Candy Darling’s letter to Peter Hujar

On what would have been Darling’s 70th birthday we remember her through her iconic photographs taken by Peter Hujar of her on her death bed.

This letter was written to photographer Peter Hujar by Warhol superstar and trans woman Candy Darling while she was suffering from lymphoma before her premature death at the age of 29 in 1974 . The now famous photograph named ‘Candy on her Death Bed’ was created for the purpose of being published in Warhol’s Interview magazine and the letter presented here shows us a different perspective to the hauntingly beautiful photograph that Candy had organised. Within these contact sheet photographs we see Candy in bed, limp and frail but her intrinsic glamour shines through the sterility of the hospital setting in a completely overpowering way. Even in face of death Candy Darling’s pioneering character provokes a kind of energy that could only be produced by an individual as original as Darling.

Candy Darling’s letter to Peter Hujar about her hospital bed portrait, October 31, 1973.

Dear Peter,

Thank you for at last sending me the contact sheet.  I would like two prints of all the ones I have marked.  Please call me at xxx-xxx-4219 and tell me how much they will be and I will send you a check.  

I am very anxious to get these pictures as I want them printed in Interview and you will get photo credit.

My fans would feel cheated if they didn’t get to see what I looked like in my hospital bed.  I think you know how I feel.

Please be speedy Peter this means a lot to me and after the hell I’ve been through I think I deserve this little favor.  So call me right away O.K. thanks.  I’ll be seeing [...]

The Flawless Sabrina Archive


One of the many wonderful developments that the internet has offered us is a new economy where we can all donate and help projects evolve which would have had a far greater possibility of fading into obscurity without our new awareness of more obscure and financially not profitable projects.

Flawless Sabrina is the American LGBT icon, who since the 1950s has been at the forefront of progressive social changes in the queer community. Now there is a new Kickstarter campaign to help create and save Sabrina’s phenomenally large and important archive.

To explain Sabrina’s influence throughout the twentieth century is difficult to grasp for no other reason other than for the fact that it is so vast. Well known for her appearance in the seminal 1968 documentary The Queen, Sabrina throughout the 50s and 60s operated a national drag beauty pageant aptly named The Nationals which inspired the influential film.

Throughout the 60s and 70s, Sabrina’s experience was used to consult on films such as Midnight Cowboy, Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, and Myra Breckinridge as an assumed expert of homosexual matters which was meant to inform the film industry at a time when queer subject matter was tentatively addressed in cinema.

In later years Sabrina became involved in politics, having worked with Hilary Clinton to enable transgender people to alter the (M/F) sex marker on their U.S. passport, and for gay marriage. She is an active member of her community, and a go-to resource for trans in the arts and politics. In late 2013 Sabrina worked closely with luxury department store Barneys on their groundbreaking transgender themed ad campaign shot by Bruce Weber.

And it is through this latest project that the possibility of cementing her historic, cultural and political influence will [...]


TONIGHT! To celebrate Primitive’s new weekly home at Sang Bleu, Fashion East’s menswear designer Roxanne Farahmand and Primitive London will be presenting a Capsule Collection of bags and jewellery at the new Sang Bleu Contemporary Art and Project Space based on Dalston Lane.  We will be showcasing this collaborative installation of their work on Thursday the 20th of November, we would love you to join us from 6-9pm for our private view for this installation where we will feature exclusive pieces and a series of film, text and image works by Greg McCarron-Shipman, Hannah Fincham, Sam Bayliss Ibram, Curtly Thomas and Richard Whittle. . Designers presented by Primitive include Cottweiler, Nasir Mazhar, Liam Hodges, Sang Bleu VTM, Bracken, Ava Catherside, Ambush, Louise Alsop, Roxanne Farahmand, BANZAI and Primitive will be realising their own line and more collaborations as the project evolves. You can find us at 29b Dalston Lane, London, E9 3DF Join the event on Facebook here

Tod Papageorge’s Studio 54

Tod Papageorge’s opulent documentation of famed 70s discotheque Studio 54 has been published into a book titled ‘Studio 54‘ published by Stanley Barker.

