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‘Exhibitionism’ Shows the Life of the Rolling Stones, as the Rolling Stones Want You to Believe I

Time:2016-11-19 07:09Shoes websites Click:

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The only thing missing from the grubbily realized first rooms visitors alight upon at Exhibitionism, the New York show devoted to the music and style of the Rolling Stones, is the musky pong of young men living together in bohemian squalor.

These first rooms—after you have passed a huge set of screens showing Stones videos and fan hysteria—are supposed to be evocations of the flat at 102 Edith Grove, in London’s Chelsea, where the bandmates first lived in early 1963.

As you might expect, it appears to be the kind of hovel four aspiring rock stars would occupy, with dirty dishes piled high in the sink, more dirty plates on the counter-top, overflowing ashtrays, discarded egg shells, empty bottles, tangles of sheets on beds, and a pair of bizarrely—and surely not historically accurate—clean tighty-whities.

The exhibition’s nine galleries at Industria in the West Village feature not only 500 items on display, but also the Stones’ music, and the voices of the Stones themselves, revealing anecdotes, and so it is that Mick Jagger in this room remembers even the bathroom sink was piled with dirty dishes: He didn’t wash himself much there, he says.

Raiding The Wardrobe, and Much More Besides, of The Rolling Stones-

Tim Teeman

The exhibit, which was in London before landing in New York, is not critically minded. This exhibition has been constructed “with the full participation” of Jagger, Keith Richards, Charlie Watts, and Ronnie Wood. There is no sniff of controversy, no mention of private and public scandals, or of problems in the band, no whisper of the violent tragedy of Altamont, or drink, drugs, and broken marriages. This is sheer, unapologetic fandom: a paradise for Stones nerds, who should set aside many hours to pore over everything.

There are videos of the concerts. Display cases show such ephemera as the band’s first U.S. tour program of 1964, their first contract, and album, and Keith Richards’s diary from 1963.

Asked by the band’s fan club what their personal ambitions were: Charlie Watts said to “Own a pink Cadillac.” Brian Jones wanted “to live on a houseboat and have a very fast speedboat.”

A recreation of a studio, complete with instruments, features the memories of all the band members: Keith Richards says he is the one who insists they try out pieces over and over again; Charlie Watts calls it working to “Keith time,” with a song being worked over almost 40 times.

We learn how “Ruby Tuesday” was made, and that the band’s logo—that livid pair of red lips, part-sexual, part-comical—was not a riff on what many have assumed to have been Jagger’s own famously puffy ones.

John Pasche, who designed the lips, says that Jagger had first presented him with a picture of Kali, the Hindu goddess with the pointed tongue. “Lots of people ask me if it was based on Mick Jagger’s lips, and I have to say it initially wasn’t,” he says.

Raiding The Wardrobe, and Much More Besides, of The Rolling Stones-

Tim Teeman

Another room features a room of the band’s guitars, including Richards’s custom 1957 Gibson Les Paul. In the center of the room you can listen not only to a selection of Rolling Stones songs—including “Honky Tonk Woman,” “Start Me Up,” and “Angie”—but play with all the various levels as if you were mixing them yourself.

A room of album designs and posters includes Robert Brownjohn’s birthday cake for “Let It Bleed” (baked by British culinary icon Delia Smith), and Andy Warhol’s suggestively zippered pair of jeans, which he photographed for “Sticky Fingers,” and a series of display cases showing scale models of the Stones’ staging of recent concerts. The curation feels very personal in places, like the set lists Ronnie Wood’s composes of the songs the bands rehearse on tour, all done in colorful pens.

The photographer David Bailey, who captured Jagger with his head swathed in a silk scarf, had told Jagger he wanted to style him like Hepburn—it was only when they were doing the shoot that Bailer realized Jagger had meant “Audrey” when he had meant “Katherine.” Jagger loves the dress-up: The spirit of the 1960s—its sexual and artistic boundaries blurring—is most playfully imagined by him.

This gallery of albums and photographs, like the Polaroids Warhol took of band members—with playful body biting between the men—begins to allude to their impact on style itself. The look we see on Jagger is first smart mop-top, and then snake-hipped glam rocker. The lip logo and album designs are exercises in pure pop.

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