Photographer Owen Humphreys captures thousands of starlings starting their murmuration near Gretna GreenContinue reading...
A resident of Paris for 60 years, Kleins photographs of 1950s New York caught the citys energy and grit and made his name. He talks about returning to Brooklyn, working for Vogue and being praised by Picasso
William Klein is a man of two cities: New York and Paris. The film-maker and photographer was born in the former, but has lived in the latter for more than 60 years, where I meet him at home. Now an octogenarian and quick with a quip he has lived for four decades in the same apartment, perched above the Jardin du Luxembourg. In his living room, books are heaped on the floor and on shelves, along with maneki-neko lucky cats, tribal masks and a stray baseball.
Klein has a gravelly voice and a playfully ornery manner. I ask him about his most recent body of work, a five-year photography project for Sony. Part one, Brooklyn + Klein, spans images of painted murals in Williamsburg, lounging bikini butts on Coney Island, dancing Hasidic men at a Jewish wedding, a Jamaican pride parade, and neon signs for halal meats.Continue reading...
The first major Andy Warhol exhibition in the north of England recreates the world of the Factory and the Exploding Plastic Inevitable and Warhol is revealed in all his compassion and searing insight
When I look at Andy Warhol paintings, I tend to play Velvet Underground songs in my head. The Velvets were the pop group Warhol managed and produced in the 1960s, their overwhelmingly harsh yet beguilingly poetic sound a fusion of Brooklynite Lou Reeds rocknroll animality and Welshman John Cales classical-music theory. I cant look at the hard, black, silk-screened skeletons of Warhols luridly coloured pictures without imaging Cales scraping electric viola, Reed drily declaring that hes made a big decision.
In Tate Liverpools utterly delightful Andy Warhol exhibition, you dont have to imagine those inimitable cascades of feedback, for the Velvet Underground are playing live. OK, not exactly live. Cale and mallet-using drummer Maureen Tucker are now the original bands only survivors. Yet a superbly devised installation recreates the club Warhol created to showcase their violent sound, the Exploding Plastic Inevitable, with whip-wielding dancers, a multicoloured lightshow and Warhols films projected in overlapping chaos.Continue reading...
Youve sent in some great assignment ideas for GuardianWitness so weve started a bi-weekly series based on your best suggestions
For this weeks assignment were interested in seeing your best landscapes and cityscapes, after ID2712813 sent in this photos of Monument Valley in Navajo.
The Guardians picture editors bring you a selection of the best photographs from around the world, including Guy Fawkes celebrations, the International hair styling festival and Scottish starling murmurations
Id always wanted to shoot in Berlin. But its a city of stairs and I found them hell since Ive got emphysema
In 2012, I had this gut feeling that we were living in a kind of interbellum, a period between two wars. It felt as if a huge thundercloud was heading our way. I sensed it in art and in the young and wanted to capture it.
I had wanted to photograph in Berlin for a long time and managed to find a ballroom that officers had danced in during the second world war. Its dilapidated but still in use. It made me think of a painting by Otto Dix called Salon, 1927, showing three elderly women and a younger one at a table. That became one aspect of the photograph, but I didnt have anything for my idea of the interbellum. Then, later, I was at an airport and saw children screaming and running around. It was a eureka moment. Thats how to add the power of youth, I thought, while the battle element would come from a struggle between youth and maturity.Continue reading...
He called them distortions or caricatures. For these unusual images, the notorious ambulance-chaser of New York City turned his lens on Marilyn Monroe, Barbra Streisand, Liz Taylor and high-society players, then doctored the pictures in his darkroom
- See them at the London Photograph Fair
An exhibition of images that were rejected by the UK's National Portrait Gallery is about to go on show in London, organized by Portrait Salon. In its fourth year, the organization will display 70 portraits from a submission of 1184 photographs, all of which have failed to make the shortlist for the 2014 Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize - a global portrait competition hosted by the National Portrait Gallery. Read more
Drift, maker of the Ghost-S and HD Ghost action cameras, has introduced its smallest model to date - the Stealth 2. Its diminutive size is the Stealth 2's most notable feature; the 3.42 ounce camera is half the size of its bigger sibling and weighs 40% less. Read more
Motor Town may be bankrupt and struggling for a new sense of purpose, but its soul will also be in its community spirit and diversity. The Dutch photographer Corine Vermeulens new exhibition showcases some of the characters that give the Michigan city hope for a brighter future
When Detroit filed for bankruptcy in the summer of 2013, Dutch photographer Corine Vermeulen was already envisioning the citys rebirth. A resident since 2006, she set up several walk-in portrait studios, including one at a rally for Trayvon Martin, the black teenager who was shot dead by George Zimmerman in Florida last year. The studios invited Detroiters to share their impressions of the city and dreams for its future as well as whatever else happened to be on their minds.
