H.R. Giger: Debbie Harry Metamorphosis: Creating the Visual Concept for KooKoo

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H.R. Giger: Debbie Harry Metamorphosis: Creating the Visual Concept for KooKoo

H.R. Giger: Debbie Harry Metamorphosis: Creating the Visual Concept for KooKoo

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So really this book functions as a sort of exhibition catalogue – although this collection is, apparently, more comprehensive than the physical exhibition was. This shock picture of Blondie star Debbie Harry has been banned from Britain’s high streets,” continued the Mirror, “The picture - which is also on the cover of Debbie’s first solo album, Koo Koo - has upset Britain’s advertising bosses. It’s a unique chronicle of a unique event and a glimpse into the creativity of two icons of the 1970s and 1980s.

During a Blondie hiatus, she embarked on an acting career, appearing in lead roles in the neo-noir Union City (1980) and in David Cronenberg's body horror film Videodrome (1983). From an irreverent Lower East Side punk goddess to a bona fide international ambassador of New York cool, Debbie Harry will forever be synonymous with that punk spirit that lives somewhere in all of us. It is a curious project, where beauty combines with pain and life with death, just like in all visionary pieces made by Giger.Chris’ photographic work has been featured in the press and in galleries around the world, most prominently in a 2017 exhibition at London’s prestigious Somerset House that drew a reported 60,000 visitors. Outside of music, Debbie has also engaged in a successful acting career with over 30 film and television roles to her credit (including Videodrome, Hairspray, and Heavy to name a few). In 1981, Harry released KooKoo, the first of many solo albums, and also embarked on her acting career. R. Giger, the artist who had rat­tled movie­go­ers’ brains the pre­vi­ous year with his designs for Rid­ley Scott’s Alien. As a vibrant global force and a shaper of pop culture, Debbie’s chart-topping success, fearless spirit and rare longevity led to an induction into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall of Fame for Blondie in 2006.

His star was a newly brunette Harry re-imagined as a cross between a Xenomorphic Giger monstrosity, the Bride of Frankenstein, and the legendary borg creation of Metropolis. Stein documents, most often in evocative black and white, an urban landscape filled with detritus yet teeming with life, from the avenues of midtown to the boardwalks of Coney Island. Perhaps Harry and her team wanted to cash in on the popularity of Giger following the success of Alien. The music videos are sim­ple, per­for­mance based, though the sun­ny, allur­ing Har­ry has dis­ap­peared and a pro­to-Goth being has tak­en her place.And Chris Stein provides a new look at it from the perspective of two Americans living with Giger there for a few weeks in 1980.

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