Paul Gorman is…

Another gem from Joe Stevens: Barney Bubbles + Jon Trux at a Hawkwind gig under the Westway in 1971

Aug 1st, 2015
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//Barney Bubbles and Jon Trux, Portobello Road, west London, 1971. Photo: Joe Stevens//

Friend, hero and photographer Joe Stevens sends me gems from his archive occasionally; this shot of the graphics master Barney Bubbles with counterculture mover and shaker Jon Trux was taken at a Hawkwind gig in one of the underpasses of the newly erected Westway in the summer of 1971.

It was among the images Bubbles assembled in one of his brilliant record packages, the fold-out sleeve for Hawkwind’s second album, «X In Search Of Space».

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//Die-cut front of In Search Of Space with inner sleeve band shots//

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///Stevens’ photograph as it appeared with others by Phil Franks, Nicky Hepworth and Malcolm Livingstone in the fold-out design//

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Found! The source of the Jerry Lee image in Let It Rock’s Killer Rocks On t-shirt

Jul 29th, 2015
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//Lobby card for High School Confidential!, 1958. This is from the opening scene, where Lewis sings the movie’s title track//

Let It Rock was digging in the ruins of past cultures that you cared about. It was giving them another brief moment in the sun. It wasn’t about doing anything new. It was an homage. It was nostalgia.
Malcolm McLaren to Momus, 2002

Forty three years after its creation I can reveal the source of the Jerry Lee Lewis image which appeared on the Let It Rock t-shirt design “The ‘Killer’ Rocks On!”.

It is from a lobby card for Alan Freed’s 1958 rocksploitation flick High Street Confidential!; an original was just one of the pieces of 50s ephemera adorning Let It Rock’s premises at 430 King’s Road in 1972.

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//Top left: The same Jerry Lee still from High School Confidential!, just above the green glitter ‘Eddie’ shirt inside Let It Rock, 1972. From a photo by Masayoshi Sukita//

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//Still image of Jerry Lee Lewis is cropped and dynamised by tilting//

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//The image is isolated and bleached out (McLaren also tinted the upright piano)//

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//Repro – with a couple of design omissions – currently for sale online//

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Subjective Reality: Steven Meisel’s film for Miu Miu A/W 15 tips a wink to Seditionaries

Jul 26th, 2015

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Steven Meisel’s beguiling campaign clip for Miu Miu’s autumn/winter 2015 collection tips a knowing wink to Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s 70s label Seditionaries, and in particular the design collage Vive Le Rock/Punk Rock Disco.

The video, entitled ‘Subjective Reality’ and styled by Olivier Rizzo, features models Maddison Brown, Hailey Gates, Mia Goth and Stacy Martin wearing the latest Miuccia Prada creations in a series of dream-like New York street tableaux.

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Four out-of-this-world Barney Bubbles pieces and a wild Practical Styling bookcase to feature in the Out Of The Ordinary sale at Christie’s in September

Jul 25th, 2015


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//Left: The Ian Dury Cocktail Cabinet. Right: The AC/DC Desk//
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//Left: The Rebel, signed ‘Sal ’81’. Right: The Tree Of Drawers//

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//Practical Styling bookcase. Lithographically printed and faux marble. The top section enclosing two adjustable shelves, above three doors enclosing a further three shelves. 87in (223 cm) high; 74 in (188 cm) wide; 20 in (51 cm) deep//

Four extraordinary works by the late Barney Bubbles are to feature in Christie’s Out Of The Ordinary sale, the annual event which is fast becoming one of the highlights of the auction calendar.

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BBC Four Goes Pop in August: Derek Boshier commissioned to create new channel ident and also appears in What Do Artists Do All Day? and Pop Goes The Easel

Jul 22nd, 2015

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//Boshier features in these panels from BBC Four’s Pop Art-style run-down of the season elements//

British artist Derek Boshier – subject of Rethink/Re-entry, the monograph I have edited which is published this autumn – is to be featured in next month’s BBC season of programmes about Pop Art.

