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The Radical Eye at Tate Modern, review: 'You'll never see Elton John in the same way again'

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elton joh, radical eye, tate modern, review
Photograph of the French performer and model Nusch Éluard by Man Ray (1928) Credit: Man Ray Trust/ADAGP

Sir Elton John’s art collection, amassed entirely since he “dried out” in 1990, includes paintings by starry artist friends such as Ai Wewiei, Damien Hirst and Tracey Emin.

The White Cube Gallery, indeed, which represents Emin, thinks nothing of taking a table – at £30,000 a pop – at the singer’s annual fundraising ball for his Elton John Aids Foundation, and filling it with swanky art world-types.

That is the level of interest in art you might expect from John, the extravagant uber-socialite and OTT pop performer. Yet there’s another side to John’s compulsive collecting (and he freely admits it’s an unquenchable urge) which has little in the way of celebrity value, or certainly not at first sight, and which is showcased in this astonishing exhibition.

The Radical Eye looks at Modernist photography in the early to mid-20th century, a period when great photographers such as Andre Kertesz,...

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