Paul Gorman is…

Tender + tough: Jean-Francois Carly’s Surrender After portraits

Feb 12th, 2015
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//Rebecca. Photo: Jean-Francois Carly//

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//Ale. Photo: Jean-Francois Carly//

Surrender After is the title of photographer/director Jean-Francois Carly’s show of nudes opening at Forge & Co in east London next week.

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Roberta Bayley x Richard Hell x Jake Riviera + 1 Cadillac Eldorado = Road Trip USA in the new GQ

Feb 9th, 2015
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//Polaroids taken on the journey by Bayley courtesy of the NYU Richard Hell Archive//

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//Opening spread of my feature in GQ UK March 2015//

“I’m forever grateful for Jake for giving us the opportunity. It was magical that he wanted to encourage Roberta and me to use our abilities in a new way. Just another example of his beautiful style.”
Richard Hell

The new issue of GQ UK contains my piece about the quixotic 1980 US road trip undertaken by Roberta Bayley and Richard Hell in a Cadillac Eldorado belonging to Jake Riviera (who conceived and sponsored the journey).

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Jaunty: Barry Plummer’s striking photos of Malcolm McLaren + Vivienne Westwood in the Wild West End spring 1979

Feb 3rd, 2015
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//McLaren specifically requested Plummer photograph him outside 7 Denmark Street, London WC1; Tin Pan Alley Club was one of the centres of Britain’s music business dating back to the 30s: “Some lads came along and Malcolm was pulling up his kilt in good-natured fun.” Photo: © Barry Plummer//

These jaunty photographs were taken by Barry Plummer in the spring of 1979 for a Melody Maker interview with Malcolm McLaren about the just-released soundtrack for the Sex Pistols’ biopic The Great Rock N Roll Swindle (beset by financial and creative difficulties, the film wasn’t released for another year).

McLaren was accompanied by Vivienne Westwood; they made a striking pair in mixed and matched one-off and traditional pieces with a selection of clothing from their King’s Road shop Seditionaries. By now the transition away from punk – left behind when the Sex Pistols split a year earlier – was becoming evident.

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//Westwood and McLaren looking the bomb at the entrance to 98 Shaftesbury Avenue, W1, home to McLaren’s management company Glitterbest. Photo © Barry Plummer//


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Ton-Up Boys + Girls, The Ace Cafe and the 59 Club: John “Hoppy” Hopkins’ favourite photographs

Jan 31st, 2015
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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

John “Hoppy” Hopkins – who died yesterday aged 77 – was the photographer and activist best known for his associations with London’s counterculture of the 1960s and 70s, having been a founder of the radical London Free School which in turn led to the Notting Hill Carnival, a contributor to the pacifist paper Peace News, and a pivotal figure in the establishment of both the underground paper International Times and the psychedelic club UFO.

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

Hopkins was also a leading light of the squatting movement and a brave proselytiser for cannabis usage; electing for trial by jury for possession he was labelled “a pest to society” by the judge and sentenced to nine months in jail.

According to his friend Jeff Dexter, Hopkins’ favourites among his own photographs were of London rockers, those Ton-Up habitues of the North Circular’s Ace Cafe and Paddington’s 59 Club whose outsider cool and tribal clanship he documented with acuity.

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

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//Photo 1964: © John “Hoppy” Hopkins//

In this excerpt from an interview for a 2009 exhibition, Hopkins talks about how he became a photographer and the rocker photo-shoots:

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Joe Stevens’ best photograph: Tousled Bowie at a moment of transformation

Jan 29th, 2015
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//Just over CSM’s shoulder: David Bowie and a railway guard, Paris, May 3, 1973. Photo (c) Joe Stevens//

“In those minutes, you could see he really was about to become a major pop star.”

In The Guardian today, photographer pal and hero Joe Stevens has picked a favourite image from his six-decade career: a slightly tousled David Bowie and a French railway guard at a Paris station.

According to my copy of Kevin Cann’s definitive Bowie diary Any Day Now this would have been May 3, 1973; Bowie had travelled by train from Japan, on the Trans-Siberian Express through Russia, Poland and Germany in the company of the late NYC legend Leee Black Childers and Bowie’s friend and backing vocalist Geoff MacCormack.

Stevens’ captured Bowie at a moment of transformation; alighting blearily in dress-down mode from the train, the rock star was met by wife Angie and a gaggle of glamorous friends. In a matter of minutes he had changed into the Freddie Buretti-designed outfit seen here and was swept away to a reception and press conference in the Rouge Room of the George V Hotel.

Just in shot – and identifiable by his frizz and shoulder bag strap – is Joe’s NME compadre (and another pal and hero) Charlie Murray.

Read Joe’s reminiscence here.

