Today, we're celebrating Art Frahm day, a holiday in which we celebrate tyhe great pinup painter. Famous for the coppertone ad, Frahm's suacier pictures often feature an unexpected graphic signature. His pantie losing women are frequently carrying celery!
Leonard Cohen was on PBS Newshour today Australian time. Yes, we see it slightly delayed here and I'll watch it if it's on. The timelag means that I watched the US episode screened 'yesterday' with a few hours delay, late 'today'. [If you're confused you just sampled what it's like to live in my head]
Aside from keeping me conversant in American politics, it often rewards with the cultural pieces and occasional Gore Vidal essay.
No mention is made of unmade beds or waiting limos.
from the PBS site:
Thousands by Leonard Cohen
Out of the thousands who are known or want to be known as poets, maybe one or two are genuine and the rest are fakes, hanging around the sacred precincts, trying to look like the real thing. Needless to say, I am one of the fakes and this is my story.
I've lifted this wholesale, it's Australian public property. Highlighted in blue is one of the most provocative things said about Warhol subsequent to his death. I have a couple of responses but I'm saving them for now, the proposition warrants consideration.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Now to the man who's been called the "father of Pop Art", Peter Blake. Long before Andy Warhol arrived on the scene, Blake realised celebrities and industrial design could have their place in art. In the 1960s he was so hip that when it came time for the Beatles to make a cover for their psychedelic masterpiece 'Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band', they called on him. And , or Sir Peter as he's now called, has continued to produce art for numerous pop bands and art galleries ever since. Mark Bannerman reports.
MARK BANNERMAN, REPORTER: Say the words "pop art" and one man comes to mind. His name - Andy Warhol. But if Warhol perfected the form, you may be surprised to know, the true father of Pop Art came from the other side of the Atlantic. His name, Peter Blake.
SIR PETER BLAKE, ARTIST: My interpretation would be that there was a dinner party in London with a group of young artists, a critic called Lawrance Adderway, and that at that dinner party he invented the phrase to describe the work I was doing at that point. I mean, that's my story. There would be a million other stories.
MARK BANNERMAN: That's your story and you're sticking to it?
SIR PETER BLAKE: Sticking to it, and it's true.
MARK BANNERMAN: Controversial this may be, but Peter Blake has some major supporters. In the late '50s and early 1960s, Blake's work was deemed so groundbreaking the film director Ken Russell made him the centrepiece of this documentary called 'Pop Goes the Easel'. The emphasis on 'pop'.
SIR PETER BLAKE: Well, what I was trying to do, and it didn't succeed, if you think of an art equivalent to music, you've got classical music, you've got Beethoven and Mozart. At the other end of the spectrum or in a different area, you've got pop music. But what I wanted to do was an art equivalent. If a girl liked Elvis to listen to, I hoped that she would like my painting of Elvis.
SIR PETER BLAKE (ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE): This is a Kim Novak wall. I've done other walls...the Everly Brothers, Superman and Shirley Temple.
MARK BANNERMAN: If making art accessible to the people seems innocent enough, that's not the way it was seen 40 years ago. With their do-it-yourself quality, Pop Art paintings like these created outrage. But there was a sense in which Pop Art was something that apparently almost anyone could do, and it was a kind of a con, was that ever put to you?
SIR PETER BLAKE: Well, again, that wasn't what I was doing. I mean, you could accuse Andy Warhol of that, for instance. I mean, you could say, "Well, there's no reason for instance, why the Warhol industry ever had to stop when he died." Because the technicians could still make it. There must be a library of images that he left and quite often he didn't sign his pieces anyway. So that industry could go on.
MARK BANNERMAN: And that, of course, begs a major question about Andy Warhol. What's your view of him as an artist now, all this time on?
SIR PETER BLAKE: He was, of all people, he was very subversive, I think probably quite cruel. He was incredibly clever.
MARK BANNERMAN: Do you think he was clinical?
SIR PETER BLAKE: Yeah, very.
MARK BANNERMAN: That disturbed you in a way?
SIR PETER BLAKE: It doesn't now, now I can understand - I suppose at the time, too, I was perhaps a little bit jealous of their fame and financial success.
