Paul Gorman is…

Twisting with Martians and getting down with the Chicken Astronaut: Herb Lester goes way Out There

Jan 29th, 2014

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Out There from Herb Lester Associates marks a departure from terra firma for my favourite map-makers: they’re anticipating the wave of space tourism of the future with this guide to three Grand Tours of the Solar System.

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Complete with speculative observations from such sci-fi greats as Arthur C. Clarke, HG Wells and Olaf Stapledon (author of the 1930 book The Last And First Men, about the flight of mankind to Venus), Out There voyages from the Tar Pits Of Titan and the Fountains of Enceladus to the “giant space sponge” moon, Hyperion.

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The text is by Matthew De Abatua with design and illustrations by Paul Rogers.

Out There’s publication has been accompanied by Trunk Records’ release of a companion space-themed download album compiled by Nick from the much missed west London record store Intoxica!.

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Jim French: Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor exhibition + new Colt apparel collection

Nov 21st, 2013

//Jim French Polaroid studies//

Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Sailor is an exhibition of Polaroids taken by artist, illustrator and print-maker Jim French which opens tonight at New York’s ClampArt gallery.

These include studies for French’s 1969 Colt Studio print Longhorns Dance, incorporated by Malcolm McLaren in 1975 in his notorious Cowboys t-shirt design, as sold in Sex and Seditionaries at 430 King’s Road and worn by the Sex Pistols and others.

//Longhorns Dance by Colt (Jim French) from Manpower! issue 7, 1974//

//Wearing their Cowboys (clockwise from top left): McLaren 1975, Sid Vicious 1977, Siouxsie 1976, Steve Jones 1975. Photographs: Bob Gruen; Dennis Morris; Ray Stevenson; Mick Rock.//

//From queerclick.com//

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Handbags, gladrags, fragrances, films, lectures + twitter spats…Barney Bubbles’ undimmed lightbulb of inspiration

Nov 14th, 2013

//Olympia Le-Tan handbag based on artwork for The Damned's 1977 LP Music For Pleasure, with promotional t-shirt for Fred Burns' documentary Johnny Moped Basically using 1978 lightbulb design//

So potent is the creative legacy of the graphic design master Barney Bubbles – who died on this day 30 years ago – that he is continually cited as an inspiration by contemporary visual communicators, while his name and work is attached to all manner of endeavours.

Recently, Bubbles artworks were chosen by the French fashionista Olympia Le-Tan to lead her exclusive collection of handbags. Meantime Tokyo lifestyle label retaW has named a range of fragrance products “Barney*” in celebration of “the many album covers he was responsible for in the 70s and 80s”.

//Barney* products named after Bubbles by Japanese lifestyle company retaW//

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Graham Wood on the series of 24 posters inspired by a 1968 design for Oz magazine

Oct 29th, 2013

//Selection of poster prints Graham Wood made for Magick Is Freedom! (After Barney Bubbles)//

Best known as one of the founders of British design collective Tomato, Graham Wood chose a 1968 poster for underground magazine Oz as the wellspring for a series of 24 poster prints.

I corresponded with Wood about the ways in which the original artwork- made by Barney Bubbles and his 60s design partner David Wills with a team of contributors – sparked inspiration for the two dozen A0-size posters, which were exhibited in Stockholm in November 2012.

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What’s the connection between this 30s art exhibition catalogue and this 80s post-punk single?

Oct 22nd, 2013

//Left: Catalogue for Circle: Constructive Art In Britain 1934-40, Kettle's Yard Gallery, 1982/Right: 7in sleeve for Danger/Don't Want To Be Your Shadow, The Psychedelic Furs, CBS, 1982//

Find out here.

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Starting work on my new book – Legacy: The Story Of The Face

Jul 10th, 2013

I am now starting work on a new book.

Legacy: The Story Of The Face is to be published by Thames & Hudson in 2015 and has the support and involvement of Nick Logan, the owner and founder of what became one of the most important and influential publications of recent times.

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Flocked + tiger-striped: The Paradise Garage Ford Mustang

Jul 6th, 2013

//Trevor Myles, Mustang and 430 King's Road, late summer 1971. Photo: Michael Roberts//

//From Michael Roberts' article Men & Their Machines, Club, October 1971//

Trevor Myles’ decision to incorporate a flocked and tiger-striped 1966 Ford Mustang as part of his retail space Paradise Garage naturally attracted a lot of attention during the brief existence of this unusual fashion outlet at 430 King’s Road in Chelsea’s World’s End in 1971.

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Ian Dury, Dany Bubbles + Barney Bubbles

Jun 26th, 2013

//Dany Bubbles, 1963-66. Pencil and acrylic, 29" x 20" (framed)//

I sourced one of the paintings which is in More Than Fair, the exhibition of Ian Dury’s artworks which opens at his alma mater, London’s Royal College of Art, next month.

Dury gave the ultra-Pop Dany Bubbles to his friend and designer Barney Bubbles in the late 70s during their spell of collaboration which resulted in a series of triumphs: single sleeves such as Sex & Drugs & Rock & Roll, What A Waste and Hit Me With Your Rhythm Stick, the 28 wallpaper covers of the album Do It Yourself, the Blockhead logo…

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The Peter Small connection: George O’Dowd at Street Theatre, The Regal + The Foundry

Jun 19th, 2013

//George O'Dowd in Street Theatre, 12 Ganton Street, central London, 1978. Photo (c): Boy George Collection//

I’ve been acting as a consultant to artist Lucy Harrison on her latest site specific project Carnaby Echoes, which focuses on the culturally fertile area of central London adjacent to Soho.

With the starting point of the opening of Murray’s Club in Beak Street in 1913, Harrison is mounting her artistic response to 100 years of musical history with archival material and fresh interviews with some of the area’s leading lights.

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The Photo Kid: Ben Kelly at the Royal College Of Art, 1974

Jun 13th, 2013

This is designer Ben Kelly at his 1974 degree show at London’s Royal College Of Art.

Kelly adopted the alter-ego The Photo Kid, who is portrayed in the work by which he is standing. The Photo Kid wore clothes – in particular brothel creepers – from Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s shop Let It Rock, as did Kelly; the shoes, pink socks and belt in this photograph all came from there, while the Hopalong Cassiday & Topper top (see Ian Harris’s comment below) was picked up at a Paris flea market.

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