The portraits will go on display from 14 November in Photos of the Detroit Walk-In Portrait Studio at the Detroit Institute of Arts the photographers first solo museum show.Continue reading...
The Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM5 joins the Lumix DMC-GM1 in that company's line of extremely small interchangeable lens cameras. They use the same 16MP Four Thirds sensor in a compact camera-like body, but the GM5 adds enthusiast touches like an EVF and rear control dial that the beginner-focused GM1 doesn't have. We've taken it for a spin and put together a collection of real-world samples. See gallery
The band who perfectly blended new wave, punk, disco and hip-hop answered your questions on Parallel Lines, Patti Smith and the New York punk scene. Read their answers here
Thanks so much for all your questions, and thanks to Chris and Debbie for answering them so brilliantly.
kate halton asks:
What do you do to relax..?
C: Listen to Frankie Goes To Hollywood.
D: I just relax - put my feet up. Criminal Intent. Or I watch QI - I love it.
Do you currently have professional/creative goals or aims in life... and have they changed since the 70s?
C: I try not to be too professional, except to turn up on time for things. "Professional" indicates a kind of stiffness.
D: The idea of satisfying yourself in whatever you write... if you write something you're proud of, that's a goal, that's always a goal. You think you are a better songwriter now than back in the day?
It sounds like various members of the band were quite into mysticism and the occult (a heady combination!) How did that feed into the music? Is Rapture all about the varieties of ecstasy for example?
C: No, it's about the Second Coming.
D: You bastard!
Nick Dubulah would like to know:
what was it like recording zombie birdhouse with iggy pop?
C: It was great. Very memorable and weird. The phrase Zombie Birdhouse was completely improvised, just flew out of his mouth. At that point no-one was interested in him, so he went on my little dinky vanity label.
D: [drily] We're going to start a new label: New Music For Old Artists.
Do you think that pop music is the domain of young people?
C: Yeah, but it always has been. The Beatles were 20 years old when they emerged, as was everybody.
D: Pop music has always been the domain of the young - they make the discoveries, and it then becomes multi-generational. Pop is part of the mating game.
Lester Bangs: fried or foe?
D: Fried or foe? Both!
C: He died from Valiums, not KFC.
to Chris Stein & Clem Burke
as the 2 remaining original instrumentalists in the band, and given your different styles, are you finding your styles gelling a la Keith and Charlie as you get older, or do you have to work on arrangements and songs to keep things tight?
C: I'm not going to say I wish Clem sounded like Charlie... I don't know how much the Stones' style has changed over the years. I was always a Stones freak.
Was Parallel Lines an obvious drug reference? Who decided to cover Hanging on the Telephone by The Nerves?
D: No, it wasn't about drugs. I was about the idea of lives going along, separately but at the same pace, never really crossing - the idea of infinity. I went further with that with The Bride of Infinity. But Parallel Lines was about ships in the night, stuff like that. It was always our intention to be subliminal though, or double.
A bunch of us Durham Archaeology students were digging on Orkney - Summer 1979 - and on Saturday nights we would party playing Parallel Lines followed by Outlandos dAmour followed by Parallel Lines followed by Outlandos dAmour followed by Parallel Lines. You get the picture - great times! Did you write the lyrics first, write the music first or just jam and follow your inspiration? What was the creative process to produce an album of such outstanding and catchy songs.
C: What I find nervewracking about Broadway, is that they write the lyric first and the music is woven around, whereas in pop, music comes first, or at its best, simultaneously. What were you digging up, is what I want to know...