Papageorge only visited the New York club six to eight times between 1978 and 1980 and captured only a select amount of images per visit. These make up the 66 images in the book, a testament to the beguiling nirvana of the infamous Studio 54 on West 54th Street. Photographs of the club’s habitués- the glitterati- are not new and have been well circulated since the Studio’s inception due to the intense media coverage it attracted. Studio 54 was the place to be and be seen, to be photographed, mass-produced and consumed as a commodity. The club was saturated with celebrity photographers and existing publications on Studio 54 document it through eyes focused on the celebrities and the costumed attendees. Papageorge, however, observes the club’s un-sensational visitors; the people from the street lost in a Dionysian oblivion. Glittered girls lounge on a glittered coach and lillies cascade around a man overcome with the festivities, sleeping. One of the most sensuous photographs is a girl in a golden ensemble leaning against the bar, smoking a cigarette and clutching her chest. Her eyes roll back in her head, her mouth open. Its orgasmic, but she’s alone, consumed and seduced by Studio 54.

By day, Papageorge would photograph the people who happened to pass his curious lens in Central Park (these images make up ‘Passing Through Eden’, published in 2007) and would then follow the people passing through the exclusive velvet rope into Studio 54, by night.

All of the images taken inside Studio 54 were shot in black and white; a scene saturated in colour captured in monochromatic, tonal beauty. These [...]


Art Direction: Joseph Delaney
Photography: Samuel Hearn
Styling: Matt King
Make Up: Molly Portsmouth
Hair: Jody Taylor
Styling Assistance: Hannah Bent
Models: Max Townsend & Lewis Taylor

Matthew Linde’s Top 10 Runway Dramaturgies

Matthew Linde is the curator and director behind Centre for Style – an exhibition space and shop which indulges in fashions regularly ignored but  optimistic and entertaining possibilities.  Based in Melbourne, Australia Linde uses the fashion system as his topic as a curator and as an artist to show us all an exceptionally refreshing way of looking at the industry. Miles away from the elitism, vulgarity and extravagance which is all too often accepted and not challenged within the fashion world, Linde breaks down the way we look at clothes into its raw and democratic simplicity. We all get dressed in the morning, and everyone of us possesses an individual style.

This investigation into how characters express themselves through garments and championing the most underground and progressive thinking young fashion designers around such as Martine Rose, Ekhaus Latta, Nhu Duong, Anne-Sophie Berger and more, Linde is doing wonders in observing how fashion is changing and honestly creating something inherently optimistic for us to think and act by. Rather than accept the language of fashion as being an inescapably consumerist and capitalistic arena his performances and exhibitions show us the possibilities of how fun and creative fashion can be outside our accepted expectations of it.

On Saturday the 29th of November, we will be inviting Linde to the Sang Bleu Contemporary Art and Practice Space for a discussion with Reba Maybury about his work where more details will be announced next week.

However, in the mean time we’ve asked Linde to choose a topic for him to speak to us about which inspire him, with an in depth fashion history knowledge under his belt he’s chosen us his favourite fashion catwalks, from the most absurd, performative, intelligent and implausible shows hidden in the underbelly [...]

My Rules – Glen E. Friedman

Photographer Glen E. Friedman will be showing a selection of his iconic countercultural photographs in London’s Covent Garden later this month organised by All Tommorow’s Parties.

‘My Rules’ accompanies his book of the same title, recently published by Rizzoli, and chronicles American subculture through Friedman’s immersion and observation since the 1970s.

The intense and action packed images of the hip-hop, punk and skateboarding scenes include some of the most seminal portraits of those within it; Run DMC, Black Flag, LL Cool J, Minor Threat, Public Enemy and the Beastie Boys stand alongside skateboarders Tony Alva, Jay Adams and Stacy Peralta as the legends of the underground that Friedman sought to celebrate. The photographs capture countercultures which were largely insular at their inception or ignored by the mainstream and have since become inlayed within our minds as some of the most iconic and seminal images of subcultural icons before their influence became so fundamental to our understanding of the twentieth century. Friedman as an individual encapsulated the raw energy of creation which pioneered this time by immersing himself within these progressive subcultures at their most fundamental moments.

Friedman’s photographs are energetic and rebellious, immortalising pivotal moments that played out in music or on the street through definitive portraits of their counterculture heroes.

The exhibition will comprise of over 50 colour and black and white fine art photographic prints – many of which have never been exhibited before. Classic images from Friedman’s last UK exhibition at the ICA in 1997 are also included. After the premiere in London, the My Rules exhibition will continue to tour worldwide.

Glen E. Friedman ‘My Rules’ Photography Exhibition
November 21st 2014 – January 18th 2015
14 Henrietta St, Covent Garden WC2H

Friedman will also be doing a talk during the opening weekend, where the details will be announced