Paul Gorman is…

Eight Young Photographers: David Parkinson’s mould-breaking contribution to the 1971 exhibition

Nov 22nd, 2016
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//David Parkinson in the Eight Young Photographers catalogue, 1971. Image courtesy Mark Trompeteler//

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//Front, catalogue/fold-out poster, for the show which ran at the Photographers Gallery in Great Newport Street from April 6 to May 2, 1971. Courtesy Mark Trompeteler. No reproduction without permission//

Eight Young Photographers was the third exhibition to be held at the newly-opened Photographers Gallery at its original premises in Great Newport Street in London’s West End.

The gallery opened in January 1971 with a group show entitled The Concerned Photographer featuring, among others, Robert Capa, and followed that by simultaneously staging three exhibits, including a display of Polaroids taken by Andy Warhol.

Visitors to Eight Young Photographers, which ran during April and into early May that year, recall it as being an important staging post in the acceptance of photography as a subject worthy of artistic appreciation. Among the contributors was the late David Parkinson, about whom I have written often. He showed work alongside Mark Edwards, Meira Hand, Roger Birt, Sylvester Jacobs, Tim Stevens, Bob Mazzer and Mark Trompeteler (who has kindly retrieved the catalogue/poster for me from his archive).

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//From the Photographers Gallery listings. The show was preceded by an exhibition of Andy Warhol’s Polaroids//

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Sheila Rock: Early fashion styling captured the development of British menswear in the 70s

Sep 21st, 2016
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//Phil Lynott, styling Sheila Rock, photography Mick Rock, Club International, October 1973//

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//The Gentlemen At Number Ten, styling Sheila Rock, photography David Parkinson, Club International, December 1973//

To celebrate the opening next week of a new exhibition of work by photographer Sheila Rock, here is a selection of her early fashion styling.

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Unbelievable rarity: Undocumented Let It Rock clothing featured on 1972 budget LP + previously unpublished views of stock inside 430 King’s Road

Apr 12th, 2014
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//Front cover, Rock Archive, Various Artists, Windmill Records, 1972//

It is relatively common knowledge among those interested in the careers of Malcolm McLaren and Vivienne Westwood and their series of extraordinary shops that they supplied clothes to the 1973 album Golden Hour Of Rock & Roll; Let It Rock at 430 King’s Road was clearly credited on the back of the record sleeve.

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//Front cover, The Golden Hour Of Rock N Roll, Various Artists, Pye/Golden Hour, 1973//

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//The photograph on the Rock Archive cover was flipped to better accommodate the text. Here it is as originally shot//

But I have fresh information which helps towards a greater understanding of McLaren’s project to investigate the detritus of popular culture’s recent past. During a bout of research recently I came across this earlier and hitherto undocumented use of Let It Rock clothing in a music context: the front cover of Rock Archive, a budget LP compilation released by the specialist British independent label Windmill in 1972.

And I am detailing the clothes on the cover with images taken inside Let It Rock which have never been previously published.

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//Starke shirts with 50s sports jacket on Let It Rock wall, January 1972. Photograph: David Parkinson//

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//Starke label detail//

Each garment worn by the model – whose attempts at rocking out resulted in his giving every appearance of suffering considerable pain – comes from the deadstock of British brands assiduously assembled by Malcolm McLaren and his art-school friend Patrick Casey for the opening of the world’s first avowedly post-modern retail outlet in November 1971.

From the ground up, the Rock Archive cover star wore black suede Denson’s Fine Poynts, ice-blue Lybro jeans with 5in cuffs, a Frederick Starke flyaway collar shirt and a studded and decorated Lewis Leathers early 60s Lightning jacket (which featured a highly collectable 6-5 Special patch).

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Rescued from a skip on a rainy day in Manchester Square: May 68 print by Paul Wunderlich

May 3rd, 2013

//1968 print of Vor dem Vorhang//

//Hipgnosis fashion shoot for Club International, 1972//

An antiques restorer friend has pointed out that the early 70s fashion shoot by design studio Hipgnosis I recently featured here calls to mind the preoccupations with the female form of the late German artist Paul Wunderlich.

My friend – who wishes to remain anonymous – has offered as evidence a print of Wunderlich’s work Vor dem Vorhang (“Before the curtain”). The story of how he came by the artwork one squally day in central London seven years ago is remarkable:

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In conversation with Derek Boshier at Pallant House Gallery tomorrow night

Jun 27th, 2012

//Derek Boshier between his works Chemical Rocker and Chemical Pop (both 2008), Pallant House Gallery. Photo: Jason Hedges.//

Following his appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Midweek this morning, I will be in conversation with Derek Boshier tomorrow evening at Pallant House Gallery, home to the excellent exhibition of examples of the artist’s engagement with music (and in particular his collaborations with David Bowie and The Clash).

Derek Boshier + Paul Gorman, Pop Music private view, Pallant House Gallery, Chichester, June 22 2012.

//With Derek at last week's private view for his show and Peter Blake's Pop Music at Pallant House. Photo: Jason Hedges.//

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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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