Saturday, 7 May 2011

The Shoot

A 60s inspired photoshoot that combines young fashion with revolutionary protest.

Photography: Lisa JC
Model: Rachael Robson
MUA & Hair: Julie Ann Pattinson>

Friday, 6 May 2011

Profile: Andy Warhol

By Lisa Cowell

Andy Warhol has been branded one of the most influential artists of all time for founding the new wave art movement, pop art.

Warhol talents stretched further than just a painter. He was a renowned filmmaker, print maker, and also was an author of several books.

As a young boy born in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (1928), Warhol became an outcast at school after contracting Cholera in Third Grade. The months spent in recovery gave Warhol a fear Hospitals and he later became a hypochondriac. He spent most of his time at home with his Mother and fantasised about the Hollywood lifestyle often gathering magazine cut-outs of movie-stars.

In 1949 Warhol realised his passion for art and went on to study commercial art at the School of Fine Arts at Carnegie Institute of Technology in Pittsburgh. Here he experimented with modest ink drawings of shoes which would be taken with him when he moved to New York in 1949.

Warhol’s flare for art began to peak and RCA records employed him to design LP covers. During the first few years of the 1950s Warhol was starting to imagine a new commercial art movement which would be branded, pop art.

The famous pop art collection first exhibited at numerous New York galleries. In the exhibition was iconic works of 100 Soup Cans and 100 Coke Bottles. In the 60s both the soup cans and the Coke bottles were later turned into silk-screened prints and would both auction for millions in future years.

Warhol’s work was heavily criticised as ‘unoriginal’ but the world was taking notice and soon the birth of the Factory appeared in the early 60s.

The aluminium lined Factory was a place for artistic, upcoming underground bohemians, who basked in the swinging decade. Warhol branded his people “Superstars” which included Ultra Violet, The Velvet Underground & Nico, and Edie Sedgwick to name a few. More than 2000 photos of the Factory were shot during its time.

The Hollywood fantasy lifestyle was quickly coming true for Warhol as he regularly mixed with the famous and even carried his love into paintings making further silk-screened prints of Marilyn Monroe and Elvis Presley.

Filmmaking became a usual scene in the Factory where Warhol would direct hundreds of critically acclaimed films like Poor Little Rich Girl, featuring Edie Sedgwick, and the well-known Chelsea Girls.

Some critics coined Warhol’s films as pornographic as themes of nudity, homosexuality, and fetishism often came into play.

The Factory was thriving full of eccentrics many who were under the influence of drugs. But all that was short lived when Valerie Solanas entered the Factory shooting Warhol in the chest. The attacked was sparked after being rejected from the Factory when asking for the script she wrote for S.C.U.M Manifesto and was never given payment for her appearance in the Warhol film I, a Man. Solanas stressed she thought Warhol had “too much control” on her life, which was a popular scenario found with other “Superstars” of the Factory, like Edie Sedgwick who committed suicide aged 28.

Since the attack the Factory became quiet and gained unwanted media attention which aided the demise of the art world’s hub.

From the 70s onward Warhol’s media image decreased and was known for doing business collaborations for musician album covers like Mick Jagger and Aretha Franklin. He also published his book The Philosophy of Andy Warhol.

Warhol died in February 1987 from a persisting gallbladder problem. He gave the majority of his earnings to the “advancement of the visual arts”. Most of his work now lies in museums sharing a creative legacy around the world.

Profile: Hunter S. Thompson

By Lisa Cowell

Hunter S. Thompson was the first writer to popularise Gonzo Journalism, a form of New Journalism that was used in the 1960s.

Thompson was born in Kentucky, 1937, with 2 brothers and later lost his father at 14 years old. His mother, Virginia, struggled to cope with her husband’s death leading to alcoholism.

Although Thompson was often in trouble at school he showed great potential as a writer. In 1952 he was accepted by a school-sponsor to be a member of the Anthaeum Literary where he regularly contributed articles to the literary yearbook.

The damaging effects of Thompson’s childhood resulted in several troubles with the law including an arrest for assisting on a robbery in 1956. He served 30 days in prison.

As part of Thompson’s sentence he served in the US Air Force and started to write sport journalism for The Command Courier. In 1958, Thompson was discharged from his service and relocated to New York City to study Creative Writing at Columbia University School of General Studies.

During the time Thompson was in New York he worked for Time as a $51 a week copy boy. After being fired from Time for insubordination and then from The Middletown Daily Record for an angry dispute with a candy machine, Thompson moved to San Juan, Puerto Rico.

