Have you ever seen mould that looks all fluffy and white like snow? Nor have I met Doherty before, although he insists that I have: that famous face, his dishevelled hair now touched with grey, eyes outlined by lack of sleep and a smirking, disarming smile.The curators have quite a task ahead, sifting through the piles of "silks, bones, leathers, skulls, palettes – what's that thing you put canvases on?– oh yeah, easels, frames, boots, laces, wigs, mannequins..." that are, apparently, Doherty's passion.
As the former Libertine prepares his UK debut as an artist, he talks frankly and exclusively to Matilda Battersby about Kate Moss, Amy Winehouse, his baby daughter and why he paints with his own blood Pete Doherty: ' I have a distinct memory of friends I had at school whose parents were, for want of a better word, bohemian.
That was the kind of England that I thought I should have belonged to' Pete Doherty swings into the room, puts his beer-bottle down and takes off his battered Raskolnikov-style coat before removing his blue sweater and his T-shirt, too, without embarrassment. It may look pretty rock'n'roll, but it is, in fact, the start of Doherty's bid to be taken seriously as a fine artist.
An early portrait of The Libertines, which the artist modestly disparages, has been added to, not only by his eight-year-old son Astile, but also by his good friend, the late Amy Winehouse, who drew a small self-portrait in her own blood."She was on the phone to her dad when she did that.
She said, 'Dad, I'm with Pete and he's making me draw with my blood!
Moss publicly split from Doherty after footage of her allegedly taking cocaine at a studio where he was recording with Babyshambles was sold to the press.
Prosecutors decided not to charge the supermodel, in the absence of forensic or direct eyewitness evidence, but Moss lost contracts with H&M, Burberry and Chanel before admitting herself to rehab.I ask Doherty if he has any regrets about the demise of their relationship.He is silent for a long time: "I suppose I must have, but I was a bit unhinged at that time," he shrugs. The thing is, she knew from day one when we began our relationship that I was using very heavily. So, you can't suddenly turn around and say, 'you've got to stop all that'.' He didn't like me much, her dad."The actress Charlotte Gainsbourg added a sketch of a house to a painting called Leet Strife – a less pretentious title than "Street Life", he says.Doherty explains that for his newest works he has been using watercolours.A brief glimpse of the former Libertines frontman's tattooed torso and scarred belly reveal the ravages of his 32 years. Jumpy like a cat, Doherty shows me around London's Cob Gallery, where his first UK solo art exhibition (he showed work at the Chappe gallery in Paris in 2008) will open next week.