Paul Gorman is…

Different Class, the story of the extraordinary Laurie Cunningham, is published this week

Jul 12th, 2017

I am honoured to have played a part in Dermot Kavanagh realising his ambition to produce a biography of the late footballer and soulboy legend Laurie Cunningham.

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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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Look sharp! In conversation with Mark Powell at Sartorial Style at the V&A, 2pm, Saturday, March 18

Mar 5th, 2017

Later this month I will be in conversation with British menswear legend Mark Powell at the V&A’s Sartorial Style day.

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Maximum cool: Paul Yule’s photojournalism casts creative figures in a new light

Apr 27th, 2016
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//Fashion designer Vivienne Westwood at Paul Yule’s studio in Berwick Street, Soho, central London, 1980//

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//Filmmaker Alex Cox directing an Oxford University Dramatic Society production of Bertholt Brecht’s The Resistable Rise Of Arturo Ui, 1975//

Here are just a few examples of the riches presented by photojournalist/filmmaker Paul Yule’s highly recommended Instagram feed @paul_yule.

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//Bow Wow Wow singer Anabella L’win and manager Malcolm McLaren at L’Escargot restaurant in Greek Street, Soho, immediately prior to the group signing with RCA Records, 1981//

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Long Live The Soho Dead: Ghosts of Le Macabre haunt Robert Rubbish’s exhibition Spiritus Soho Volume Zero

Apr 23rd, 2016

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Le Macabre

//Le Macabre, 23 Meard Street, London W1. Photo: Unknown//

“When I started working as the Saturday boy at Let It Rock (in 1973), Malcolm McLaren used to take me around these strange places which played a part in early rock & roll. One time we went to Le Macabre. I don’t know how he knew about it, but it was the real thing. The tables were coffin lids and the jukebox only had songs to do with death.”

Glen Matlock, interview transcript for The Look, 2000.

A chance encounter on eBay spurred artist Robert Rubbish into creating one of the key elements of his current exhibition Spiritus Soho Volume Zero.

Rubbish – who is one of many mourning the recent death of his friend and documentary subject, the poet Jock Scot – is known for deep associations with central London’s Soho, and has celebrated its sleazy past and uneasy present in his own work and with the other members of the art collective Le Gun.

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//Dilly Boys, Robert Rubbish, 2016//

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//The Sailor And The Mermaid, Robert Rubbish, 2016//

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A brief journey through David Bowie’s London from the 40s to the 10s with me and Herb Lester

Jan 13th, 2016

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As a tribute to the late rock star, I have joined forces with map-makers Herb Lester to create an online guide to David Bowie’s London from his birth at 40 Stansfield Road in Brixton in 1947 through his solo art show in Mayfair in 1995 to the giant retrospective David Bowie Is exhibition at the Victoria & Albert Museum in South Kensington in 2013.

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Indefatigable Ian Harris + The Earth: Pop culture maverick’s 60s rock roots come to light

Jan 10th, 2016
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//Front cover, Elemental, The Earth, Rare Vinyl, 2016. Design: Ian Harris//

Ian Harris is one of those London characters who turns up at various stages in the capital’s post-war pop culture narrative.

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New map in the New Year – Punk London: In The City 1975-78

Nov 26th, 2015
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//Front cover, Punk London: In The City 1975-78, Herb Lester Associates/Paul Gorman, 2016. Design: Mike Haddad//

I am collaborating with Herb Lester Associates on a new map – Punk London: In The City 1975-78 will be published in the New Year as a celebration of the movement which swept the capital 40 years ago and resonates today as an attitude throughout the world.

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I’ve picked Shop for i-D’s list of legendary London stores

Nov 9th, 2015

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Asked by i-D’s Stuart Brumfitt to chose a favourite London fashion outlet I plumped for Shop, which was run  by Pippa Brooks and Max Karie for a decade from the mid-90s in Soho’s Brewer Street (I mistakenly referred to it being at number 5 – as you can see in the photo below it was at number 4).

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//Shop in the early 00s. Photo: Pippa Brooks//

Read my reasons and the rest of London’s Legendary Stores – which includes contributions from Nicola Formichetti, Stephen Jones and Mandi Lennard – here.

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‘The second nastiest little man I have ever met’ – John Deakin: Under The Influence + The Lure Of Soho

Mar 31st, 2014
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//Deakin drinking, 1960s. John Deakin, courtesy Robin Muir//

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//The cover of the new book features this 50s portrait of author JP Donleavy//

“The second nastiest little man I have ever met” – Barbara Hutton

“He was a member of photography’s unhappiest minority whose members, while doubting its status as art, sometimes prove better than anyone else that there is no doubt about it” – Bruce Bernard

The documentary portraiture of British fashion photographer John Deakin from the 1940s to his death in the early 70s is poised for a fresh round of appraisal with next week’s opening of the exhibition Under The Influence at London’s Photographers’ Gallery.

This coincides with the publication of Robin Muir’s companion book of the same title.

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//Girl In Cafe, late 1950s. (c) John Deakin, The John Deakin Archive 2013//

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//Tony Abbro of Abbro & Varriano, newsagents, 48 Old Compton Street, Soho, 1961. (c) John Deakin, The John Deakin Archive 2013//

Muir is Deakin’s foremost proponent, responsible for 2002’s A Maverick Eye. This collected Deakin’s so-called “street photography” in London and on the Continent compiled during bouts of employment for British Vogue. As the title suggests, the new book focuses on the inhabitants of the stamping ground most associated with Deakin’s lush life: Soho.

On Deakin’s death in May 1972, his friend and subject Bruce Bernard rescued what comprises Deakin’s body of work in this field  from a set of tatty cardboard boxes under the bed in his Berwick Street flat.

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