Paul Gorman is…

The man who fell to earth: Derek Boshier wows the crowds at sell-out book launch and private view

Oct 7th, 2015

//Derek in his element signing books with the blow up of his Bowie silhouette sketch for Lodger reflected behind him. Photo (c) Sarah Lee//


Last night’s book launch and private view for the Derek Boshier monograph and new exhibition at Flowers Gallery in Cork Street, central London, was a great success.

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When The Runaways guitarist Lita Ford raffled her McLaren/Westwood I Groaned With Pain t-shirt

Oct 5th, 2015

//From Poster, 1977. Note Ford signed the front of the shirt//

I am indebted to IG pal and fan of this blog Kjell Magnusson for this 1977 magazine photo of The Runaways’ guitarist Lita Ford presenting her I Groaned With Pain t-shirt for a raffle in Swedish teen title Poster.


//The Runaways on the cover of Poster No 8, 1977//


//The panel offering the raffle prizes for Poster readers//

In the light of the revelations about the abusive nature of the group’s relationship with the late, unwholesome manager Kim Fowley, Ford’s choice of item for the Poster magazine raffle was less seamy than those made for vocalist Cherie Currie and bass-player Jackie Fox, whose knickers were donated (guitarist Joan Jett sensibly chose a bracelet and drummer Sandy West a miniature drumstick).

Mclaren 'I groaned...'

//T-shirt with central tear on mint jersey with exterior seaming, unlabelled, Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood, 1974. 380mm x 365mm. © Malcolm McLaren Estate. Photo: Adrian Hunt//


//I Groaned With Pain t-shirt on pink with twin ball-and-chain chest zip inserts. © Malcolm McLaren Estate//

The I Groaned shirt is one of the series with zips designed by Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and sold through their outlet Sex at 430 King’s Road between 1974 and 1976. The shirt was favoured by female performers of the period, including Viv Albertine, Little Nell Campbell and Chrissie Hynde.

There are two variants of the design in the current exhibition Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges at Southampton’s John Hansard Gallery. One is a very early deliberately ripped example produced in mid-1974 when 430 King’s Road was between names (the decision had been taken to abandon the previous title Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die).

This is why it doesn’t have a label. McLaren had yet to design the distinctive “SEX Original’ woven blue-on-pink tag, which was manufactured under his instructions by a supplier in Portugal.

The other shirt is the same type as Ford’s and does have a label.

I wrote about the genesis and realisation of I Groaned With Pain here.

Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges: Joining The Dots From The Situationist International To Malcolm McLaren is at John Hansard Gallery until November 14. Find out more here.

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Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges: Opening a great success

Sep 28th, 2015



//Viewing exhibits in Gallery 2 at John Hansard Gallery. Pic JHG//

The opening of new exhibition Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges: Joining The Dots From The Situationist International To Malcolm McLaren at the weekend was a great success.


//Visitors Nick Abrahams + Suze Malyon with their dog Mrs Shufflewick//

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Rare film: Malcolm McLaren on how to make subversive trousers

Sep 26th, 2015

To celebrate today’s opening of the exhibition Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges: Joining The Dots From The Situationist International To Malcolm McLaren, this rare footage of McLaren talking about the genesis of the bondage trousers design has been issued by the Malcolm McLaren Estate through Dazed Digital.

The film is entitled Subversive Trousers and is from Being Malcolm, which was written and performed by McLaren and produced with Première Heure for Canal Jimmy. The series won a prestigious French TV award.

efbub guardian

//From today’s Guardian Guide//

Among the many rare items in the exhibition are materials related to McLaren’s collaboration with graphic artist Jamie Reid, as demonstrated by the exhibits below.


// Sex Pistols -Fuck Forever. Design by Jamie Reid for Great Rock N Swindle, 1979, produced as t-shirt by Reid 1987, with source of image, front cover of Picturegoer, January 1959, and original copy of Leaving The 20th Century, Christopher Gray’s collection of Situationist texts designed by Reid, 1974//

Read Dazed Digital on the show is here .

