Monday, 24 May 2010

Trojan - Even to spark out now would be no pain




Trojan
(1966-1986)

"An angel with make-up and fab things, diamonds and fur coats and money and gold rings"

I can't believe it's been nearly twenty-four years since Trojan died.  I vividly remember the beautiful painted boy with the cheeky, sarcastic sense of humour from a various clubs and bars, then later on, the infamous pleasure palace/madhouse that was Taboo - a club where nothing was taboo.  Leigh Bowery is written about a lot but Trojan rarely is.  He was Leigh's partner-in-crime, an artist in his own right and should be remembered too. 

I first started going out properly in 1983.  I looked older than I was, especially with make-up and a full set of extensions from Antenna.  My age has since caught up with my face.  I had a brilliant time going to lots of underground clubs and parties in the West End and of course, the dressing up - the more outrageous the better.  I loved the glamour, decadence, the anything goes attitude and even the grotesque.  It was a very exciting time.  When Taboo opened in January 1985 I thought it was the most amazing fun.  I've always made friends with straight boys very easily and now I'd discovered the gay scene.  I absolutely loved gay boys (and girls) and adored their sense of humour.

I moved to Soho the minute I could get out of school to a very noisy flat on Brewer Street.  As soon as the noise of the clubs and bars chucking out subsided, the street cleaners and market boys would start up.  Needless to say I didn't get much sleep.  Not that I cared, I was having too much fun.

Trojan was part of the outrageous and flamboyant club scene - artists, fashion designers, club kids, pop stars, musicians - a lot of people were going out and being photographed and a lot of careers were made in that time.

MDMA had just started appearing in clubs, alongside all manner of powders, pills and potions and people were just becoming aware of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.  A lot of people got into heroin and along with AIDS it claimed the lives of a number of people from that generation.  My friends and I took drugs with hedonistic abandon, everyone seemed to then.  Although not quite as enthusiastically as Trojan.

I was shocked when I heard Trojan had died as I still thought everyone was invincible.  He was happy with John Maybury, his art was selling and his work with dancer Michael Clark was earning him acclaim.  It's tragic that he died so young.  It doesn't always make for easy reading but I want to post this as a tribute to Trojan.

I have asked some of Trojan's friends to give me their memories of him (I may add a few more soon) and I'm including an epic piece written by Paul Rambali for The Face.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Photography by David Gwinnutt
Courtesy of the National Portrait Gallery
Trojan and Leigh Bowery

The Trojan Story

by Paul Rambali for The Face, 1986

Nothing could shock Trojan's friends at Taboo.  Nothing except his death.  Trojan made a mask out of his alienation and wore it to nightclubs.  He died in August of a drug overdose.  With him died the new generation.  Their lives measured in Pils, powder and flashbulbs...


"Anyway.  You know Trojan?  You know Trojan..." The voice sounds supremely bored, a stale whine; like last night's conversation.  It belongs to one of Trojan's friends.  "You know Trojan.  That beautiful boy.  Anyway Trojan tried to cut his ear off, like that painter.  It was half dangling off at Taboo!  He'd painted it red!"

Trojan tried to cut his ear off, but not to imitate Van Gogh.  He hated imitations, unless they were tacky ones, fake Cartier or Rolexes, furs and gems.  He tried to do it with a pair of dress-making shears belonging to Leigh Bowery, then with an old razor blade he found in the bathroom of the council flat they shared in the East End.  But the ear was tougher than he expected and he couldn't slice it off.

"Leigh, can you give me some help?" he called from the bathroom.  Leigh, busy sewing, could see the towel around his head and thought he was dying his hair again.

The next morning, Trojan woke to find his ear sticking to the pillow.  A few days later to stop the bleeding, he went to the hospital where the nurses offered to stitch back the torn earlobe.  Trojan declined.  He was pleased with the result.

Originally he had wanted to cut his left hand off.  He thought he could live without his left hand for a while.  Then he would get a metal hook.

