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Jamie McLeod: I Created Me at The Horse Hospital

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Time 12:00
Date 24/02/18
Price Free

Jamie McLeod unveils his latest exhibition and book launch, celebrating 20 years of his avant-garde portraits of the extravagant performer, Marc Almond.

Running from: Sat 17 - Sat 24 Feb, Wed - Sat 12 - 6pm.

The exhibition and the book entitled “I Created Me” (Published by Timeless, 2017) contains largely unseen photos from McLeod’s 20-year archive. Creating new shape shifting images with Almond as both his muse and patron, working together to invent both commercial images for product, promotion, stage-wear, and for backdrops. For this show McLeod focus’s on reworking rare and obscure images, what he calls his ‘B-sides’, the risqué, film noir and even the vamp side to Almond’s other more sedate and respectable image.

McLeod says “it felt like 20 years of work in the theatre behind a red velvet curtain with a rabbit and a top hat making magic. Always trying to make something other than the fake, tedious, and derivative. We both work real quick and we both have a form of attention deficit disorder so if it doesn’t gel and resonate quick, we just move swiftly on”. This work is what McLeod calls his mini-operettas, the arena where Almond can invent other personas and narratives outside of the commercial pop product. I painted and inked up the image by hand, I cut and pasted like a butcher, I defiled and corrupted it. I spoilt a lot of my more ‘pop’ styled pretty pictures to create art, rather than present plain old narcissistic and banal pop trivia. We did this via the studio setting and on the street, in urban locations Almond was most synonymous with, like his beloved Soho. There are exotic mug shots and masks, with gunshots and poetry, drenched in voodoo and varieté, evocative images reeking of glamour but soiled with evil. “My images take a certain reference to abstract painting, jazz, Parisian Grande Guignol and to Picasso but they also retain a respect for classicism and still retain a certain sexual seduction. I don’t look at anything current, my inspiration is either way back in the grave or far off into the future, everything representing ‘now’ means nothing to me. I only want the eternal”.