Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Helmut, Master of Naughty

Here my newest article on the Columbia Journal blog about the recent Helmut Newton retrospective in Paris.

Heroine chic before the "e" got chopped off.

Cindy Crawford by Helmut Newton, US Vogue 1991 - full shoot here

Helmut Newton, Bergstrom, au-dessus de Paris, 1976

Helmut Newton, Crocodile Eating Ballerina (Pina Bausch Tanztheater), 1983

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Text, Art

This week I found out that my favourite text-based artist Jenny Holzer is having a tandem retrospective at the Sprueth Magers galleries in Berlin and London.

Damage is done...Text: Living Series (1980-1982), 1981
Courtesy - Sprueth Magers
The shows include her punchy and disturbing Living Series lines from the 1980s, inscribed on plaques and benches - example: "Someone Wants To Cut A Hole In You And Fuck You Through It, Buddy." You can also see her more recent and openly political work, such as redacted top secret documents from the US government

Along with that, my Polophilia rejoices at the discovery that Holzer is a fan of  W. Szymborska and Czesław Miłosz, and has over the years projected their poems onto a number of landmark buildings across the world.

Jenny Holzer's "For the Guggenheim", 2008, text from View with a Grain of Sand by W. Szymborska

For the Milosz Year 2011, Royal Castle in Cracow

 Poems in New York, 2 minutes

Here a good little inter-over-view with Jenny, and some of her classic stuff to finish up. 

Culture Show - Andrew Graham-Dixon interviews Jenny Holzer, 2010

Protec Me From What I Want - Times Square, 1986

Abuse of Power Comes As No Surprise - 1983, from Truisms

Friday, 1 June 2012


Dolly by Andy - 1985

A spontaneous celebration of Dolly Parton. On Sunday I heard a woman sing Jolene at a street party, and it occured to me how formidable and underrated she really is. 

     Dolly Parton, Jolene (1974)

With this on my mind and lips, I started to dig into Dolly's life. Here my favourite facts which made me a fan.  

  • It was Johnny Cash who encouraged Dolly to become a pro.
  • Dolly has written 3,000 songs and sold over 100 million albums. Elvis wanted to cover I Will Always Love You and take half the publishing rights, but Dolly stuck to her guns 
  • Dolly wrote I Will Always Love You for Porter Wagon, the dude who announces her in the Jolene clip and with whom she sang duets for many years. They never went out. Despite his flabbergasting jacket collection.

Dolly Parton and Porter Wagoner - The Last Thing on My Mind 

  • In 1982 Dolly starred in a movie called The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas. You can watch the whole thing here.
  • Dolly the sheep - the first cloned mammal - was named after Ms Parton. Because the donor cell used for the cloning was taken from a mammary gland.

    • We Got Tonight, with Kenny Rogers. Gotta love her cheek

    • Last but not least, Dolly owns an entire theme park - Dollywood. It features a replica of the hut she grew up in and it used to have a museum called "Rags to Riches: The Dolly Parton Story". Dollywood is officially the most popular tourist attraction in Tennessee.


    Versatile Dolly
    Dolly and Mick - 1977
    Dolly, Cindy Sherman-esque

    Like a busty Paris Hilton, with Cher

    Everybody comes to Dollywood