Paul Gorman is…

Before We Were Men: With David Gwinnutt, John Maybury, Ian Massey + Jeffrey Hinton at the National Portrait Gallery on March 23

Feb 23rd, 2017

//John Maybury, Crowndale Road, c. 1981. Photo © David Gwinnutt//

//Leigh Bowery, Farrell House, Stepney Green, c. 1983. Photo © David Gwinnutt//

I am one of the guests of the photographer David Gwinnutt at an event being staged next month to coincide with the opening of his forthcoming exhibition at London’s National Portrait Gallery.

Before We Were Men showcases Gwinnutt’s documentation – with hand-held camera and exclusive use of natural light –  of creative London in the 1980s. Among his subjects were the designer/performance artist Leigh Bowery, artists Cerith Wyn Evans, Duggie Fields, Gilbert & George and Grayson Perry and dancer/choreographer Michael Clark.

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Apollonia Van Ravenstein + Ara Gallant in originals of Seditionaries Mickey & Minnie and Exposé t-shirts

Feb 21st, 2017

//Van Ravenstein with Gallant (wearing his trademark Japanese schoolboy’s cap adorned with gold charms). From photo by Francis Ing//

Images of the novelty t-shirt designs détourned by the late Malcolm McLaren for sale in Seditionaries in 1978 are rare, which is why this shot of Apollonia Van Ravenstein and Ara Gallant from a spread in a late 70s issue of L’Uomo Vogue is extra special.

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Lives less ordinary: Jane England’s Turn And Face The Strange documents 70s cultural and social churn

Feb 14th, 2017

//British street style legend Paul Beecham in Battersea, south London, 1974//

//Jasper Havoc (Peter McMahon, 1953-1979), a member of the Sydney performance troupe Sylvia and the Synthetics, in Ladbroke Grove, west London, in 1977 and on the front of England’s book//

Jane England’s Turn And Face The Strange is a valuable addition to the documentation of the social and cultural churn occurring at the edges of society in the 1970s.

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Identity, Photography, Fashion: Images from new exhibition North

Jan 6th, 2017

//From the series Skelmersdale, 1984. Photograph by Stephen McCoy//

//Derrin Crawford & Demi-Leigh Cruickshank, The Liver Birds, LOVE, 2012. Photograph by Alice Hawkins//

//Raf Simons menswear Autumn Winter 2003, Paris Menswear Fashion Week. Copyright Catwalking.com//

Here is a selection of amazing images featured in new exhibition North: Identity, Photography, Fashion, which is open to the public from today at Liverpool’s Open Eye Gallery.

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Man Smart (Woman Smarter): Joe Stevens focuses on his female subjects

Dec 19th, 2016

//The late DJ/journalist Anita Sarko and fashion writer Merle Ginsberg at legendary New York nitespot Danceteria, early 1980s. Photo: © Joe Stevens//

On Thursday evening, veteran photographer Joe Stevens will be at Book & Bar in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, presenting an illustrated talk on capturing the wonder that is woman, from Caroline Coon to Yoko Ono via Lulu, Madonna, Joni Mitchell, Patti Smith and a host of others who embody one of my favourite song titles:  Man Smart (Woman Smarter).

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Eight Young Photographers: The poster

Dec 10th, 2016

//The image of the elongated photographers was created by Tim Stephens, one of the exhibition participants. Courtesy Mark Trompeteler. No reproduction without permission//

As a follow-up to my last post, here is the stunning poster for Eight Young Photographers, the third exhibition to be held at the Photographers Gallery (which opened at its original premises in central London’s Great Newport Street at the beginning of 1971).

The image has been provided by Mark Trompeteler, who was one of the participants along with talents such as the late David Parkinson then on the rise during the period when appreciation of photography as a form of artistic expression was beginning to take hold.

Says Trompeteler: “The silhouette of the photographers with the elongated legs was created by Tim Stephens, one of the exhibitors and one of my classmates back then at the London College of Printing (now the London College  of Communications).