MARK BANNERMAN: Jealous he may have been, but with Swinging London at its peak, Peter Blake was about to be offered a job Warhol might have killed for. The Beatles didn't want Blake to simply paint their portrait, they wanted him to do the cover artwork for their soon to be released masterpiece 'Sergeant Pepper's. The record was set up around a fictional band preparing to play a pretend concert. Peter Blake had a cover in mind.
SIR PETER BLAKE: I think what I brought to it was the idea that by building the whole thing in the studio, life-size, we could make a crowd that could be their ideal crowd. They could choose who they wanted their fans to be.
MARK BANNERMAN: Oh I see, so that was going to be the audience, in effect?
SIR PETER BLAKE: Yes.
MARK BANNERMAN: So, in that sense, how much of it was their idea and how much of it was yours? They sort of gave you the brief and you had to come up with that audience.
SIR PETER BLAKE: Paul thinks it was all his idea. He'll claim the ground. If I don't claim what I did, he would assume he did it all and I think he believes that in a funny way. But I think my big contribution was this idea of the crowd and actually making it, making it happen.
MARK BANNERMAN: For many artists 'Sergeant Pepper's could have been the high point and the beginning of an endless decline. Not so for the now Sir Peter Blake. There have been many more record covers amidst a massive body of work. There had to be a Brian Wilson here, didn't there?
SIR PETER BLAKE: There was always going to be Brian Wilson.
MARK BANNERMAN: But if Sir Peter likes to keep pop at the centre of his work, he also knows like the stars he displays, he is ageing.
SIR PETER BLAKE: I'm 74 on Friday and there is a kind of countdown, I think, and I'm very conscious of that. In fact, the date on my birthday, I've decided I'm moving into my late period and so I'm going to have a stencil made that says, "Peter Blake, late period." And everything from then...it gives me carte blanche to be barmy like Picasso's late work. So who knows what will happen. I mean it's exciting now.
MARK BANNERMAN: Who knows, indeed. Sir Peter's latest project has been to redesign The Who's record cover for their new concert album. And while we're asking questions, there is one final one I wanted to hear the answer to, even if it is perhaps a little premature. So tell me this, what do you want them to say to sum you up when you're gone?
SIR PETER BLAKE: Well, um, if it can only be one phrase I I'd like it to be that "he made magic", which isn't really about the pop art so much, but I think "he made magic" would be a good one.
MARK BANNERMAN: Not a bad epitaph.
SIR PETER BLAKE: It would be a nice one.
KERRY O'BRIEN: Mark Bannerman with Sir Peter Blake, now officially barmy
What is Mallman? This overly long article starts to answer the question and reveals that they had the poor taste to ask Stanley to show them Room 100. I don't think that I could survive the glare I imagine that such a request might attract.
The author then closed his potentially depressing - but somehow still uplifting - book and offered to sign copies over by the bar. But, first, he had to let his one-time-only partner bring the proceedings to a close with that old chestnut “My Way” - the Frank Sinatra, Elvis Presley AND Sid Vicious versions, to be exact. Mallman began the tune with a slow piano intro and Rat Pack warble that would have made the Chairman of the Board raise his shot glass in a toast. He then got up from the piano and bounded into a pelvic shaking strut that would have scared - or delighted - Ed Sullivan. He and his band then concluded the piece with an assault on the senses that would have shaken the walls of Klosterman’s most infamous tour spot, the Chelsea Hotel (whose management was less than enthusiastic about showing the author the room where Vicious [allegedly- ed] killed his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen). Mallman and company then sauntered off the stage, leaving the crowd to cheer, clap and demand that other old standby, the encore. Being his own man and a virulent anti-traditionalist - and perhaps saving his strength for his next installment of “Marathon” - Mallman did not give in to their demands. Instead, the lights slowly came on, and Klosterman slid behind the bar to begin signing editions.
Ed Hamilton, frequent contributor to the corporate crypto-propaganda blog Living with Legends has had his remarkable piece on Stormé Delarverié and the New York drag summit published at the Huffington Post. If you haven't read it yet, hop on over. It's a clever little piece that picks up on many of the dilemmas facing GLBT populations today. I was left contrasting the living legend that is Storme with the recent assault on Kevin Aviance and wondering if we've really come as far as we would like to think.
