The lesson of Lindsay Kemp, the “total artist” who conquered David Bowie and who still has so much to say

The lesson of Lindsay Kemp, the “total artist” who conquered David Bowie and who still has so much to say
The lesson of Lindsay Kemp, the “total artist” who conquered David Bowie and who still has so much to say
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A cut flower in the hands, white crinolines, fan-shaped feathers, eyes made up for theater and tears of blood. But also the lurex rompers like a second skin or the refined gorget (the pleated collar) that recalls the Queen Elizabeth I Tudors.
If you think that the first to immerse himself in the most transformative and eccentric genderless style in the world of entertainment

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was the singer Achilles Lauroand it will be Rosa Chemical to the next San Remo Festivalyou are wrong.

In the beginning there was Lindsay Kempthe great multifaceted English artist, man and woman together, to whom the new photographic book is dedicated four years after his death “Lindsay Kemp Stop Time!” (Anthelios editions) with texts by David Haughton and images of Angelo Redaelli. Who is Lindsay to everyone? She is the total artist who in the 70s and 80s carries around, amidst scandals and triumphs, her work that is more revolutionary than her: “Flowers“, from Jean Genet. And the most histrionic and dreamlike being on the scene at the time. And here’s why David Bowie he wants it, with his company, in the live show of Ziggy Stardust in 1972. The path of theater and glam rock is traced. Two kindred souls, that of Kemp and the White Duke. With a shared sense of art and also a feeling, consumed in his youth when the singer took dance theater lessons from Kemp in London. Also Kate Bush wanted Lindsay Kemp for the video of his greatest hit. He is in a black tux and she is in red ballet slippers.

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Pop and rock had a pounding heart for Kemp. Not only for her extreme transformations on stage: she swung her tongue with a live snake on stage, dressed as Violetta from La Traviata and died of love, as Queen of England she wielded power and as a Pierrot she stunned with her own astonishment. They loved him because he was truly capable of transfiguring himself, from angel to devil, in his shows. Masculine and feminine, ironic and tragic: “What I want to do – said Kemp – it is to restore the glamor of the Folies Bergère, the danger of the circus and the ceremony of death”. Alexander Michaelthe former artistic director of Gucci who dressed Achille Lauro, must have seen it.