To mark the publication of my piece about Derek Boshier’s creative collaborations with David Bowie in this month’s British GQ, here is a photograph taken when the rock star visited the artist and his family at his home outside London in the early 90s.
Exclusive: Published for the first time anywhere – photograph of David Bowie with Derek Boshier and his daughters
The installation of Rethink/Re-entry, the exhibition at central London gallery Flowers showcasing important works by Derek Boshier from the 1970s as well as collages and films made in the last year, is all-but complete.
These shots were taken yesterday as co-curator Guy Brett and I worked with the Flowers team on sequencing and final selection for the show, which opens tomorrow (October 7).
Next Thursday (October 8) I will be in conversation with artist Derek Boshier at Flowers Gallery in Cork Street in London’s Mayfair.
This marks the publication of Rethink/Re-entry, the Boshier monograph I have edited, as well as the exhibition of the same name I am curating at Flowers with the writer/curator Guy Brett.
Read my piece on the stylistic changes rung by David Bowie during the early 70s on The Guardian’s men’s fashion pages here.
I discuss his fashion collaborations with Freddie Burretti, Daniella Parmar and Kansai Yamamoto and talk about the Pin-Ups suit from City Lights Studio designed by Derek Morton. Hope you enjoy.
The story of the Sex shop leather hood: From harmless fetish attire (as sported by David Bowie?) to theatre of cruelty design totem
//Left: Detail of photo of model posing in leather Sex hood, autumn 1974. Photo: © David Parkinson. Right: David Bowie in leather hood, summer 1974, Sherry Netherland Hotel, New York. Photo: Dana Gillespie//
My recent post about David Bowie’s visits in 1974 to 430 King’s Road when it was in its Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die incarnation prompted Facebook friend and DJ Graham “Sugarlump” Evans to alert me to Polaroid photographs of David Bowie trying out make-up, hair and styling options in preparation for his Diamond Dogs tour of the US that year.
In one, as Evans points out, Bowie posed in a leather hood of similar style to the model sold at 430 as it was transformed over a period of six months from TFTL to fetish emporium Sex.
David Bowie’s unwitting role in the transformation of 430 King’s Road from Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die to SEX
It is a little known fact that David Bowie was an occasional visitor to 430 King’s Road when it was operating as Too Fast To Live Too Young To Die.
This manifestation of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood’s revolutionary boutique – which paid design tribute to the fetishistic studded leather attire of Britain’s early 60s Ton Up Boys and rockers and sold the cult clothing associated with 40s mobsters and Latino zoot suit rioters – succeeded the 50s outlet Let It Rock in the early spring of 1973, as noted at the time by the fashion writer Catherine Tennant in British Vogue.
Long-awaited monograph Derek Boshier: Rethink/Re-entry to be published by Thames & Hudson in October
“As an artist Derek Boshier has never lost his sense of wonder at the world” – David Hockney
The publication date of Derek Boshier: Rethink/Re-entry – the monograph of the great British artist I have edited – is confirmed as October 5.
Published by Thames & Hudson with a preface by David Hockney, Rethink/Re-entry contains 300-plus illustrations, from student exercises in the mid-50s to current works including the cover, a new portrait of Hockney and chapter openers especially designed by Boshier for the project.
LP artwork distilled, venue interiors re-appraised and video portraits of Ian Brown, Matt Johnson and Richard Strange at Peter Wilkins’ Lost In Music
In the 21st century, when digital downloads displaced compact discs as the format of consumer choice, music went naked into the world, unadorned by design or packaging. Yet this in turn gave rise to vigorous rear-guard action in the growing appreciation of what was fast disappearing. As if from the dead, vinyl made a comeback and the fan in Wilkins places him in a key position to cogitate this phenomenon.
From my text for the Lost In Music catalogue
“In those minutes, you could see he really was about to become a major pop star.”
In The Guardian today, photographer pal and hero Joe Stevens has picked a favourite image from his six-decade career: a slightly tousled David Bowie and a French railway guard at a Paris station.
According to my copy of Kevin Cann’s definitive Bowie diary Any Day Now this would have been May 3, 1973; Bowie had travelled by train from Japan, on the Trans-Siberian Express through Russia, Poland and Germany in the company of the late NYC legend Leee Black Childers and Bowie’s friend and backing vocalist Geoff MacCormack.
Stevens’ captured Bowie at a moment of transformation; alighting blearily in dress-down mode from the train, the rock star was met by wife Angie and a gaggle of glamorous friends. In a matter of minutes he had changed into the Freddie Buretti-designed outfit seen here and was swept away to a reception and press conference in the Rouge Room of the George V Hotel.
Just in shot – and identifiable by his frizz and shoulder bag strap – is Joe’s NME compadre (and another pal and hero) Charlie Murray.
Read Joe’s reminiscence here.
I am proud to say I edited Kevin Cann’s book Any Day Now: David Bowie The London Years 1947-74. It is a thoroughgoing delight and highly recommended – if you don’t already own it, purchase a copy here.
Charles Shaar Murray wrote a wonderful preface to my music press history In Their Own Write (which he ended with the following note to me: “You bastard. You’ll be hunted down and strangled like a dog for this.”)
Copies of In Their Own Write are available here.
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.