Thompson’s endeavour in San Juan to work for El Sportivo quickly ended when the magazine folded before it had a chance to begin. However, his move to Puerto Rico was not all lost as he frequently travelled throughout South America and to the Caribbean where he would work for numerous local newspapers.

When returning to America in 1961 Thompson started to work as a security guard for Big Sur Hot Springs. His position only lasted 8 months but the 1960s was the beginning of for coming opportunity.

During the 60s Thompson wrote two novels, Prince Jellyfish and The Rum Diary. Prince Jellyfish had little success and The Rum Diary did not get published till 1998.

In 1965, the editor of The Nation, gave Thompson a break to write his story about
the Californian-Hells Angels. Once the article was published in May of ’67 Thompson was severely ‘stomped’ by the Hells Angels after they believed he was using them to seek royalties. His book Hell's Angels: The Strange and Terrible Saga of the Outlaw Motorcycle Gangs was released and praised by The New York Times.

Thompson’s new success found him working for prestigious magazines like Esquire, Rolling Stone and Times Magazine.

He famously wrote the article “The Hashbury is the Capital of the Hippies” in ’67 for the Times that stated the Hippie Counter-Culture had lost its political stance and become nothing more than a mere drug den for newcomers.

The 60s was almost over and Thompson’s success was at a high. His controversial drugs use was no secret and his extravagant writing style gave Thompson a signature.

Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was published in 1972 and received outstanding acclaim. The book’s character, Raoul Duke, plays an exaggerate likeness to Thompson being an erratic journalist with a tendency to dabble in drugs. The next instalment of his novels was Fear and Loathing on the Camping Trail 1972.

From the 1980s onwards Thompson released the novel The Curse of Lono and a small film adaption of his early work, Where the Buffalo Roam, starring Bill Murray. Unfortunately since the success of Fear and Loathing Thompson’s later work did not resurface his full potential once showed.

The last book Thompson wrote was Kingdom of Fear. It was a collection of notes and stories he had gathered over the years. Many were angry statements against the so-called ‘American Dream’.

Gonzo Journalism is now recognised throughout the world and Hunter S. Thompson was its creator. In 1998, Director Terry Gilliam, released the cult film adaption of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, featuring Johnny Depp as Raoul.

Thompson’s novel, The Rum Diary, is also to appear at cinemas in 2011 with good friend Johnny Depp again playing lead role.

Profile: The Rolling Stones

By Lisa Cowell

The Rolling Stones first formed in 1962 starting as a 6 piece rock band consisting of Brian Jones, Ian Stewart, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Bill Wyman.

First influenced by blues music they took inspiration from legendary singers Muddy Waters and Chuck Berry. It wasn’t till 1965 when their album December’s Children showed the band in a new light of Rock music casting aside their more bluesy tones releasing songs like “I Can’t Get No Satisfaction” and “Get Off of My Cloud”.

Original member Brian Jones who first led the band was quickly replaced by Jagger and Richards. His role in the band started to diminish and he soon developed a serious drug addiction. Jones, guitarist and harmonica player, became a liability when he was refused an American visa hindering the band’s efforts to tour abroad. In 1969 Jones ‘quit’ the band and weeks later was found dead in his swimming pool.

Brian Jones’ replacement, Mick Taylor, left in 1974 after only a few weeks of joining the band and was later replaced with long term band mate Ronnie Wood.

The band continued to perform their Stones in the Park concert in London, Hyde Park, and sang as a tribute to the death of Brian Jones. More than 250,000 fans attended.

Let it Bleed was the last album of the sixties to be released featuring such songs as “You Can’t Always Get What You Want” and “Gimme Shelter”.

In 1969 the band played at the Altamont Speedway Festival, San Francisco, where the Hells Angels provided security. It came to an unfortunate end when fan, Meredith Hunter, was brutally attacked and stabbed to death when realising he was armed.

Despite the shocking events at the Altamont Speedway Festival, the Rolling Stones were key figures in the 60s ‘British Invasion’ and their success throughout the US and Europe only increased.

The Rolling Stones were branded “The Greatest Rock n’ Roll Band in the World” and have sold over 22 studio albums in the UK and an estimated 200 million albums have been sold worldwide. Rolling Stones magazine ranked the band number 4 in the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

In 2008 director Martin Scorsese filmed a movie-documentary called Shine a Light following part of the Rolling Stones’ “A Bigger Bang” tour. Band mates, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Ronnie Wood, and Charlie Watts, still continue to perform.