The Guardian Guide’s preview here.

Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges opens today (September 26) and runs until November 14.

Find out more here.

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Modernize your old culture! Be up to date! Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges installation well underway

Sep 23rd, 2015



Intended for the public. Easy reading

Collectors and museums,
be modern
If you have old paintings,
do not despair.
Keep your memories
But detourne them
So they correspond to your time
Why reject the old [paintings]
If one can modernize them?
With a few brushstrokes
Modernize your old culture
Be up to date
and distinguished at the same time
Painting is over
Better give it the final blow
Long live painting

Asger Jorn, exhibition catalogue, Galerie Rive Gauche, Paris, May 1959. Translation: Young Kim.

Among the pertinent exhibits of our forthcoming show Eyes For Blowing Up Bridges is the statement disavowing traditional approaches to artistic creation made by the Danish artist and writer Asger Jorn in the late 50s.

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Eddie, Elvis + Gene: Let It Rock’s glitter-printed tailored and customised t-shirts based on James Dean’s in Rebel Without A Cause

Sep 18th, 2015

//Model wears studded and accessorised Let It Rock ‘Gene’ glitter print shirt, Musik Express, November 1972. Photo: Unknown//

Thanks to Mr Mondo for turning me onto Glam Idols, a goldmine of early 70s music and fashion images.

Lovingly presented and well credited, many of the photographs on the feed derive from continental European publications, like the 1972 shot above of a German model in a glitter t-shirt from Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s 50s outlet Let It Rock at 430 King’s Road.

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Derek Boshier: Rethink/Re-entry – Works of the 1970s/Recent films & collages at Flowers Cork Street this autumn

Aug 25th, 2015

//The Dance, from the series News From The Metropolis, Derek Boshier, 2014. Ink and collage on paper//

DB - Stills Best Foot Forward 3

//From Best Foot Forward, Derek Boshier, 2014. Film//

To coincide with the publication of the Derek Boshier monograph Rethink/Re-entry, writer/curator Guy Brett and I are putting together an exhibition of the same name which will be held at Flowers Gallery in Cork Street, Central London this autumn.

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Rock, Rock, Rock! Roots of Let It Rock’s Chuck Berry t-shirt in 50s movie ephemera

Aug 24th, 2015
Movie poster advertises the Italian release of Alan Freed's musical 'Rock, Rock, Rock', starring Chuck Berry, 1956. (Photo by John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images)

//Poster for Italian release of Alan Freed’s 1956 musical Rock, Rock, Rock!. Photo: John D. Kisch/Separate Cinema Archive/Getty Images//


//Left: Chuck Berry image isolated and bleached out. Right: As it appeared on the t-shirt, worn in this 1973 photograph of singer/songwriter Simon Fisher Turner. Photographer: Unknown//

When they were setting up Let It Rock in 1971, Malcolm McLaren and his original partner in the boutique at 430 King’s Road – Patrick Casey – acquired a cache of posters, showcards and ephemera for 50s rocksploitation movies, including many Continental-language variants.

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From Vive la Commune! in 1881 to Vive le Rock! in 1972: How a Chinese Communist Party pamphlet inspired one of the great Malcolm McLaren designs

Aug 20th, 2015


//From top left: Chinese Communist Party pamphlet, 1971; McLaren in Let It Rock 1972; Proclamation by Engels and Marx, 1881; Title lettering, Belgian film poster, 1958; Little Richard compilation, 1972; Repro of McLaren’s 1972 t-shirt collage//

A year or so ago I established the source material for one of the first designs generated by Malcolm McLaren in the fashion partnership he conducted with Vivienne Westwood in the 70s and early 80s.

Now I can reveal the inspiration: text contained in an unprepossessing Communist booklet celebrating the short-lived “Paris Commune” government of 19th Century revolutionary France.

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Getting It Straight In Notting Hill Gate: Jo Gannon’s quintessential snapshot of W11 in 1970

Aug 13th, 2015