Trojan simply was fed up with being copied.  All the girls at Taboo had copied his haircut, a lopsided bob with a short arched fringe that he copied from the cover of an old Keely Smith album.  The plan was that Leigh would run up with a tomahawk and chop his hand off while Trojan stood at the bar.  "All I had to remember was to run off with the hand afterwards," says Leigh.  "In case they could sew it back on."








The inspiration

It would have been the supreme prank; daringly original.  Let anyone try to imitate that!  They sat in their living room, silver Star Trek wallpaper glowing in the UV light, the TV propped on old vases, spewing cartoon-coloured static, and laughed.  Imagine the looks on people's faces as the blood spurted over the club's Arab-plush fittings.  Laughter and horror, a kind of compelled, fascinated repulsion.

Leigh had called his once-weekly nightclub Taboo, "because there's nothing you can't do there."  Earlier, he had called himself a fashion designer and had been taken at his word.  There seemed to be no limit.  Leigh was the vaudeville drunkard.  "I don't know where the street ends and the stage starts," he trilled.  The clothes he made and the make-up he wore - clashing gladrags and ink-stained head - were really a kind of anti-fashion.  They imploded on exposure to any half-sober criteria.  "Costumes for dim-lit nightclubs," he called them.

Spurred by his friend Trojan, who dressed up with him and was always there looking on, Leigh, every Thursday night for 18 months at the Circus Maximus discotheque in Leicester Square, became the master of ceremonies, presiding over a bizarre carnival, in the true ritual sense, of morbid glamour and jewelled self-laceration.

London's fashion and art students thronged to get in.  Doorman Mark held up a mirror to some.  "Would you let yourself in?"  Soon the place was full of pop stars, film-makers, Japanese, US and French jet-set clothiers.  Spectators of the Latest Thing, they looked on with that same fascinated repulsion, anxious not to get left behind.  Trojan wore a false grin on the side of his face and Leigh wore an egg-box on his head as, around them camp followers fell off their silver platform shoes in an ecstatic stupor.

Photography by Derek Ridgers
Trojan and Mark Vaultier aka Monster Mark the doorman at Taboo
Mark Vaultier died in 1987 of a methadone overdose


Photography by Derek Ridgers

Leigh and Mark

In the ice-cool whirlpool centre of London's art-conscious, style-fixated, attention hungry media culture, where fashions die the instant they are born, who would dare point at the emperor's new clothes?  Outside a swanky New York department store, though, tramps held a placard protest at Leigh's rags being sold for high prices.  Was it fashion or was it parody?

Trojan's Picasso face

The Observer printed a photograph of Trojan's "Picasso" make-up in their end-of-year issue, mouth hanging to one side, eyes enlarged, nose flattened into a childish 2D profile.  The caption betrayed their uncertainty.  Was this, they asked, The Face of '84?

In truth nobody knew.  It was a post-modern joke, fashion deconstructed; a fun-house jape that deflated like a balloon.  The whole point was no point.

It was a bit like Trojan's name.  His second name was Name.  A joke, mainly on his dry cleaners.  Like all the Taboo regulars, Trojan was looking for startling, brave originality with which to make his name and confront the mundane world beyond.  He was thrilled by extremes, deformities, the garish and the grotesque.  He painted flowers, their stems often bent, in rich, ripe colours.  He painted his friends, attaching pills, sequins, symbolic trash to the images.  And he painted himself, literally, covering his face in red paint like Kali, the Hindu god of violence and destruction.  In this and other guises, he prowled the homosexual underworld, the avant-garde fringe, the fashion jungle.  He described himself, with conscious irony, as an "artist and prostitute".

It was a notable instance of his acute self-awareness.  And then, suddenly, in August of 1986 Trojan died of an accidental drug overdose.  With him died Taboo, and with it, the naivete and inspiration of a new generation in London.  Their lives have been measured out in powders, pills and flashbulbs.  Now they have a signpost.  Trojan was twenty-one years old.


