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Photography: Willie Christie on the (No Pussyfooting) cover

Feb 22nd, 2012
No Pussyfooting front

//Front cover (No Pussyfooting), Fripp & Eno, EG/Island, 1973.//

The final piece in Tate Modern’s current Yayoi Kusama show – her dramatic Infinity Mirror Room – brought to my vinyl-fixated mind one of the greatest record sleeves of all time: the gatefold for (No Pussyfooting), the album released in 1973 by Brian Eno and Robert Fripp.

All of a piece with the music it packages – prismatic, playful, calm, cerebral, oblique – the four-part composition was photographed and designed at Eno’s behest by photographer/filmmaker Willie Christie.

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Encounter with an enigma: Vice Q+A with Pierre Cardin

Feb 20th, 2012

With Cardin, Paris, January 2012. Photography: Matthew Frost.

Last month I spent a fascinating couple of hours in the company of one of the grand enigmas of the age, Pierre Cardin.

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Whitney Houston at VH1 Divas 1999

Feb 12th, 2012

I was in the audience at the Beacon Theatre NYC for the 1999 VH1 Divas, where this Whitney Houston performance was recorded.

Her presence during this particular song is electrifying; she exudes vulnerability, a tortured female star (the wrong side of 35 according to the precepts of the global music industry) visibly dealing with the downside of unimaginable fame + fortune.

When Houston wasn’t onstage, she and Bobby Brown were sat a few rows ahead.

They were looped, out there. Brown was wearing what looked like an original South Beach Leather loose-stitched suit (a la Al Green on the sleeve of his Greatest Hits) complete with Po’Boy cap.

When Houston was onstage, he tore it up in the audience, cheering and hollering his support.

I love the skittering It’s Not Right But It’s OK. She nailed it that night.

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John Frankland on Damien Hirst – The Complete Spot Paintings 1986-2011

Feb 11th, 2012

Sculptor John Frankland is a near-contemporary of Damien Hirst’s; both studied at Goldsmith’s in the 80s and their work has been included in the same group shows and prominent collections.

I asked John for his take on the grand Gagogo gesture of The Complete Spot Paintings, the exhibition which has “taken over the planet” (according to some press reports) by showing 1500 examples of one of the artist’s signature works across the 11 Gagosian galleries.

John visited the London shows, in Britannia Street and Davies Street.

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Beatbooks 59: Pulp Junkies, The Naked Lunch, Beats + Outsiders, Concrete, Visual + Sound Poetry

Feb 10th, 2012

Cover design based on artwork from: (front) C.Comics No. 2, 1965; (back) The Friendly Way, 1972.

The new BeatBooks catalogue is preoccupied with a print netherworld encompassing one-offs, limited editions and short-runs published by  concrete poets, beats and other outsiders.

There are also juicy examples of smack-sensationalising pulp fiction and – in one section alone – 36 items relating to The Naked Lunch, including  Chicago Review excerpts from 1958 and William Burroughs’ first US LP release.

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The Word’s out on The Modern Outfitter

Feb 4th, 2012

Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter in The Word magazine (290)Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter in The Word magazine (290)

The new issue of The Word magazine includes a photo-spread on the exhibition Lloyd Johnson: The Modern Outfitter.

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