Sunday, November 15, 2009

Be yourself

I re-watched The Legend of Leigh Bowery this weekend. After I watch this movie, I always feel so inspired. He made his art by being himself and never compromising on his vision.

Painted by Lucian Freud, photographed by Fergus Greer, idolized by Boy George, and a major influence on Vivienne Westwood, Lady Bunny, Antony Hegarty and many more.

Mark Ronson: Why was Leigh Bowery so fascinating to people?

Boy George: For me the most interesting thing about him was the way he used his body as a style statement. He was a big guy, but, because he was tall and had long legs, he looked in proportion—even sexy—-despite being overweight by conventional standards. I remember seeing him one night at a gay club called the Fruit Machine, which was always full of gym-toned muscle queens, and Leigh was naked except for a pair of big glitter knee-length boots and this puff-ball headdress that clearly impaired his vision. His manhood was shoved between his legs, and he had glued this revolting fake vagina thing over his crown jewels and was spinning around the dance floor and doing the splits. At the height of his club fame he was deliberately distorting his body to look pregnant or give himself breasts by trussing up his belly with tape. He also created outfits that made him look deformed, which was very brave. I believe this was the main thing that gave Leigh his edge. His designs were often breath-taking, but it was the way he used his body that was so utterly new and refreshing. I can’t think of anyone who had done it before or to the extent that Leigh did. He was actually quoted as saying, “Flesh is my most favorite fabric.” I’ve seen many a freak make a scene and go, but Leigh was a special kind of exhibitionist because he was dedicated and saw it as an art form. He was certainly embraced by the art scene.

"Tell them I've gone pig farming in Bolivia." (alleged) final words of Leigh Bowery

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1 comment:

Susanna said...

wonderful interview!