"I was the girl of the year.  Everything I did was really, underneath, I guess, motivated by psychological disturbances.  I'd make a mask out of my face because I didn't realise I was quite beautiful.  I'd freak out in a beautiful way.  And it was all taken as a fashion trend"

Edie Sedgwick
(1943-1971)





Photography by Johnny Rozsa

His real name was Gary.  He hated it, stubbornly and irrationally.  He hated his boyhood environment too, "hated it being so normal," says his mother.  "He didn't like it because everything was the same."

Patricia Gater had married young; her husband was a car dealer.  Born in 1966, Gary Barnes was the youngest of three boys.  He wasn't expected - something he dimly knew.  As his father's business expanded, the family purchased their two-bedroomed council semi in the London overspill suburb of New Addington, near Croydon.

An attractive woman, with her son's brown eyes and fine features, Patricia Gater was trained as a florist. In their smallhouse she put paintings of flowers and landscapes, oils bought at 'starving artist' sales.  Gary shared one bedroom with his brothers.  Paul the eldest, played football and went fishing with his father, Dean didn't care.  Gary preferred to stay at home.

"He was always good at getting his way," says his mother.  "He didn't like being bossed by anybody.  My husband didn't understand him.  Gary was a great mickey-taker.  He didn't like crude humour and his father was always telling crude jokes.  He used to be sarcastic to the teachers and they'd just tell him to be quiet.  He could see through people easily.  He didn't like insincere people, I suppose.  People who weren't genuine.

He liked says his mother, ruefully, "going somewhere and spending money."  He would drag her to London's West End.  "He always knew what trains and buses to get."  On trips to town, they went to Madame Tussaud's, where he gazed at the cold features of infamous murderers, curious, like his mother about the perverse impulses of humanity.

Gary was indulged by his mother, who liked to be drawn along by his quick, playful imagination.  "Why has that man got a big nose?" he would cheekily ask aloud.

At Fairchild School, the mixed comprehensive that Gary attended in the late Seventies, he got on well.  "People wanted to know him more than the other way round," says his sister-in-law, there at the same time "He was very deep.  He always made friends with girls easily."






It was with a girl from the school that, with an average amount of fumbling, at the age of thirteen he lost his virginity.  But it was to be a sports instructor that he formed an adolescent attachment.  Good at art and English, though impatient with what he was being taught, his major confrontation with school discipline came when he refused to take his jacket off.  "Im too fat and I'm not taking it off," he declared, full of chubby adolescent awkwardness.

With Paul married and Dean in the army, Gary was left, in 1978 with a bedroom to decorate. he painted it an alarming bright red.  Soon, instead of pop posters, the walls were covered with collages, pictures cut from magazines and assembled with the violence and humour of his later paintings; eyes replaced mouths, images were cut and pasted without reason, it seemed, to everyone but Gary.  At school at this time, he drew strange fantasies of sex and death.


He had collected collage material in scrapbooks for years and, for his father's 40th Birthday, made a This Is Your Life book of collages, comically exaggerating the hardships and details.  "There was nothing expert about it - but it was funny," says his mother, who helped him finish it.

Around this time Gary's ambition was to become and actor.  "He drove me mad," recalls his mother.  She looked for a school but there were none nearby.  Gary conceived a new aim. "He wanted to be famous.  He told me so".

In 1980, Gary turned sixteen.  His father had started a new video business with a shop in South Norwood and plans for more.  Gary meanwhile, had discovered the full range of excitements available to a teenager in the new decade; sex, music, glue, fashion and video nasties.

He like the music of Toyah, whose dreams, reported in an interview, of emotions issuing like demons from her mouth as she slept, forming the imagery of her songs, he understood.  Working in the family's video shops, he wore large Oxfam trousers, hitched high with braces zoot-suit style, over a T-shirt worn inside out.  His mother was puzzled.  "What style are you meant to be?" she asked.  "I'm adventurous.  I'm a futurist!"

From the age of fifteen, Gary had been spending time away from home, with a girlfriend, older and, he told people later, "a bit rough," named Elaine.  She had a flat in New Cross with another girl that Gary had known from school.  He showed his mother a snap of Elaine, in bra and pants, kicking a leg in the air.  "Hasn't she got lovely legs?" teased Gary.

He didn't tell his mother that at the same time, he had been to a gay teenagers group in South East London.  It was more natural, he had decided.  There was less fear.



Concerned about his frequent absences, his mother considered making him a ward of court.  But Gary would return, or telephone.  "He had a way of making me not worry about him.  He always told me a bit about what he was doing.  Only enough to put my mind at rest."

After a few months, though, he returned to New Addington, helping his mother house-hunt for a new home.  With the video business thriving, they could afford a larger property.  At the same time, he had started to go to nightclubs.  He had been to The Cat's Whiskers in Streatham, a suburban soul-boy haunt.  And to Steve Strange's Club For Heroes.

There, at the weekly venue in Baker Street, he first encountered the subterranean nightlife of the metropolis, with it's newly discovered premise that clothes could be your statement; and that, with clothes, you could invent yourself anew.

Gary went to Heaven too, the gay discotheque in Charing Cross where, in November 1981, though a mutual friend, he met a tall, chubby, amiable Australian who had left fashion college in Melbourne a year earlier to seek out the fashion mecca.  Twenty year old Leigh Bowery was struck by Gary's appearance.  He wore oversized suits.  His head was shaven high over his forehead.  Under his eyes he wore eyeliner.  He looked sleepless or ill.  "I couldn't understand it and didn't like it, because it wasn't very flattering."

Trojan and Leigh




They became friends, though, moving into a squat together, which they painted and filled with old furniture, spending idle afternoons talking about fashion, art, movies.  "We were finding out what we wanted to do.  He was starting to draw.  I was getting a stall in Kensington market.  But we both had similar tastes; gory, trash movies, I liked John Waters movies, he like The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.  The really extreme things - we thought they were funny."

Night-time sorties to clubland took them to the Beat Route and Cha Cha's at Heaven on Tuesday nights, run by a nineteen year old girl named Scarlet who came from Sutton, not far from Croydon.  She had a crop, lips painted like a Victorian pediment, and wore chicken feet for earrings.  Scarlet had effected the metamorphosis.  She was her own unique creation, a fabulous fashionable being.

By day, she worked in Kensington market, at a stall run by Rachel Auburn. There she got talking to a boy she had seen before at her club.  A mutual friend introduced him as Gary.

"No I really want to change my name.  I want to change it to Trojan, like the record label."  Scarlet understood.  "He was very shy then.  He was very endearing.  He hadn't really come out of himself.  Inventing himself was crucial; starting over."  She befriended this curious boy, visiting with Rachel Auburn the squat where he and his friend Leigh - a good cook - gave candle lit dinner parties.  She observed the pair.  "They just bounced off each other!"

"He had set his sights on Scarlet," says Leigh.  "He was drawn to her because she looked so strong."  She instantly accepted him as Trojan and, before long they became close.  Trojan moved into her Tottenham flat.  They went clubbing and drinking, returning for dawn walks in a nearby park then sleeping all day.

"He didn't like girls really," said Scarlet, "I think he was trying to find out once and for all.  It wasn't particularly successful.  But I didn't mind.  We were very close anyway."  The affair died down and several months later Trojan, without his cat Reg, named after Reginald Christie, moved to Leigh's new flat in Ladbroke Grove.

"He really liked natural things," said Scarlet.  "He told people horror stories about the cat's fate but they weren't true. I got the impression there were some troublesome things in his life.  He was uncomfortable about being pretty.  He would make himself look not pretty - either that or he was always into distortion."

Photography by Derek Ridgers
Scarlet

Scarlet and Trojan

Gary was forgotten, unrecognisable as the boy in jeans and a Harrington with thick brown hair, facing, like his brother, marriage or the army.  Trojan was free to choose any future he liked.  Encouraged by Leigh, whose middle-class Australian upbringing gave him a wider sense of his own potential, he conceived himself as Trojan, an artist.

