Its great.
So for the benefit of those like him, a quick recap. Frischmann examined architecture at UCL in London, where in 1991 she formed Suede with her then boyfriend Brett Anderson. Leaving him for Blurs frontman Damon Albarn( triggering the rivalry which would kick off Britpop ), by the end of the following year shed formed her own band, Elastica. Released in 1995, Elasticas self-titled debut albumwas suave and insouciant art pop, which debuted at No 1 in the UK charts. Smart and charismatic, plus three-quarters female, Elastica had everything going for them. However they threw it away in the traditional rocknroll fashion, acquiring debilitating drug habits that led to them taking over five years to follow up their debut with second album The Menace, which tanked.
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