D: Vikings, that kind of stuff?
Rip Her To Shreds - a great song but are the lyrics really aimed at Patti Smith ?If so, why so . . . if not, why has the rumour persisted ?
D: Patti Smith - I'd love to have her child. She has a great talent, I love her honeyed vocals, the tone of her voice, and I like her storytelling ability. I love her knowledge of poetry, and her appreciation of literature.
And she dresses pretty good.
Chris, do you plan on writing your autobiography and is there any chance you will one day put out a compilation of all the camcorder footage you shot in the early 80s?
C: No-one has ever asked to see the camcorder footage before you, so probably not.
Gene Simmons - whos that? Oh, the glam rock band, a second rate Sweet or Slade - are they in the R&R Hall of Fame?
D: [in cockney accent] He's a big poof! I'd like to tie him down and wax his entire body.
C: Getting waxed in the demon makeup, that's the way to go. If Gene had his way, he'd be the only person in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Juicylicious asks about gender:
When lazy journos riffed that you were a man - did you take it as an insult or a compliment?I ask because people who dont know me assume (from my emails) that Im a man and its usually women (laughs). I have a gender neutral name and being called a fella* doesnt bother me. But equally Im not sure what it is about the way I write that presumes me to be male. What are your thoughts?
* Disclaimer: Im pretty glad I dont look like one but writing like one? Fine with it.
C: I think most dynamic female artistes have heard that they were once a man: Marlene Dietrich, Grace Jones... this is just more gender inequality and misogyny: if a woman is powerful, she might be a man.
D: Gender is just a big fucking mess. It's a big glandular mixup, it's up for grabs. They're applauding men who can express their feminine side, without saying women can express their masculine side. We both have everything, and we both have moments when we need to use them, and society is totally inhibiting and quite cruel really.
Do you think pop music will ever get its edge back, or is it now too much of an Industry?
C: I think there's as good stuff coming out now as there ever has been. People are a little resistant to the EDM thing, there are always purists in every form, every fanbase has crazy purists, but pop music today is just as exciting now. Songs I play over and over: Titanium by David Guetta and Sia, Chandelier by Sia I can't get the chorus out of my head even though I prefer the verse. Gotye, I listened to hundreds of times on repeat. Wake Me Up by Avicii is awesome. Teenage Dream by Katy Perry really stands up for me, I'm so happy to hear her not singing the melisma style that makes you sound like you're running while you're singing.
D: After you hear Avicii, you can just say 'fuck off' to the world. Fever Ray songs are amazing too. There are obviously strong hooks and melodies today. Great songwriters.
Two of your finest songs - Atomic and Heart of Glass - were completely made by Clems drumming. Dont you think you should have cut him in on the songwriting credits?
C: Thank you Clem!
Where will a milieu like 1970s New York next be created?
C: They are planning these Mars flights... I can definitely see a music scene coming out of an early Mars colony.
D: It's going to be strictly done via the internet, from Mars. Musicians are cowards though, they're never getting in a spaceship.
Mike Chapman claims you (Debbie) wrote the rap in Rapture in just five minutes, having left it right up until the moment the vocal needed to be recorded.
Is that story really true, or just a good yarn? Did you have ideas and lines in mind, or even a fully-formed lyric, before you started putting pen to paper that day?
C: That's just Mike's vision of it - memory is subjective! A lot of the rap was written beforehand, Debbie may have improvised some of it.
D: We did scribble some stuff during it.
sirmoonface wonders about the lyrics:
Can you explain the lyrics of Im On E? Ive never understood what you meant.
C: I don't know if ecstasy existed at the time.
D: Yes it did!
Hi Debbie I was wondering what your friendship was like with Jean-Michel Basquiat? Was it true that you bought one of his first works?
C: He'd been working on cardboard up to that point, and I said why don't you work on canvas? He made something on loose, unstretched burlap canvas. I bought it for $200; he went round telling everyone how much I'd ripped him off.
Among the photos collected together in the new book - which is your favourite/ holds the most meaning for you?
