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print by bernie taupin, featuring a yellow brick background with the word "goodbye" spray painted across the middle in in dark gray

Iconic Spotlight: Bernie Taupin

Bernie Taupin has always had a keen appreciation and talent for the arts. Perhaps best known for his prolific songwriting partnership with Elton John, Taupin was the lyricist behind hits such as “Rocket Man," "Crocodile Rock," "Tiny Dancer," "Candle in the Wind," "Bennie and the Jets," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," and "Your Song." 

Taupin's words have touched generations of listeners and fans. Together, he and Elton John developed over 30 wildly popular albums that remain highly beloved to this day. The past few years especially have been a time of professional success and nostalgia for the duo. In 2023, Taupin was inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame. The same year, Elton John embarked on the Farewell Yellow Brick Road tour, and in April of 2024, the duo was awarded the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song.

In addition to his decades-long career as a world-renowned lyricist and musician, Taupin has spent recent years focusing on his visual artistry, developing paintings and multimedia pieces. In 2019, he released his collection, Reflections—a series of deeply personal paintings inspired by he and Elton John's most popular songs.

“The imagination is the most powerful tool artists possess enabling us to conjure up beautiful distractions for the eyes and ears. My dimensional work is simply the visual extension of what I have spent my life creating through words.”

Bernie Taupin

Bernie Taupin's Career in the Visual Arts

Bernie Taupin largely credits his appreciation of the visual arts to his parents and Grandfather, and many days spent in New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. After focusing solely on his music career for the majority of the 1970s and 80s, Taupin shifted his attention in the 90s toward the visual arts. It was largely his musical career, he notes, that gave him unique access to the artistic inspiration, resources, and exposure that fueled his painting practices.

Much of Taupin’s early work was inspired by abstract expressionists like Hans Hoffman, Franz Kline, Anselm Kiefer and Robert Rauschenberg. While emulating these artists, Taupin was able to develop his own distinct style over time, incorporating into it a more experimental approach with the use of text-based content and minimalist pop art concepts. Taupin’s work ranges from the highly minimalist and graphic to the strikingly political.

As his style evolved, Taupin’s pieces from 2016–2017 took on the form of sculptural constructions that went beyond the two-dimensional, moving and through the canvas using cord, wire, and found objects such as flags, scorched paper, wax, wire, wood, corrugated cardboard, fabric, bubble wrap, and resin. In 2019, he collaborated with Iconic Images photographer Terry O’Neill on a series of multimedia pieces. Taupin reworked several of O'Neill's photographs with the addition of spray paint, wrappers, collages, and various media.

Bernie Taupin & Terry O'Neill

Reflections by Bernie Taupin

Taupin’s most recent collection of solo works, Reflections, was created as a tribute to his 50-year friendship with Elton John. The retrospective focuses heavily on lyricism, incorporating famous lines and phrases from his award-winning, chart-topping songs with John. In addition to paying homage to the songs, the work reflects on a decades-long career, professional partnership, and friendship. The paintings take a more straightforward approach than some of Taupin's earlier works, serving as a direct tribute designed to accompany John's "Farewell Yellow Brick Road Tour." 

While Reflections is a deeply personal project, Taupin notes that the collection is also a "thank you" to the public, and the generations of listeners and fans who supported Taupin and John’s works.

“Fans share often that my lyrics and Elton’s melodies have shaped and changed their lives in dramatic, everlasting ways. How can I possibly express my gratitude to the millions of fans who have impacted my life? These especially crafted works of art are my best effort, and I am so pleased to share this very personal art with you.” - Bernie Taupin.

These signed, limited-edition prints are available for purchase from the Iconic Images archive.

About Iconic Images

Iconic Images represents many of the world's most renowned photographers and artists, including Bernie Taupin, Terry O'Neill, and more. Our archives are expertly curated by an experienced team of experienced, in-house art advisors, and include one of the world's largest collections of prints featuring musical icons like David Bowie, Elton John, Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles, and more.

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