Paul Gorman is…

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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The Clash: Rare sketches by Derek Boshier in the Flowers Gallery archive

May 14th, 2014
42003

//Sketch for songbook cover, 13 x 9″. Derek Boshier 1979 courtesy Flowers Gallery//

While interrogating materials for Rethink/Re-Entry – the monograph of artist Derek Boshier I am editing – I’ve come across many delights, including these sketches in the Flowers Gallery archive for one of the most visually striking documents of the post-punk era, CLASH 2nd Songbook.

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Derek Boshier: David Bowie + The Clash at Pallant House this summer

May 2nd, 2012

//Sketches for Lodger gatefold cover, 1979.//

//Front, Clash 2nd Songbook, Music Sales Ltd, 1978. 12" x 9", 60pp (inc covers).//

Artist Derek Boshier’s practice is marked by his engagement with contemporary culture; this has been a consistent aspect of his work since the earliest days of the British Pop movement.

When popular music has invigorated the wider world, Boshier has been present, incorporating Buddy Holly into his painting I Wonder What My Heroes Think Of The Space Race? in Ken Russell’s defining 1962 Monitor piece Pop Goes The Easel, and providing one of the most vivid visual documents of the punk and post-punk era, Clash 2nd Songbook.
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The mystery of Pierre Laroche’s Breakfast, The Who at Charlton + the tragic demise of Alkasura’s John Lloyd

Mar 22nd, 2012

Pierre's Breakfast, 1974, by Willie Christie.

I am beguiled by this photograph, which is entitled Pierre’s Breakfast and was taken by Willie Christie at David Hockney’s house in Notting Hill on May 18, 1974.

The identities of the two individuals on the left are a mystery*; with Clark (in the white jumpsuit) are make-up artist Pierre Laroche, Marianne Faithfull and Michael Roberts (then writer/photographer at The Sunday Times, now Vanity Fair’s fashion/style director). Behind the group are a selection of artist Mo McDermott’s signature painted wooden tree sculptures.

Laroche, who had worked at Elizabeth Arden for five years before taking up with rock & roll when he was recruited by Brian Duffy for the cover of David Bowie’s 1973 album Aladdin Sane, engaged Willie Christie for the May 74 session for a potential magazine feature.

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Monster V&A design book: Bubbles, Hirst, The Queen + Bowie get special treatment…but where’s Malcolm?

Mar 21st, 2012

British Design from 1948: Innovation in the Modern Age

British Design From 1948: Innovation In The Modern Age – the new book accompanying the forthcoming show at the V+A – is a bumper edition: 400 pages weighing in at 5lbs.

It’s cheering to see Barney Bubbles’ design Ian Dury With Love granted upfront prominence; the poster is in select company given special treatment by the book’s designer, Barnbrook’s Daniel Streat. The others are: Cecil Beaton’s 1953 coronation portrait of The Queen, a shot of Damien Hirst’s Notting Hill restaurant Pharmacy and Brian Duffy’s Aladdin Sane portrait of David Bowie.

Barney Bubbles' Ian Dury poster treated by Jonathan Barnbrook

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