C: People ask us what our favourite song is - it changes. I always say they're movements in a larger piece, nothing stands out specifically. And with the photos, there are ones I like with certain aesthetic compositions. There's a picture of Richard Hell, with an arm reaching in and handing him a beer - it looks like a still from an old noir film.
D: They're very moody and evocative. Some of the scenic ones, that aren't in the book, are so moody. I love the snowy streets, the dilapidated buildings.
Michael Mckenna wonders:
When making the music videos for most of your songs was it a conscious decision to include Iconic images within these videos? Studio 54 sign, Ed Sullivan show, Twin Towers, Atomic bomb, rocket to the moon, alien being, New York, white suited black God, America Indian, Andy Warhol War etc. Or did you have any input? because most of your videos tell of a time in history?
C: This totally reminds me of the Kubrick Shining conspiracy theories, about the moon landing - that stuff was just there in our videos, there wasn't a lot of thought in it. It was just stuff we liked.
D: I was wearing a garbage bag, a pillow case - wearing things that weren't fashionable. It was a kind of anti-fashion. It went along with the deconstructed, torn-up look, which became somewhat commercial. It really went far with designers in England.
David Greenwood asks:
There was something very spontaneous about a lot of these photographs in the book. With all of the management / image / stylistic control etc. that is evident these days with a lot of our stars - do you think this type of rock / pop photography is now a thing of the past or do you think there will eventually be another punk like revolution on an artistic and visual level?
C: Some of those photoshoots that we did that to us were set up and worked out, were so limited. I'd do photo sessions now, with three assistants, a guy doing the lights, a guy doing computers; I'd have a hand held flash stuck to a wall. But I do see a lot of great casual stuff on Instagram all the time, great street photography - that won't go away. Follow me! @christein.
D: One of the first times we were here, people would call Chris Stein, Christine.
orange67 has a daft question:
Sweet or savoury? Im a potato chip man myself...my wifes a choccie fiend...
D: Sweet chilli chips. Best of both worlds.
What the hell was Videodrome?
C&D: Long live the new flesh.
Having memorably and brilliantly produced music from a wide range of genres, are there any genres or styles that you would still like to or wish you had recorded or written in? Are there any artists (past or present) you would most like to collaborate with?
D: We're still open to anything. We haven't done anything really primitive in a long time, that would be good.
C: We really hit on a lot of stuff over the years. I prefer German opera to Italian - but we never hit on any of that.
George Lucas asks:
Hi Debbie and Chris, The New York punk scene of the mid 70s seems wonderfully creative and eclectic, did you see a similarity in the London punk scene when you first played there or was it a completely different experience?
D: Not completely.
C: There was a political base to the UK punk scene that was less manifest in the US scene. Lyrics in American punk songs were rarely about the welfare system; here, everyone was talking about being on the dole.
beadleclaw would like to know:
David Cronenberg favours the shortbread, John Peel chose the fruit shortcake.
Whats your favourite biscuit?
C: I just finished David Cronenberg's first novel, Consumed, which I'd recommend to any fan of weirdness. We don't have biscuits - we have crackers or cookies. It's like porridge, we have oatmeal. Cookie? I avoid that stuff these days.
D: This all stems from the American Revolution - we keep the words but destroy the meaning.
Have you still got cats Debbie? How do you cope with not seeing them when touring?Keep writing and playing new music, and I love the raucous covers you do. What are your favourites?
D: I don't right now. I'd like to, but I'm never home. I'd have to be available for at least six months for a new cat.
C: I had seven cats at once, at one point. I was an official crazy cat lady. Honorary, anyways.
Who decides what songs are going to be covered and would you ever record studio versions of the unreleased ones for the fans to download? Id like to hear blondie cover xray spex or the knife.
C: I do a lot of cover picking, but Debbie comes up with a lot of stuff. I'd love to cover a Fever Ray or Knife song, but their stuff is so specific, it's tricky. We're doing a Groove Is In The Heart mashup, Beastie Boys stuff, Lights by Ellie Goulding - that's one of my favourite pop songs of all time.
Feckineejit would like to know:
Did you feel any animosity or jealousy from the Ramones once you started to sell records in very big numbers ?
