Skip to content

Paul Simon & Charlie Mackesy Launch Exhibition Inspired By ‘Seven Psalms’

Seven Psalms Illustrated by Charlie Mackesy Inspired by the Words and Music of Paul Simon



“A masterpiece… This is the sound of life in all of its wonder, candour and gratitude – and not yet done.” **** – MOJO

“The veteran singer-songwriter ponders faith and mortality in seven beautiful, impressionistic movements.” ***** – The Observer

“A gentle, mystical record… A thing of beauty, with Simon sounding as if he’s discovered a new way of thinking, a new meaning to life.” ***** – Record Collector

“A remarkable album.” ***** – The Times

“What a gem… The music bridges mysticism and melodicism.” ***** – The Financial Times

“It draws together several recurring themes in his lyrics: religious imagery, secular hymns, reflections on death… Magnificent.” **** – Uncut

Paul Simon’s fifteenth solo album ‘Seven Psalms’ has been universally heralded as a stunning late career highlight, critics and fans alike stirred by Simon’s artistry on the 33-minute thematic suite of music. Now Paul Simon and celebrated artist and best-selling author Charlie Mackesy unite their creative talents as they marry the worlds of music and art with a unique new project. The duo delve further into Seven Psalms’ concepts and emotion with a new exhibition of Charlie Mackesy’s sketches, which were inspired by Paul Simon’s latest record.

The two-week exhibition ‘Paul Simon’s Seven Psalms – Illustrated by Charlie Mackesy” will befree and open to the public at No.9 Cork Street, Frieze’s premier gallery space in the historic heart of Mayfair, London which has previously featured exhibitions by Rasheed Araeen (Grosvenor Gallery), Jimmie Durham (Galleri Opdahl), James Nares (Kasmin Gallery) and many more. Gallery opening hours are 10am-6pm Tuesday – Saturday, with the exhibition running 13th to 27th September.

A lifelong fan of Paul Simon, artist, illustrator and author, Charlie Mackesy is best-known for his beloved book ‘The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse’. As one of the first people to hear Simon’s new record before it was released, Mackesy was inspired to craft seven original sketches – one for each “psalm” – presenting the album as re-imagined through his art.

Charlie Mackesy adds, “I’ve loved Paul Simon’s music all my life. I used to draw while I listened to his songs when I was a boy and still do. When I was asked to work with him on Seven Psalms I was surprised, grateful and overwhelmed. It’s without doubt one of the greatest privileges of my life – not just to be asked, but to be trusted to do them. The album is unique, beautiful, honest and full of questions. I love it. It’s been a joy getting to know Paul, he is kind and wise and unbelievably gifted. I really hope I do him and the album justice.”

Paul Simon says, “It’s been a pleasure to get to know Charlie through this collaboration. His art is beautiful and atmospheric, and he’s also interested in social justice and ecology, which resonates with me as well. His book [The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse] was about taking a journey, and the search for home. My album is in some ways about seeking and questioning. So when the opportunity presented itself, I felt we were working in similar worlds, and knew Charlie’s aesthetic would complement Seven Psalms well. When it comes to my music, I truly believe ‘the listener completes the song’, so I was happy to let Charlie follow his own inspiration to re-imagine my music through his sketches.”

About Frieze and No. 9 Cork Street Launched in October 2021, No.9 Cork Street is Frieze’s first permanent exhibition space for international galleries in the historic heart of Mayfair, London. Selvi May Akyildiz is the Director of No.9 Cork Street. Designed by architecture studio Matheson Whiteley, No.9 Cork Street is housed across two converted townhouses and spread across three floors. Throughout the year, we host an ambitious programme of exhibitions and projects organised by the world’s leading galleries.

About Charlie Mackesy
British artist, illustrator and author Charlie Mackesy began his career as a cartoonist for The Spectator, before becoming a book illustrator for Oxford University Press. His award-winning work has been exhibited widely and featured in books, private collections, galleries, school classrooms, hospital wards, prisons, and public spaces around the world. Charlie worked with Richard Curtis on the set of Love Actually to create a set of drawings to be auctioned for Comic Relief, and with Nelson Mandela on a lithograph project, The Unity Series. His bronzes can be found in public spaces in London, including Highgate Cemetery and the Brompton Road.

His internationally bestselling book, The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse, was published in October 2019 and has become the longest running Sunday Times Non-Fiction Number One of all time. A number one New York Times best-seller has been translated into over 50 different languages. In 2023, the short animated film adaption of The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse won the BAFTA Award for Best British Film, the Academy Award for Best Animated Short film and five Annie Awards including Best Special Production. The Boy, the Mole, the Fox and the Horse: The Animated Story was published in November 2023 to accompany the animated short film.

Away from art, Charlie co-runs Mama Buci, a honey social enterprise in Zambia that helps families of low and no income become beekeepers. He lives between Brixton and Suffolk with his dog Barney.

About Paul Simon
During his distinguished career spanning seven decades, musician Paul Simon has produced an unparalleled body of work including timeless masterpieces, such as Bridge Over Troubled Water, Sounds of Silence, and Graceland. Venerated as one of the greatest songwriters of all time, Simon has received 16 Grammy Awards and has been twice inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. He is a member of the Songwriters Hall of Fame, a recipient of the Kennedy Center Honors, and was presented the Library of Congress’ inaugural Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, which recognizes the profound and positive effect of popular music on the world’s culture.

Simon was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2011, and in 2012 named laureate of the prestigious Polar Music Prize along with Yo-Yo Ma. In 2019, Paul Simon was the first musician to be presented the Great Americans Medal by the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History. His song “Mrs. Robinson,” from the film The Graduate, was named in the top ten of the AFI’s 100 Years, 100 Songs.

Paul Simon - Seven Psalms album cover

More from Paul Simon:

Website | Spotify | Apple Music | YouTube | Facebook | Instagram | TikTok

More from Charlie Mackesy:

Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter