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Studio 54 Revisited

Remember Taboo, the legendary 80s London club, led by the outrageous Leigh Bowery? For the many who didn’t make it past the door it was a salutary introduction to elitist club policy. But that policy was written by Studio 54 a decade earlier and pictures from that era are the subject of a new book by photographer, Tod Papageorge. Sat Bal (17 Oct’14)

 

‘Would you let yourself in?’ was the transvestite doorman’s biting rebuke as he held up a mirror to yet another aspiring, but rejected, clubber at the Taboo pleasure palace. But Taboo was a crèche compared to Studio 54 where the hedonism came with a capital ‘H’ and the guest list included the likes of Andy Warhol, Michael Jackson and Gloria Swanson.

Tod Papageorge brings together a collection of photographs that chronicle the decadence of the late 1970s at New York’s most infamous club. Here are his words and pictures…

 

“The 66 photographs in this book were made between 1978-80 in Studio 54, a New York discothèque that, for a handful of years, was the place where celebrities, partygoers, and those crazy for dancing most wanted to be and be seen.”  

 

 

 “Because of this, it was difficult to get into: the imperturbable doormen who doled out access according to rules that only they seemed to know made sure of it.”

 

 

“The most evident way of winning them over was to be beautiful, but only the famous or socially connected could assume that they’d be shooed around the flock of hopefuls milling on the street side of the entrance rope and through the door.”

“Once inside, though, everyone there seemed thrilled by the fact, no matter how they managed to accomplish it, a feeling fed by the throbbing music and the brilliantly designed interior, which, from night to night, could suggest anything from Caliban’s cave to a harem.”

 

 

A special edition of 35 box sets, including a signed and numbered, fibre- based print, will also be available priced at £300.

Orders will ship 13th November.

See www.stanleybarker.co.uk

 

   

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