John Beck and Matthew Cornford’s intelligent and measured book The Art School And The Culture Shed may be a slim volume but it packs a hell of a punch in locating the ravages wreaked on our cultural life over the past 20 years by privatisation, the failings of local councils and town planners and the depredations of property developers.
//Left: Moseley School Of Art, closed 1975. Right: The site of Sidcup School Of Art, occupied since 2010 by a Morrisons and a car park//
//From the catalogue for Christie’s Pop Culture auction, June 20,2014//
Six years ago on The Look blog I posted images and memories supplied by Terry Slobodzian, who ran boutiques Explosion and Lacy Lady in the upstate New York town of North Tonawanda in the late 60s and early 70s.
Such shops as Slobodzian’s and The People’s Space (run by Tommy Hilfiger in the neighbouring Emira) were part of a regional US trend for wild and usually wildly-named clothing stores sparked by eccentric retail ventures such as Granny Takes A Trip in England.
As I discovered through contact with vintage dealer/expert Ben Cooney, these are the places who showed at the National Boutique Show in NYC and broadcast their wares from the back pages of Baron Wolman’s fashion/music mag Rags: A Long Time Comin’ in San Anselmo, The Bead Experience in Baltimore, The Great Linoleum Clothing Experiment in LA, Bouncing Bertha’s Banana Blanket and Jenny Waterbags in New York, Mom’s Apple Grave in San Francisco…you get the picture.
//From The Look blog, December 2008//
Granny’s occupied a totemic status for the people who operated these outlets; Slobodzian visited London on a buying spree in 1970 and naturally dropped in at 488 King’s Road. “What a trip it was,” he told me in 2008.“Every piece fit like a glove right off the rack. The craftmanship and choice of fabric was amazing.”
Now Slobodzian’s Granny’s suits as featured on The Look blog are in this Friday’s Pop Culture sale at Christie’s along with two shirts from Bouncing Bertha’s Banana Blanket.
Here’s Rod Stewart in the same paneled velvet suit design as Lot 55 in the sale:
It’s that man again; Kosmo Vinyl has another exhibition of his artful football-based collages.
On the heels of last year’s Is Saitch Yer Daddy?, England Expects coincides with this year’s World Cup in Brazil and reflects – in Vinyl’s “lick-and-stick” style – on the national team’s engagement in the competition past, present and possible.
//Collage courtesy Contains Art//
The show opens later this month at Contains Art in Watchet Harbour, Somerset. “I was invited and I accepted,” says Vinyl. “How can you say no to a place called Watchet?”
Organised under the auspices of regional arts body Creative Somerset, England Expects: The World Cup Art Of Kosmo runs from June 18-29.
Visit here for venue details and here for info on the show.
When I first saw it I was questioning a lot of things, not least my adequacy. Things like inspiration, influences, references . . . where do things come from? Copying things—not as “homage'”or “pastiche”, but dying to get inside a thing. Inhabit it. Nostalgia too. Using machines. Colour. Systems. Perpetual motion. Automatism. Copying things. Graham Wood on Existence Is Unhappiness.
This week sees the London opening of Magick Is Freedom! (After Barney Bubbles), an exhibition of the series of prints made by designer Graham Wood in response to Existence Is Unhappiness, the fold-out poster for the 12th issue of underground magazine Oz published in May 1968 and designed by Barney Bubbles with Sid Squeak and others.