C: No, I think it was always tongue in cheek. Joey said we sold out, but I don't think he meant it too sincerely.
Who would be your six ideal dinner guests?
C: Haile Selassie, Julius Caesar, Iggy Pop, Iggy Azalea, Gustav Mahler and Egon Schiele. That's just random.
D: David Cronenberg too!
Bettina Der Fuchs asks:
What do you think about the music of Lou Reed?
C: I think Lou will be inducted into the Hall of Fame this year. Metal Music Machine music, I used to play that a lot. He's missed. I heard a version of Heroin he did in 1965 that sounds like Donovan - it's amazing, it's like a folk song but it's him.
D: The way he delivers his lines, he's so down to earth. Very much about his freedom, he has a great sense of freedom. He was living a real New York rock'n'roll style of living, he just carried on and did all the things everyone did - but wrote about them in a very cool way.
New York in the late 70s was one of the most musically cosmopolitan places on earth: a confluence of the sexually liberated pump of disco, the bratty chug of punk, the tripping breaks of hip-hop and the nihilistic freedom of no-wave. And at the heart of it all were Blondie, drawing these threads together in a gloriously bright vision of pop.
Fronted by Debbie Harry, who seemed to be both slumming debutante and aspirational street kid all at once, their varied hooks still catch from the hard-edged Atomic to the ethereal Heart of Glass. They also looked the part, in a parade of leather and sunglasses.Continue reading...
As M&S report a drop in clothing sales but a rise in profits, we take a look at vintage pictures from the 1950s to the 80s of what was once, arguably, Britains favourite store
An exhibition by two London galleries brings together a huge range of groundbreaking photographs, showcasing the work of acclaimed photographers including Brassai, Bruce Davidson and Robert Mapplethorpe. Here are some of the highlightsContinue reading...
Tom Hanks loves typewriters, as he made clear when he co-developed an app that emulates the experience of writing with them. After debuting as a writer with a short story in the New Yorker last month, the Oscar-winning actor is taking his fascination to a new level: he has signed a deal to publish a collection of short stories inspired by the machines, which hes been collecting since 1978.
Hes in good company, as these classic photographs of writers at work reveal.
- Love typewriters too? Share the photos of your treasures and their stories here and we will publish the best
Lurking in the back alleys of New York, perched above the busy streets of Cairo and clinging to the grimy bricks of London, ghost signs provide an ephemeral link to a citys pastContinue reading...
Enthusiasts travel miles to photograph faded hand-painted adverts for products and businesses that no longer exist - symbols of defiance against the citys relentless progress
Theyve just knocked down an unremarkable little building on Latrobe Street, Melbourne, so they can throw up an apartment block sorry, an iconic 43-storey residential tower with a jewel box podium. When the old building went down, it revealed the words Paragon Printers in fading paint on an adjacent brick wall. But not for long: the next time I passed, that wall had gone too, revealing another wall behind it, with a vibrant blue sign bearing the words Henry Richardson, Saw Maker and Importer. For a few days Richardsons name was visible, as it had been 60 or so years earlier. Soon after, the site was nothing but rubble, and now that iconic tower is on its way.
A few years ago, a friend introduced me to ghost signs old, faded, hand-painted signage for products and businesses that no longer exist. When I started looking, all over Melbourne and its and suburbs I noticed advertisements for forgotten products and businesses: Greys cigarettes, Ecks lemonade, Wertheim sewing machines, the Argus newspaper, Noon pies, the Melbourne Steamship Company, Guests biscuits and Preservene soap, as well as countless long-gone butchers, plumbers and dry cleaners.Continue reading...
From barbershop signs made out of bloodied limbs, living mummies and possessed drag acts, photographer Manuel Vasons new book Double Exposures captures the artists pushing the boundaries of performance artContinue reading...
Josef Koudelka: the man who risked his life to photograph the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia in pictures
After years of taking striking photos of Gypsies, the Czech photographer stood before the tanks during the 1968 invasion. He smuggled out his images, they went round the world and he fled to Britain. Here are his most poignant and powerful shots
- Josef Koudelka: Nationality Doubtful is at the Getty Center in Los Angeles from 11 November to 22 March 2015
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