Paul Gorman is…

The Face, May 1992: Love Sees No Colour

Apr 29th, 2014
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//Cover: Boy George with Mica + Jade, styling David Mignon, photography Thomas Krygier//

From time to time I’m going to be turning over information and images here as I go through the process of writing my book Legacy: The story of The Face.

Today I spent an enjoyable and enlightening few hours interviewing former editor Richard Benson; during our conversation it became clear that one of the turning points in the history of this significant magazine occurred with the spring 1992 publication of the issue headed Love Sees No Colour.

This coincided with the High Court judgment against the magazine in the unfortunate libel case brought by actor/singer Jason Donovan on the grounds that he had been branded a liar and a hypocrite as a result of the inference that he was gay.

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//The Face May 1992, pp6-7: Nick Logan’s editorial on the right//

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//PP58-59: Left, montage by Keith Piper/Right, Kate Moss by Enrique Badalescu, styling Camille Nickerson + Lucy Ewing//

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//PP38-39: Seen, Gilbert & George, 1989//

The theme of tolerance had been hatched by Benson’s predecessor Sheryl Garratt long before the dispute reached, in publisher Nick Logan’s words, “its unhappy conclusion”.

In terms of the magazine’s narrative, the issue affirmed The Face’s position as the lightning rod of the progress of popular culture in the inclusive 90s.

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//PP76-77: Left, George O’Dowd in his Absolutely Queer T-shirt – “Homophobes are fine. I just don’t want them near my children.”/Right, Rebel MC in Michiko Koshino T-shirt, Ezra Oban + Dominique Kelly in Katharine Hamnett Protect + Survive vests. Photos: Kate Garner + Thomas Krygier//

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//PP82-83: Left (top), Apachi Indian in One World shirt by Paul Smith, (below) Banderas in Love Sees No Colour shirts by Joe Casely-Hayford,/Right, Des’Ree in No To Negrophobia T-shirt by Trevor Norris. Photos: Kate Garner + Thomas Krygier//

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//PP84-85: Left, (top left) Paul Reid in Face Love outfit by Dirk Bikkembergs, (top right) Charlotte Champion + Gabriella Stonebridge in Jean Colonna and Martin Margiela, (below) Colin “Sweet C” McMillan in Love Sees No Colour T-shirt by Gio Goi and Turn Your Nose Up At Racism by Bella Freud/Right, Michael Clark in Nazi Shithead outfit by Leigh Bowery. Photos: Kate Garner + Thomas Krygier//

Designed by Boris Bencic and Lee Swillingham, the issue tipped the hat to those figures who had played a part in the 80s story – Boy George, Paul Smith, Leigh Bowery – and also hit the mark with the generation setting the pace for the new decade, whether it be Joe Bloggs, Kate Moss or Martin Margiela.

Produced in an all-hands-to-the-pump atmosphere, with Logan and Garratt in daily court attendance and the all-too-real prospect of forced closure as a result of the huge legal bills resulting from the Donovan case, The Face May 1992 is a cracking issue, one which stands up as a consummate example of journalistic excellence achieved under duress.

Legacy: The story of The Face is published by Thames & Hudson in autumn 2015.

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Coming this week: Lucy Harrison’s multi-layered Carnaby Echoes + Nick Knight’s PUNK at Showstudio

Sep 1st, 2013

//Clockwise from top left: Cover, Helen And Desire, 1970; George O'Dowd, photo: Richard Bevan, 2013; Carnaby Street book and Palisades swing tag, 1970 and 1966; front cover, Anarchy In The UK newsprint fanzine, 1976//

I’m involved in a couple of events which open in London this week: artist Lucy Harrison’s multi-layered project Carnaby Echoes in the West End and photographer Nick Knight’s exhibition Punk at his Showstudio space in SW1.

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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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Bowie Style tonight: In conversation with Boy George at the V&A

Apr 9th, 2013

Tonight I am hosting an event at London’s Victoria & Albert Museum: an ‘in conversation’ with Boy George about the importance and influence of popular culture’s greatest manipulator of visual identity, David Bowie.

//George O'Dowd overlooked by Big Brother in his room at a squatted house in Carburton Street, central London, 1978.//

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Scenes from the launch of The Look in Soho 2006: Boy George, Pippa Brooks, Mark Powell, Kevin Rowland et al

Feb 28th, 2013

This film by Rik and Jane Gadsby of the May 2006 London launch of the second edition of my book The Look has just been posted online; it really evokes the good time that everyone had that night.

Pippa Brooks and her band All About Eve Babitz played and DJs included George O’Dowd.

The party was held at the premises of Raymond Revuebar, which by that time was Two II Much (dunno what it is these days). I was very touched when Kevin R. talked about how important he viewed the book and my work. “This is our culture,” he says in the clip above.

Enjoy.

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Television: ARTE’s London Calling

Jun 14th, 2012

Continental Europe appears to have gone bananas for British popular culture this Jubilympics* summer, hence Franco-German arts channel ARTE’s new four-part series London Calling.

The programme was made by seasoned documentarist Simon Witter and looks to be a treat (particularly the intelligent use of archive material; great to see rare footage of John Stephen striding along Carnaby Street).

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SXSW installations: The look of music

Mar 16th, 2012


If you’re in Austin TX – and there’s a chance you might be since hundreds of thousands of people have descended on the city for the annual SXSW film/music/interactive conflab taking place there this week – try and nip along to the Ray Ban Legendary Visions house at 78 Rainey Street on the eastside for a gander at the room collages/installations I have engineered to reflect my take on the look of music.

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Interview for ARTE documentary on British music’s scenemakers

Dec 6th, 2011
ARTE crew setting up in basement for interview for look of British music doc.

//TV crew sets up in the basement.//

Yesterday I was visited by a camera crew for an interview about the behind-the-scenes individuals who have made the difference to British popular music over the years.

The team, from Kobalt Productions in Berlin, are producing the documentary for Franco-German arts channel ARTE. The director is Simon Witter, who has a fine pedigree in journalism and broadcasting.

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