He began to draw and paint steadily, though on a small scale and with little colour.  His subjects were animals and flowers, sometimes people.  They were often grotesque.  There was sexual violence - and humour in his series of Fried Egg Trees.  Leigh knew some art history and took Trojan to see paintings at the Tate.  Trojan already knew a lot about artists he liked, Egon Schiele and Francis Bacon.  And about murderers; Reginald Christie and the Moors Murderers.

"He had a really curious mind," says Leigh.  "If he saw something that interested him he would seek it out.  Trojan was really mad about Dali.  He knew a lot about how Gala and Dali had gone about; how they were quite ruthless in a way.  They made their own rules."

Sharing the cramped bedsit in Ladbroke Grove was beginning to get on their nerves.  To get out, Trojan faked a suicide.  He told a doctor he couldn't sleep because he was unemployed, his family had thrown him out, and he was depressed, none of it true.

"He saved up pills over a month and then took a load.  Quite a safe amount.  He was laughing all the way in the ambulance."  Later, a social worker came to visit and, the day he turned eighteen, Trojan moved into his own council flat in Caledonian Road.  Except he didn't like it.  Complaining of his slight asthma to the doctor, having smoked numerous cigarettes on the way, he amassed points to be moved to a new flat near St. Pauls.  To get out of there he complained of harrassment from the neighbours and faked an arson attack.

This time he moved, with Leigh, to a larger flat in the East End.  They set about decorating it with a ghastly combination of unwanted furniture and laminated and flock wallpapers, a parody of suburban kitsch.  Trojan bought ultra-violet bulbs and, in this hothouse environment, they incubagted their forthcoming aesthetic outrage.

The search for originality eventually leads to extremes.  Leigh and Trojan didn't have to look far.  The vivid colours and ornamentation of Asian fashion they discovered in local emporia; that was Trojan's inspired contribution.  Leigh always had a fondness for Seventies Glam Rock clothes.  It was a perfect, startling clash; satin and velour, fake furs and velvet, ripe, dripping jewellery and platform boots.  Leigh designed the clothes and Trojan added motifs and make-up ideas that strayed off his paintings onto Leigh's face; giant spots, Sanskrit scrawls.

Leigh called the collection, with his usual disarming candour, Pakis from Outer Space.  To heighten their enjoyment of it all, they frequently took acid.  Thus attired and deranged, the pair sashayed into places like the Asylum at Heaven and The Pink Panther in Wardour Street, an after hours bar with a very mixed clientele of Soho gay lowlife and late-nite clubbers.  "People who just couldn't bear to go home" says Leigh.  "Trojan liked that place."


Photography by Sheila Rock
Pakis From Outer Space

Photography by Sheila Rock

Photography by Sheila Rock


Photography by Sheila Rock

At The Bell, a gay disco above a pub in Kings Cross, they met Bodymap's David Holah and Stevie Stewart, dancer Michael Clark and film-maker John Maybury - and drew sighs of amazement.

"I thought I'd seen everything," says John, a punk in 1976 who later shared the infamous Warren Street squat with George O'Dowd that spawned the New Romantics.  "While it was done to affect others and create controversy," he notes.  "It was basically for themselves.  They were pushing it as far as it would go."

The pair revelled in the attention. Through 1984 they were feted in magazines as prize specimens of London's nocturnal fashion zoo.  They influenced Bodymap's collections for 1985 with their psychedelic drag.  Michael Clark asked Leigh to design costumes for him; with Trojan's make-up and sets - giant lemons, Y-fronts, Fried Egg Trees - Clark was able to lift his performances out of the dry confines of modern dance, to be hailed as the first "Punk Ballerina."

It was what Leigh had always wanted, and for a while, it satisfied Trojan too.  He told journalists he was "an artist and a prostitute" financing his lifestyle with a client list of lawyers, politicians and princes.

