Paul Gorman is…

Homme Libre: Carla Borel’s exhibition explores strength + vulnerability

Oct 29th, 2017

//© Carla Borel 2017//

The striking and intimate portraits are of men Borel is either close friends with, or met randomly. Straight, gay, trans, from various professions and backgrounds, the sitters in Homme Libre have an edge of some sort, be it in their stance and attitude, an air of mystery and romance, their strength and vulnerability, or they have reminded Borel of someone she once knew or saw in a film. The series explores ideas of masculinity seen from a female perspective, examining themes of intimacy and identity.
From the notes for Homme Libre

I am among the subjects of photographer Carla Borel’s exhibition Homme Libre, which opens next month at London’s A22 Gallery.

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Run To Me: A quizzical visual exchange between Sam Jackson and Derek Ridgers

Oct 12th, 2017

//Front, Run To Me catalogue, 25 x 20cm, 44pp//

//Unconditional Love, Sam Jackson, 2017//

In the exhibition Run To Me – opening tomorrow at Old Street’s Charlie Smith London – curator Faye Dowling presents a quizzical visual exchange between painter Sam Jackson and photographer Derek Ridgers.

//First part of my essay faced with Tanya, The Batcave, Derek Ridgers 1983//

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The Story Of The Face in British GQ

Oct 6th, 2017

Out today, the November 2017 issue of British GQ includes a 10-page feature on my forthcoming book The Story Of The Face: The Magazine That Changed Culture.

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“Because it’s so damn good!” Extracts from my exclusive interview with pioneering illustrator/photographer Jim French, who has died aged 84

Jun 18th, 2017

//Jim French. Photo: SHOWStudio//

The American illustrator and photographer Jim French – best known for his pioneering endeavours in the field of homoerotic art – has died at home in Palm Springs at the age of 84.

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POP: Exciting new book to showcase Brian Griffin’s enigmatic excellence

May 6th, 2017

//© Brian Griffin//

I have written an essay for POP, the forthcoming book showcasing the great British photographer Brian Griffin’s engagement with music.

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Phallic Metallics: Erotic jewellery shoot by Hipgnosis for Club magazine 1976

May 4th, 2017

//Jewellery by Gayle Saunders and Stanley Rosenberg. Photography/art direction: Hipgnosis. From Phallic Metallics, Club, May 1976//

I’m grateful to Stian Brekke for sending me a link to his site hipgnosiscovers.com for these arresting pages from a 1976 issue of US men’s magazine Club, launched as the sister publication the British Club International the previous year.

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Champs, chumps + charlatans: No time like the present for John Claridge’s Soho Faces

Apr 25th, 2017

“I started taking portraits of people at The French House in the 70s when I took a picture of Gaston Berlemont. Then, while taking Spike Milligan’s portrait, we got to talking about Soho. At the time, I was living in Frith St, so Ronnie Scott’s and The French were both very familiar to us and, even then, both of us voiced our sadness at changes we saw – lovely delicatessens, independent restaurants and specialists shops closing down, all of which had been there for years.

“In 2004, I decided to document the customers at The French in earnest. For me, it was the one place in Soho that still held its Bohemian character, where people truly chose to share time and conversation, and I became aware that many I had once chinked glasses with were no longer around.

“These portraits of the regulars are a cross-section of those who sat for me, but there is no rhyme or reason to my selection.”

John Claridge, 2017

There is no time like the present for a project documenting the champs, chumps and charlatans* who have imbued Soho with its gamey character over the decades; dreaded “gentrification” in the form of drastic changes being wrought by property developers is steadily defanging the central London area.

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Don’t Knock The Rock: John E. Reed’s eternal image of exuberant Little Richard

Apr 20th, 2017

//London Records promotional image, 1958//

In 1956 the Hollywood photographer John E. Reed took a series of promotional shots of the stars of DJ Alan Freed’s rocksploitation flick Don’t Knock The Rock.

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Audacious early 70s Hipgnosis fashion shoots for Club International

Apr 18th, 2017


When innovatory British men’s magazine Club International was launched in 1972, editor Tony Power and art director Steve Ridgeway assembled a diverse pool of contributors, including jazzer, art critic and cultural commentator George Melly, the Stately Homo Quentin Crisp, Rocky Horror Show founder Richard O’Brien, former White Panther Mick Farren, photographers David Parkinson, Mick Rock and Karl Stoecker, illustrators Bush Hollyhead and Brian Grimwood and the design studio Hipgnosis.

//Casual trousers £9.50 from Mr Freedom; satin waistcoat £12 from Chris at Hidegrade; Bobbysoxer Boots £12.75 by Daisy Roots from Way In. From Club International Vol 1 No 3, 1972//

//Prince of Wales Oxford bags £4.95 from Take 6; Hollywood Funsters £12.25 by Daisy Roots from Way In. From Club International Vol 1 No 3, 1972//

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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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