Theaster Gates harmonizes with Harry Styles

Could the 'Mick Jagger of Social Practice' have found a soul mate in the erstwhile One Direction singer?
Harry Styles and Theaster Gates in Chicago. Image courtesy of Theaster's Instagram
Harry Styles and Theaster Gates in Chicago. Image courtesy of Theaster's Instagram

When Theaster Gates visited Phaidon a few years back, someone asked him what it felt like to be described as the “Mick Jagger of Social Practice". Gates considered the question for a second or two before answering, “I should probably listen to a few more of his records.”

Thankfully Gates isn’t quite so poorly versed in newer British rock and pop. When Harry Styles played Chicago’s United Center recently, as part of his first solo world tour, Gates came along and hung out with the singer. How was it? Well, Theaster – who plays in his own band, the Black Monks of Mississippi – certainly approved.

“Harry Styles Rocked Chicago!” Gates wrote in the post that accompanied this picture “Thank you man for your gift and friendship and vision.”


Massimo Bottura and Harry Styles
Massimo Bottura and Harry Styles

Gates isn't the only Phaidon author who's caught up with Harry during this tour. When the singer performed in Italy, he also paid a visit to Massimo Bottura's restaurant. 

Theaster Gates

Perhaps Styles – who has collected British street art in the past – will return Gates' compliment, and invest in a couple of Gates artworks. If he does, he’d be well advised to buy a copy of our book on Theaster first, the most authoritative monograph on this important artist. You can order your copy here.

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Phaidon is the premier global publisher of the creative arts with over 1,500 titles in print. We work with the world's most influential artists, chefs, writers and thinkers to produce innovative books on art, photography, design, architecture, fashion, food and travel, and illustrated books for children. Phaidon is headquartered in London and New York City.
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