“He tilted the back of a 5×4 camera in order to create the image. The Photographers Gallery organised the finished poster with the typography on top.”

Read about Mark’s work here.

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Eight Young Photographers: David Parkinson’s mould-breaking contribution to the 1971 exhibition

Nov 22nd, 2016
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//David Parkinson in the Eight Young Photographers catalogue, 1971. Image courtesy Mark Trompeteler//

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//Front, catalogue/fold-out poster, for the show which ran at the Photographers Gallery in Great Newport Street from April 6 to May 2, 1971. Courtesy Mark Trompeteler. No reproduction without permission//

Eight Young Photographers was the third exhibition to be held at the newly-opened Photographers Gallery at its original premises in Great Newport Street in London’s West End.

The gallery opened in January 1971 with a group show entitled The Concerned Photographer featuring, among others, Robert Capa, and followed that by simultaneously staging three exhibits, including a display of Polaroids taken by Andy Warhol.

Visitors to Eight Young Photographers, which ran during April and into early May that year, recall it as being an important staging post in the acceptance of photography as a subject worthy of artistic appreciation. Among the contributors was the late David Parkinson, about whom I have written often. He showed work alongside Mark Edwards, Meira Hand, Roger Birt, Sylvester Jacobs, Tim Stevens, Bob Mazzer and Mark Trompeteler (who has kindly retrieved the catalogue/poster for me from his archive).

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//From the Photographers Gallery listings. The show was preceded by an exhibition of Andy Warhol’s Polaroids//

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Michael Joseph’s 1971 ‘orgy’ shoot: Journey from Fernet-Branca billboard ad – starring Judy Nylon, Gala Pinion, Brent Sherwood, David ‘Piggy’ Worth et al – to covers of 90s/00s funk compilations

Nov 13th, 2016
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//The Michael Joseph image which was to be central to the 1971 Fernet-Branca campaign was featured in Dave Saunders’ survey Sex In Advertising, published by Batsford Books in 1996//

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//Front, Funk Spectrum, BBE Records, 1999. Photo: Michael Joseph//

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//Back, Funk Spectrum, BBE, 1999. Photo: Michael Joseph//

In 1971 the great advertising director and photographer Michael Joseph was commissioned to shoot a billboard campaign for the Italian digestif Fernet-Branca.

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The Rebel Music man: Dave Hendley exhibition opens this week

Nov 8th, 2016

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I’m really looking forward to visiting the forthcoming exhibition of the photography of Dave Hendley, who died this summer.

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//Outer gatefold, Rebel Music, Trojan Records, 1979. Design: Uncredited//

Hendley is best known for the photos he took of the Jamaican music scene in the 70s, but he holds a special place for me as the man responsible for one of my favourite compilations, the double-LP Rebel Music, released by Trojan at the end of that decade.

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Jordan Mooney remembers David ‘Piggy’ Worth and Patrick Lichfield’s 50s photoshoot for The Beatles Rock ‘N’ Roll Music

Oct 28th, 2016
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//Jordan Mooney and David “Piggy” Worth. From photo by Patrick Lichfield, 1976//

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//As they appeared in the Parlophone full-page advert for The Beatles compilation Rock “n”Roll Muisc, New Musical Express, June 26, 1976//

“He was a man full of wit and charm who always had an eye for new and exciting things. His special characteristics were kindness and forethought”

Jordan Mooney, 2016 

Following my recent blogs on the life of the late fashion model David “Piggy” Worth, here is a gem: Sex and Seditionaries superstar Jordan Mooney recalls her friend and in particular the time Worth urged her to join him in a 50s photoshoot by royal photographer Patrick Lichfield.

This was used for an advert and poster promoting Rock ‘N’ Roll Music, a compilation of previously released cover versions recorded by The Beatles between 1962 and 1970.

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