Boshier has been commissioned by the broadcaster to create a new BBC Four ident which will run throughout August alongside new logos produced by his fellow Royal College graduates Peter Blake and Peter Phillips (who starred with Boshier and the late Pauline Boty in Ken Russell’s groundbreaking 1962 BBC documentary Pop Goes The Easel).

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Blimey! Barney Bubbles among nominees to appear on new £20 banknote

Jul 22nd, 2015

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//News about the nomination has been flagged today by It’s Nice That + Design Week//

Blimey!

Designer Barney Bubbles is among the list of visual artists nominated by the British public to appear on the new £20 banknote.

Bubbles – born Colin Fulcher and the subject of my 2008 monograph Reasons To Be Cheerful – features on the 529-strong list alongside fellow graphic designer Alan Fletcher and a wide variety of popular figures from Francis Bacon and Pauline Boty to Leigh Bowery, Aubrey Beardsley, Alfred Hitchcock and Derek Jarman.

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/Barney Bubbles with his poster/programme for Elvis Costello & The Attractions’ 1979 Armed Forces tour, west London, 1979. Photo: Chalkie Davies//

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PRINT @SHOWStudio: Interviewed by Lou Stoppard and shots from my magazine archive

Jul 21st, 2015

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The launch of SHOWStudio’s new series PRINT features an interview with me by editor Lou Stoppard about my magazine archive.

There is also a section dedicated to images from the archive, including front covers, spreads and ads.

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I Groaned With Pain: Malcolm McLaren’s own t-shirts to feature in exhibition of status quo-disrupters

Jul 17th, 2015
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//The t-shirts show the deliberate production of variants within the limited edition designed and written by McLaren and printed on the simple square pattern produced by Vivienne Westwood in 1974. © Malcolm McLaren Estate//

Two of Malcolm McLaren’s t-shirts from the very first production run of I Groaned With Pain – the notorious text design produced with Vivienne Westwood in 1974 – will be featured in Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges, the exhibition I am co-curating with David Thorp at Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery this autumn.

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//T-shirt with central tear on light blue jersey with exterior seaming, labelled, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, 1974. 360mm x 375mm. © Malcolm McLaren Estate//

I Groaned With Pain is named after the first four words of the paragraph of text McLaren lifted from beat writer Alexander Trocchi’s erotic novel Helen And Desire (published in 1954 by Olympia Press under the pseudonym Francis Lengel).

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The story of the Sex shop leather hood: From harmless fetish attire (as sported by David Bowie?) to theatre of cruelty design totem

Jul 14th, 2015

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//Left: Detail of photo of model posing in leather Sex hood, autumn 1974. Photo: © David Parkinson. Right: David Bowie in leather hood, summer 1974, Sherry Netherland Hotel, New York. Photo: Dana Gillespie//

My recent post about David Bowie’s visits in 1974 to 430 King’s Road when it was in its Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die incarnation prompted Facebook friend and DJ Graham “Sugarlump” Evans to alert me to Polaroid photographs of David Bowie trying out make-up, hair and styling options in preparation for his Diamond Dogs tour of the US that year.

David Bowie in Sex Gimp Mask 1974

// Polaroid taken by Dana Gillespie in New York in 1974//

In one, as Evans points out, Bowie posed in a leather hood of similar style to the model sold at 430 as it was transformed over a period of six months from TFTL to fetish emporium Sex.

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Studio Prints: At A Printmaker’s Workshop in Kentish Town 1970

Jul 14th, 2015
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//Dorothea Wight picking up groceries in Queens Crescent Market…//

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//…before heading into Studio Prints//

The 1970 BBC documentary At A Printmaker’s Workshop focuses on Dorothea Wight’s fabled Studio Prints in Queens Crescent, Kentish Town.

It is also a marvellous snapshot of London on the cusp of change as inner city areas became invigorated by the arrival of interesting new businesses (with none of today’s dread “regeneration” and its companion property-speak of “creative quartiers” and such).

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