Paul Gorman is…

Run To Me: A quizzical visual exchange between Sam Jackson and Derek Ridgers

Oct 12th, 2017

//Front, Run To Me catalogue, 25 x 20cm, 44pp//

//Unconditional Love, Sam Jackson, 2017//

In the exhibition Run To Me – opening tomorrow at Old Street’s Charlie Smith London – curator Faye Dowling presents a quizzical visual exchange between painter Sam Jackson and photographer Derek Ridgers.

//First part of my essay faced with Tanya, The Batcave, Derek Ridgers 1983//

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For Jim Walrod – ‘Decoration is the danger, function is the idea’: The On 1st experiment in conceptual art retailing

Sep 27th, 2017

** This post is dedicated to the New York design thinker and doer Jim Walrod, who has passed away. Just a couple of weeks ago I mentioned my intention to post about On 1st to Jim over dinner. Of course, he knew about the store but was excited to see what fresh info I might have turned up. I’ll write about Jim when I have collected my thoughts; wherever he is, I am sure Jim will join us all in the necessary proclamation: Fuck Trump**

//At the entrance to 1159 1st Avenue at 63rd was Sven Lukin’s two-tonne illuminated sign. Photo: Bert Stern//

//On 1st interior including displays of Roy Lichtenstein wallpaper and Gerald Laing plates. Photo: Bert Stern//

In conversation this summer, British artist Duggie Fields revealed to me that, during a sojourn in the US in 1968, he had been in line to work at photographer Bert Stern’s “architecturally mind-blowing” art store/publishing house On 1st in Manhattan’s east side.

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Unmade Up… Enlightening vignettes from Edward Bell’s unusual acquaintance with David Bowie

Sep 26th, 2017

//When they met, Bowie was scrutinising this portrait of Sex, Seditionaries and Jubilee superstar Jordan Mooney at Bell’s exhibition Larger Than Life//

“I, too, had to maintain a certain degree of detachment, and indeed to want and expect nothing of him; the paradox will always remain that, if David Bowie had not been David Bowie, then David Bowie and I could have been friends.”

Edward Bell, 2017

Edward Bell first encountered David Bowie when the rock chameleon turned up unexpectedly at a private view for the British visual artist’s first exhibition in 1980.

They last spoke in 2013, a few years before the musician/performer’s untimely demise. In the intervening period Bell and Bowie hung out in London, Venice and Los Angeles, collaborated on record sleeve projects and maintained sometimes sporadic contact, via a Swiss letter drop address and out-of-the-blue phone calls.

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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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Cunst Art: Caroline Coon’s hand-rendered Laid Bare Diary 1983-1984

May 3rd, 2017

I once asked gallery owner Angela Flowers for her definition of an artist. Without hesitating she said: “That’s easy. An artist is someone who simply has to paint every day.” Caroline is the personification of that description.

Charlotte Metcalf from her editor’s note, Laid Bare Dairy 1983-1984

A fascinating and frank document of the period of the artist’s personal life conveyed by the title, Caroline Coon’s Laid Bare Diary 1983-1984 is also a  lovingly realised bookwork.

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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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Cult: David Parkinson’s street style photos in Men Only August 1971

Dec 15th, 2015
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//Dinah Adams and friend, Eastbourne, Sussex, summer 1971. Photo: David Parkinson. No reproduction without permission//

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//From Men Only, Vol 36, No 8, 1971//

Thanks to artist Paul Kindersley for alerting me to the fact that images from an audacious photo-shoot by the late photographer David Parkinson were featured in an early 70s issue of Paul Raymond’s adult magazine Men Only.

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Questioning American sanctities with satire and witty frustration: Rethink/Re-entry is one of The Observer’s art books of the year

Dec 7th, 2015
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//From The Observer, December 6, 2015//

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Derek Boshier: Rethink/Re-entry – the artist monograph I edited – has been picked as one of the best art books of 2015 by British broadsheet The Observer.

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Revised and updated with fresh links: My marathon trawl through the references in You’re Gonna Wake Up One Morning And Know What Side Of The Bed You’ve Been Lying On!

Dec 2nd, 2015

“It didn’t matter what side of the bed you were lying on, as long as you were lying on it. Everybody from (author/actress) Anne Lambton to (Sex Pistols guitarist) Kutie Jones to (socialite and writer) Anthony Haden-Guest – they were all flattered. Just goes to show how everyone loves to have their moment – good, bad or indifferent.”

Malcolm McLaren, The Look, 2006

It’s coming up to five years since I posted my marathon dissection – including extensively researched links to sources and references – of the divisive 1970s punk manifesto t-shirt design You’re Gonna Wake Up One Morning And Know What Side Of The Bed You’ve Been Lying On!

Here is a new version of that post, revised and updated with fresh links.

Enjoy!

Sixty years after Blast, the You’re Gonna Wake Up list t-shirt adopted a similarly truculent tone in an attempt to ring the alarms amid a culture rendered flaccid by the failure of the 60s dream.

You’re Gonna Wake Up – which went on sale in Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s boutique Sex at 430 King’s Road in the autumn of 1974 – was conceived by fellow traveller and soon-to-be manager of The Clash Bernie Rhodes and realised with contributions from McLaren and their friend Gerry Goldstein.

Of course, it is best known for carrying the band name McLaren had recently granted to a bunch of teenagers hanging around the shop: “Kutie Jones and his SEX PISTOLS”.

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