I am proud to say I edited Kevin Cann’s book Any Day Now: David Bowie The London Years 1947-74. It is a thoroughgoing delight and highly recommended – if you don’t already own it, purchase a copy here.

Charles Shaar Murray wrote a wonderful preface to my music press history In Their Own Write (which he ended with the following note to me: “You bastard. You’ll be hunted down and strangled like a dog for this.”)

Copies of In Their Own Write are available here.

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Magical: House Of Beauty & Culture 34-36 Stamford Road N1 (254 7794)

Jan 22nd, 2015
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//Heroes by Mark Lebon for i-D Bible 1988. Styling by Judy Blame and Christopher Nemeth//

I’m looking forward to participating in ShowStudio’s live broadcast discussion of today’s Louis Vuitton A/W 15 menswear show in Paris.

Vuitton artistic director Kim Jones has been trailing the show on his Instagram feed with tantalising hints as to the direction and content. Jones’ A/W 15 collaborators include Judy Blame, Nellee Hooper and Mark Lebon – all names associated with the late shoemaker John Moore’s magical 80s north-east London art/fashion space The House Of Beauty & Culture.

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Of ties and men: The neckwear connection between Bryan Ferry, Malcolm McLaren and David Parkinson

Jan 17th, 2015

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//Malcolm McLaren, 1973. Photo: David Parkinson. Bryan Ferry, 1976. Photo Richard Wallis//

A couple of years back I showed examples of photography by the late David Parkinson to car-nut graphic design maestro Jules Balme; I knew he would be interested in the incorporation of a 1959 Cadillac Eldorado in a 1973 Let It Rock fashion shoot.

What drew Balmes’ eagle eye was not the car fin detail, but the fact that Malcolm McLaren in the shot below sported a tie of the same distinctive Atomic-style 50s pattern as worn by Bryan Ferry in the video clip for his 1976 solo hit Let’s Stick Together (and subsequently on the sleeve of the compilation of the same name rushed out to capitalise on the single’s success that year).

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//McLaren and models in Let It Rock attire – right are examples of the so-called “Alan Ladd” and “Jazz” suits – photographed in Acre Lane, Brixton for Club International by David Parkinson, summer 1973//

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The post-hippie/glam/space rock mix-up: Alun Anderson’s beguiling photographs from the 1973 Windsor Free Festival

Jan 7th, 2015
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//Photo: Alun Anderson//

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//Photo: Alun Anderson//

“When these photographs were taken, everything about them was everyday and unexceptional. These were the clothes we wore, the Hawkwind festivals that filled our summers, the drugs we took, the love we had, the way we moved. Only looked at from a distance does something extraordinary seem to emerge. Whether it is possible to live in the present with this view of what is around you, I don’t know.”
Alun Anderson, 2015

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Die Kunst ist in Gefahr – Blessed & Blasted is back! Art Is In Danger, 1925

Dec 3rd, 2014
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//George Grosz’s book jacket for of Die Kunst is in Gefahr, published by Malik Verlag, Berlin, 1925//

“Today’s artist, if he does not want to run down and become an antiquated dud, has the choice between technology and class warfare propaganda. In both cases he must give up ‘pure art’.
Either he enrolls as an architect, engineer or advertising artist in the army (unfortunately very feudalistically organized) which develops industrial powers and exploits the world; or as a reporter and critic reflecting the face of our times.”
From Last Round, the conclusion to Art Is In Danger

Today I’m returning to Blessed & Blasted – my occasional series about art manifestos – with Art Is In Danger, issued as a small book in 1925 by George Grosz and John Heartfield’s brother Wieland Hertzfelde.

This choice has been triggered by a charity shop acquisition of the catalogue for the 1979 London exhibition Neue Schachlichkeit And German Realism Of The Twenties, an examination of the so-called “New Objectivity” which arose as a reaction to the establishment of Weimar Germany.

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PiL logo tape, flyers for the Limelight and Generation X, Allen Jones artwork, the 1967 Gear Guide: Excavated ephemera of a London youth

Nov 24th, 2014
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//Copy of PIL’s Metal Box complete with tape printed with Dennis Morris’ logo for the band; DB reckons this may have come from the group’s guitarist Keith Levene//

During a recent visit to his mother’s north London home, NY-based expat DJ, art/publishing player and blogger DB Burkeman took the opportunity to recover some of the ephemera of his youth, including the items you see here.

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//Flyer for evening at the London outpost of Peter Gatien’s 80s club brand featuring Barnsley (now Barnzley), Tim Simenon (of Bomb The Bass) and the Wild Bunch’s Nellee Hooper//

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//Photo of Allen Jones artwork obtained from Burkeman’s first employer//

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