Planned to coincide with Frieze London, the city’s pivotal moment of art openings and cultural events, John Varvatos, Artspace, and pre-eminent art publisher Phaidon, have joined forces to celebrate the new ‘Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print (1976-80)’ book with a special exhibition at the John Varvatos London flagship store. The exhibit runs in-store from 5th to 17th October.
Oh So Pretty: Punk in Print (1976–80) is an unrivalled collection of rarely seen, visually striking ephemera of Britain’s punk subculture that comes from the Mott Collection, an array of original artwork cut and pasted by anonymous hands. It presents over 450 items – fanzines, gig posters, flyers, and badges. The collection includes flyers for iconic bands, such as the Clash, the Ramones and the Jam. Published by Phaidon this October, 40 years after the birth of punk, the book gives a vivid impression of punk’s abrasive and uncompromising style.
A dedicated installation will transform the John Varvatos London boutique into a gallery space featuring an exclusive number of images from the book whose unique design reflects Punk’s graphic style through photocopied images, hand-drawn and ransom-note lettering, and crudely cut and torn edges. British artist Jamie Reid produced images for the notorious punk band, the Sex Pistols. The cover of the Anarchy in the UK fanzine and Royal photographer Peter Grugeon’s portrait of Queen Elizabeth covered in Reid’s typography remain quintessential images of British punk. The book includes influential fanzines Sniffin’ Glue by Mark Perry and Ripped & Torn by Tony Drayton, as well as Linder Sterling and Jon Savage’s The Secret Public and Sterling’s collage for the Buzzcocks’ single ‘Orgasm Addict’.
In conjunction with the exhibition, 100 copies of the book, signed by author Toby Mott, will be on sale at the store before the official publishing date of 10th October and a limited edition print of the book cover will be available to order. A curated selection of punk-inspired clothing and accessories from the John Varvatos collection completes the offering.