Elastica was one of my favourite bands of the Britpop era. But after that phenomenal debut album, the band, torn apart by heroin addiction, only just managed to release a very anaemic second record that no one needs to own.
So whatever became of leader Justin Frischmann? After she and Damon Albarn broke up and the band fell apart, she moved to the US and–well, let’s go to The Guardian.
Jarvis Cocker has got his radio show, Damon Albarn has his Chinese operas andLiam Gallagher has his clothing label, but Justine Frischmann has kept 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-90s and arguably its coolest band, is hanging out in a booth at the Volta art fair, surrounded by greyish abstract paintings. On closer inspection they’re blown-up, blurred photographs that show the light playing on some mirrors; over the top are smudged white brush strokes. This is the Lambent series, Frischmann’s latest collection of paintings, which she’s selling at the fair. Tell-tale red dots on the catalogue reveal that she has already sold three – and the fair hasn’t even officially opened yet.
Does she have collectors? “I do!” says Frischmann in her magnificently languid English drawl, unchanged from 11 years living in America. “And some of them don’t 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, I’m a real fan.’ I thought, ‘Oh, he means Elastica’, and it turned out he was talking about the paintings. It’s great.”