Paul Gorman is…

Love goddess Mrs Scully revealed: The Ortonesque court case which informed the Sex t-shirt You’re Gonna Wake Up

Nov 28th, 2017

//From The Times, September 24, 1974. Courtesy Matthew Worley//

//Mrs Scully features on the “right” side of the shirt after a reference to George Dangerfield’s book The Strange Death Of Liberal England//

//A 1970s issue of Mistress magazine//

I’m grateful to British academic Matthew Worley for having enlightened me as to the identity of “Mrs Scully”, whose name was among those printed on the You’re Gonna Wake Up us-and-them t-shirt first sold in Sex at 430 King’s Road in the autumn of 1974.

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Exciting David Bowie x London photographic display + map to celebrate the opening of Sonos in Seven Dials

Nov 15th, 2017

I have organised a photographic display and a map celebrating David Bowie’s relationship with the city of his birth to mark the opening of the first European outlet of home sound system specialists Sonos.

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Earthbound: The story of The Man Who Fell To Earth

Oct 31st, 2017

On the heels of Edward Bell’s Unmade Up… and Dylan Jones’ A Life comes another strong David Bowie-related book: Susan Compo’s Earthbound.

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Jim Walrod August 25 1961 – September 23 2017

Sep 30th, 2017

//Jim Walrod, 2012. Photo: Jeremy Liebman//

I said many times to Jim – and have reflected on this over the last few days – that not many people get to pursue their passion every day of their adult lives. Jim did that. He never went to ‘work’. He did not care if he made money doing it, he just wanted to be able to have you understand what he saw and to have your opinion on it.
Kathy Walrod

Jim Walrod, who has died aged 56, occupied a unique position in the world of international design.

A collector, curator, writer and sometime retailer, as well as an interior designer and locator of unusual and one-off furniture and lighting pieces for a diverse selection of celebrity and private clients, the rangy, sandy-haired Walrod cut a singular figure.

Enthusiastic, informed and slyly humorous, Walrod was founder with Jack Feldman and Fred Schneider of the B-52s of New York’s important 90s/00s store Form & Function and described as “the ultimate design raconteur” by hotelier André Balazs.

To Mike D of the Beastie Boys he was “the furniture pimp”, an accolade won in part for having sourced Memphis designs for David Bowie (Jim revealed to me just a few weeks ago that some of these Italian PoMo pieces came via Tommy Roberts, subject of my book Mr Freedom).

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‘Suburban voodoo is what he did do, so well’: Last two days of Barney Bubbles exhibition at Rob Tufnell London

Sep 22nd, 2017

//Back Cover, Jesus Of Cool, Nick Lowe, Radar Records, 1978. Photo: Bob Bromide. Design © Barney Bubbles Estate//

//Back cover, Darling Let’s Have Another Baby/Something Else/It Really Digs, Johnny Moped, Chiswick Records, 1978. Design © Barney Bubbles Estate//

//Clock, Stiff Records, 1978. Design © Barney Bubbles Estate//

//Front, Life’s A Riot With Spy Vs Spy, Billy Bragg, Utility, 1983. Design © Barney Bubbles Estate//

“In graphics, in the music business at least, Barney pioneered the use of everyday objects in his work. He could see the design and the beauty in the apparently banal”
Suzanne Spiro, artist

The Barney Bubbles exhibition Optics & Semantics at London gallery Rob Tufnell closes tomorrow evening; if you have a chance, do go along and enjoy the late graphic arts maestro’s unique celebrations of the mundane and workaday.

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“Forbidden connotations”: The source of Malcolm McLaren’s Naked Footballer design identified

Sep 20th, 2017

//John Rotten performing with the Sex Pistols at Andrew Logan’s Valentine’s Ball, February 1976 in a hybrid Sex t-shirt combining the images from the ‘Tits’ and ‘Naked Footballer’ designs. Note Jordan Mooney (far left), Luciana Martinez (third right), Derek Jarman (with camera) and Vivienne Westwood (far right). Photo: Joe Stevens. No reproduction without permission//

Last summer I spent a pleasant afternoon in the company of American academic Benjamin Court, who has been researching a dissertation entitled The Politics of Musical Amateurism, 1968-1981.

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Here We Are: Britishness considered at this crucial juncture in our history

Sep 18th, 2017

//Janette Beckman’s 1980 image of Jerry Dammers of The Specials is included with documentary and portrait photography by the likes of Jane Bown, Bill Brandt,  Ian Macdonald, Colin O’Brien, Martin Parr and Jo Spence//

Curated by Christopher Bailey, creative director of sponsoring fashion brand Burberry, with Lucy Kumara Moore of bookshop Claire de Rouen and fashion/documentary photographer Alasdair McLellan, the exhibition Here We Are considers Britishness at this crucial juncture in our economic, political and social history.

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Barney Bubbles: Optics & Semantics at Rob Tufnell London

Aug 31st, 2017

//AC/DC Desk (with plug stool), Get Happy!! lightbulb poster, ‘Kill Time’ Stiff Records clock + Ian Dury Cocktail cabinet//

You wait years for a Barney Bubbles exhibition and then two come along in the space of a month.

On the heels of the mini-show of Barney Bubbles music designs at Fred Perry’s basement space in Covent Garden comes a different take on the work of the late graphics maestro.

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A bastion of splendid non-conformity: Brian Griffin’s photos of Duggie Fields at home in the late 70s

Aug 18th, 2017

//Duggie Fields at home, late 1970s. © Brian Griffin. No reproduction without permission//

//Duggie Fields’ apartment, late 1970s. © Brian Griffin. No reproduction without permission//

Among my current projects is an article for Apartamento about the great British artist Duggie Fields and his flat in London’s Earl’s Court.

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Refna revival: Elizabeth Hamey’s adventures in art, design + fashion

Aug 9th, 2017

//Jean Shrimpton in Mr Freedom Minnie Mouse top, Hans Feurer, Fancy Dressing, Nova, December 1970, with the original design on tracing paper by Refna. No reproduction without permission//

Exciting news: Elizabeth Hamey, who signs her work ‘Refna’, has granted me access to her amazing archive of work at the cross-hatches of art, design and fashion in the 1960s and 70s.

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