McLellan photographed McCoy at LA’s iconic Griffith Park Observatory, standing in front of a sculpture of what looks like a crucified corpse. The spectacle in the background is, in fact, an uncannily lifelike sculpture, made by McCoy, which made from silicon and real human hair. The crucified figure is John ‘Plato’ Crawford, who was shot in the 1955 film Rebel without a Cause.
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‘The Loved One’. Here’s me, stood solemnly in front of a new sculpture I’ve been working on that will be shown in Los Angeles next week. It is inspired by the notion that heroes of pop culture (real or fictional) can live on in the minds of future generations, transcending the limited realm of mortality. Presently, it seems like living forever is a goal plenty of people share, but there’ve only ever been a handful of people who’ve achieved that mythological-archetype-like status within their own lifetimes – whose admirers’ undying loyalty and complete devotion can be likened to a religious fervour. Elvis Presley, Lady Diana Spencer and Morrissey are a few of these people. The crucifee is Plato, Sal Mineo’s character in ‘Rebel Without a Cause’. In the film, Plato is shot down by the police on the steps of the Griffith Observatory (the great big dome in the background of these pictures) and dies for the sins of the other college-goers, taking the rap. The last time you see him, he has James Dean’s famous red Harrington draped over him for warmth, he is missing a shoe and is wearing odd socks. In creating this real-life memorial to a fictional character, I wanted to play on the idea of personal Jesuses and the worship of false idols. I think our heroes – be they somewhat romanticised, heavily filtered, or even completely fictional – provide us with a sense of hope that is absolutely necessary to life and society. Without hope, there is nothing. The pictures are, obviously, by the great @AlasdairMcLellan.
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“I find Los Angeles to be a fascinating place, McCoy tells us. “It feels to me like an environment with little social hierarchy, where the worlds of skateboarding and glitz and glamour and so on can collide and, almost without realizing it, become one and the same – weird and wonderful amalgams that couldn’t happen elsewhere. Given the inspiration behind it, it was always absolutely essential that the sculpture be photographed on Mount Hollywood and exhibited somewhere in Los Angeles.”
Alongside the film, exhibition also takes the inspiration for it’s title from from the Evelyn Waugh novel The Loved One. Blondey reveals, “The sculpture was actually already in motion by the time I got the book, and the inspiration behind it was more to do with fame than fortune as a means of cheating death, but there are infinite parallels to be drawn between the two approaches and the title was simply too perfect to pass up.“
The crucifix was on full displayed at the ‘The Loved One’ exhibition but McLellan’s photographs will be on show alongside two of McCoy’s other works “Scandal” and “Face to Face”. “Scandal” features Mandy Rice Davies and Christine Keeler leaving the Royal Courts of Justice after giving their testimonies regarding the Profumo affair. Lastly, “Face to Face” is a five bank pound note from 1961 featuring images of and a headline about Viv Nicholson.
The “Plato” capsule collection was also available for purchase at the pop-up.
The Loved One by Blondey McCoy is at 2270 Venice Boulevard, Los Angeles, from May 10 – 13, 2019.
New York based writer that pops flavor and drips sauce.
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