Eric Bellis (aka Rico Bell) was born near Liverpool, UK and has been working as a professional artist since the early 1970s. Currently residing in California, his work has been exhibited and represented by many commercial galleries throughout the UK and US including Eastwick Gallery (now known as Thomas Masters Gallery), Chicago and Yard Dog Gallery, Austin, Texas. His work has also been exhibited in the UK at the Royal Academy, London; the Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool; Manchester City Art Gallery, Leeds City Art Gallery, Cardiff City Art Gallery and Llantarnam Grange Arts Centre.
In addition to his visual art work, and under the pseudonym Rico Bell, Bellis writes, records and performs music both as a solo artist and as a long time member of the band, Mekons. Formed in Leeds, UK in the late 1970s, the band has produced numerous albums of well-regarded music and continues to record and tour. Bellis and other members of the band have also worked collaboratively on a number of visual and performance art projects which include Theater Project for a Rock Band, a collaboration with conceptual artist, Vito Acconci at the DIA Center, New York; Mekons United, an exhibition of individual paintings and collaborative art by Bellis and other Mekons which included an accompanying book and CD and was exhibited at the Polk Museum, Lakeland, Florida and the Thread Waxing Space, New York; Pussy, King of the Pirates, a performance piece and CD in collaboration with the late author, Kathy Acker, which was performed in London and Brighton in the UK and at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Chicago and the Bumbershoot Festival, Seattle in the US; OOOH (Out Of Our Heads), a touring art exhibition of collaborative work based on the Orphic myth of the singing head, and produced with grant aid from the Arts Council of England; The Art Tube, a project which utilized a functioning London subway train to create a traveling art gallery and featured work by other esteemed artists including Damien Hirst, Yoko Ono, Gavin Turk and John Dunbar.
Bellis’s art has been published in print form by Felix Rosenstiel’s Widow and Son Ltd. of London and has been featured in a variety of publications including the Mekons books Mekons United and Hello Cruel World, a book of illustrated Mekons lyrics; the Artists Newsletter, a UK based magazine; and the New Yorker magazine in the US.