Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Candy Darling - Superstar

I've always had a fascination for Andy Warhol, his 'Superstars', and the Factory and Studio 54. As a small-town High School art student in the 80's I was seduced by Andy Warhol's Pop Art, a mélange of acid bright colours and Superstars such as Marilyn and Mick, photos of Jerry Hall in sequined cut-to-there Halston and Bianca Jagger on a white horse, Edie Sedgewick and Andy emerging from a pot-hole from a New York street - a peep into a captivating, glamorous, Bacchanalian world that I didn't know or understand - but knew I liked.

A new documentary called 'Beautiful Darling' by James Rasin, about one of Warhol's most enigmatic and tragic Superstars has just been released. Candy Darling was born in Queens, New York, to the rather unglamorous name of James Slattery. James took to dressing as a girl at an early age. His mother told a friend of Candy's that after hearing that her son, aged 17, had been spotted dressed as a girl at the local gay club, was told by him to sit and wait at the kitchen table. Candy soon emerged form his bedroom bedecked in his mother's clothes. "I knew then...that I couldn't stop Jimmy. Candy was just too beautiful and talented."

Candy appeared in several films, including Klute with Jane Fonda - "I've had big parts in small films and small parts in big films". A muse to many, Candy beguiled musicians such as Mick Jagger & Lou Reed who immortalised her in their respective songs 'Citadel', 'Candy Says' & 'Walk on the Wild Side', and the Smiths used her image for their 1987 single cover for 'Sheila Take a Bow' (below).

"Candy says I've come to hate my body
and all that it requires in this world
Candy says I'd like to know completely
what others so discreetly talk about"

‘Candy Says’, Velvet Underground, 1972

Candy took hormones his entire life in order to have breasts, which arguably resulted in her tragic death of Hodgkins Lymphoma at 25.

Glamorous to the end - 'Candy Darling on her Deathbed'
Gelatin-silver print, Peter Hujar, 1974

In a letter penned on her deathbed, Candy wrote:

" By the time you read this I will be gone. Unfortunately before my death I had no desire left for life. Even with all my friends and my career on the upswing I felt too empty to go on in this unreal existence. I am just so bored by everything. You might say bored to death. It may sound ridiculous but is true."

First image from Mao Mag

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...