"Fashion is for people who don't have style"- Vivienne Westwood.
From some trash peddling website, this piece of unmitigated nonsense about Sienna and 'the Edie look'. I personally will injure any nongs seen wearing Edie hair who can't answer five basic questions about the woman!
SHAG Salon offers a bold cut inspired by Sienna Miller’s latest ’do in “Factory Girl.” The movie won’t hit theaters until the end of the summer, but Miller’s style and her portrayal of Andy Warhol’s playmate Edie Sedgwick is already making waves.
“It’s sexy, clean, ’60s mod look - ultra short blond on top with hints of chocolate brown underneath and heavy on the bangs - very ‘Quadrophenia,’ ” said SHAG owner Sandy Poirier.
We watched a fascinating film from the 1970s renaissance in Australian cinema called Oz [20th Century Oz in the US] last night.
Oz, released in 1976, is a glam-rock road movie that could sit comfortably with other classics such as the Rocky HorrorPicture Show or the Phantom of the Paradise. Oz is a no budget film that retells the Wizard of Oz story against a dramatically different backdrop.
Borrowing from IMDB:
Dorothy is a sixteen-year-old groupie riding with a rock band when, suddenly, the van is in a road accident, and she hits her head. She wakes up in a fantasy world as gritty and realistic as the one she came from and learns she killed a young thug in the process. A gay clothier called the Good Fairy gives her a pair of red shoes as a reward to help her see the last concert of the Wizard, an androgynous rock singer. She is pursed by the thug's brother who attempts to rape her on several occasions. She also meets a dumb surfer, a heartless mechanic, and a cowardly biker.
This film screams to be seen on the cult circuit where, I believe, it was once paired as a double feature with RHPS. For the Rocky Horror trainspotters, there are several connections to the original Australian stagings of the Rocky Horror Show and the influence of the show is most apparent, particularly in the costuming. The Bowie-esque Wizard is a sight to behold. Extra fun can be had with the awful fashions to be seen. Oz provides a glimpse at how Australia looked, sounded and felt in 1976, when we still had a certain naive charm...
Below, commentary I submitted to IMDB is reproduced in a wilfull ignorance of having handed over my copyright to them.
I imagine that people outside Australia who are interested to see Oz will be rewarded for being resourceful- I have a permanent copy in my collection.
Wow! An amazing, lost piece of Australiana AND a lost 70s glam-rock film rolled into one. This film warrants viewing simply to see what can be done with next to no budget but a lot of enthusiasm. As a retelling of the Oz story, the film borders on becoming too obvious but it is saved by it's eccentricities. The chance for a glimpse at how glam rock manifested in Australia will delight fans of the genre. This film used to be double featured with the Rocky Horror Picture Show, an indicator of the type of film that Oz is. While not as frivolous or well constructed as RHPS it's hard not to have fun with Oz.
Surprisingly, Oz has aged well, perhaps a by-product of how determinedly set in the real Australia of 1976 it is. The passage of history shows that many of the ideas being explored would eventually enter the mainstream. The willingness of the film to give prominence to gay characters is notable, especially as it dates to the 'revolution' period for the Australian gay rights push.
The performances range from flinchingly amateur to finely nuanced brilliance. The direction is lacking in subtlety and much of the dialogue may have benefited from an extra draft or two. Somehow, these flaws add to the appeal of the film which is mercifully unpretentious. Much like Australia in the 1970s this film has a certain naive charm.
There are several connections to the original Australian stagings of the Rocky Horror Show which will keep obsessives on their toes.
Oz is most certainly a minor classic and a potential cult favourite worthy of review. Laugh at the atrocious 70s fashion, swing along with the AusRock soundtrack, leave ANY expectations at the door and Oz is likely to delight
Our compadres at Living with Legends are featuring a profile of proto-drag king and Stonewall veteran Storme Delarverié. Storme, an imposing figure with a heart of gold, lives at Hotel Chelsea where she is frequently to be found adding to the lobby ambience.