Book of Chris Knox's art being crowd funded

The art of Chris Knox. Photo supplied.
The art of Chris Knox. Photo supplied.
New Zealand music legend Chris Knox is back painting again, after a debilitating stroke five years ago and supporters now hope to release a book of his distinctive art.

Knox, who was born in Invercargill, burst on to the New Zealand music scene as the livewire frontman of influential Dunedin bands the Enemy and Toy Love.

He carved out a three-decade-long career as a musician - including as a solo artist and with the Tall Dwarfs, while also working as a cartoonist, writer and reviewer.

Illustrator and designer Chris Mousdale, of Auckland, first met Knox in the mid-1980s and was honoured to be asked to compile the book, titled Grafix Knox - the Graphic Art of Chris Knox, 1965-2014.

Knox's work included graphic contributions for The Listener, The New Zealand Herald and Real Groove magazine, record covers, posters, advertising material and paintings.

Since the 2009 stroke, he had taught himself to paint with his left hand, and had completed about 30 paintings which might be exhibited in the future, he said.

''They are all about the stroke, and the seizures that he has.''

However, it was apparent Knox was missing ''being seen and heard as an artist'', he said.

''All his life he has made stuff ... and he just thinks people are forgetting him and that is really hard,'' Mr Mousdale said.

''But this is not why we are doing the book; we are doing it because it is an incredible body of work.''

Mr Mousdale was surprised the book project, which had support from a publisher, was turned down by Creative New Zealand with no explanation.

Instead, his backers had turned to Beatnik Publishing.

They were now crowd-sourcing the $50,000 via the website and $10,000 had been raised to date, Mr Mousdale said.

Supporters were able to pledge amounts from $10 to $10,000.

A $60 pledge secures a first-edition copy of the book.

Proceeds would go towards supporting Knox, who could answer yes and no questions, and remained determined to continue as an artist.

''His spirit is amazing,'' Mr Mousdale said.

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