At the same time, he painted.  He worked determinedly, with a self conviction rare for a nineteen year-old and, says David Dawson, a young art dealer who ran the B2 gallery in Wapping and met Trojan then, "more commitment than artists after years of art school.  He worked out that by maintaining his singlemindedness he'd succeed."

Trojan told journalists that his paintings were about "fights and fucks in nightclubs."  Yet they depicted animals, flowers, people, natural images rather than the urban iconography of nightclubfashionland.   He carefully weighed the elements of his portraits, collecting material for months.  He painted on wood and used bedsheets for canvases.  Though he preferred oils, he would use toothpaste, nail varnish, glue, plaster and other objects - strange symbolic debris - enlivened the surfaces.  Leigh watched him at work in their living room.






"A lot of the things were really grotesque and vulgar, I often wondered where they came from.  He had this book on mysticism and ritual and one on forms of death.  And because nightclubs were so loud and hectic and brash, a lot of that was coming into his work.  He always had a really healthy outlook.  You couldn't predict how he would see his subjects, but it was always very identifiable."

Stephen Jones and Sybille de St Phalle wearing Stephen Jones

"The way he saw people was unique," says Leigh.  He painted French model Sybille de St Phalle, who worked for designer John Galliano.  A sequined outline stands in front of a dark Eiffel tower.  She has a black fish in one hand.  Her head is split open and aspirin and Chanel are pouring in.  Her make-up has been slapped on.


Here we see the Models of the Year through the eyes of another artist, Trojan has spent a large part of the year in front of the cameras in New York, London and Tokyo. He was heralded by respected fashion journalist Sally Brampton in the Observer as the possible Face of '84.

The Fashion Year Book - 1984


Amanda Cazalet


Susie Bick


Leslie Weiner


Nick Kamen

Gary said nothing to his mother about his paintings.  He kept in regular contact with her, returning home for family gatherings.  "I asked him once why he had all these different colour paints on his shoes.  'Because I'm a painter,' he said, I thought nothing of it."  He told her, "Anyway you'd only like the frames!"  Some of them, in fact, were hers in the first place.

His mother was more concerned with his clothes and hair styles; the lop-sided bob, the 'Alopecia' look - a few tufts of hair out of a bald head.  With her at a supermarket car-park that Christmas, Gary grew suddenly mischevious, "I wonder what these Sanderstead people will think of my haircut?"  He took off his hat an gave a twirl in his long coat.  His mother ran back to the car.

It was 1985's South of Watford TV documentary on Leigh and Taboo that revealed her son's life to her.

Trojan had disappeared to his parent's house - during the filming.  He wanted to distance himself from Leigh's activities - not wanting to be seen as merely his friend's clothes horse; though it was for Trojan that Leigh, in many ways, was designing the costumes.  Watching the programme by chance, his mother realised that the man in DM's, a frock, with a bald, ink-stained head, was the same polite Leigh she had often spoken to on the phone.

By the end of 1984, having just turned twenty, Trojan's self-assurance was growing, bolstered by the various drugs he took and the attention he was getting.  "Wearing platforms, red and green faces and these high hats, we looked so frightening," says Leigh, "and at the same time too theatrical to be taken seriously.  But we did get some abuse from the boys on the estate."

Photography by Johnny Rozsa

Armed with their formidable outrage, the pair went to parties and gatherings, Trojan dripping his own special disdain on the settings and the people he encountered.  "He was really extreme in his reactions.  He didn't care.  When there was electricity between people, antagonism, he really enjoyed that.  And he was good at generating it. People being nice he'd often reject.  He was good at dishing out attitude.  I sometimes thought that he had an inflated opinion of himself, but I thought that was quite healthy."

Celebrity soon caught up with this opinion, lifting them into a new orbit.  They were on a parabola of pop success, a dizzy curve akin, perhaps to ones mapped out by Eighties art and music figures like Boy George or Keith Haring; it would give the pair, at least, a hell of a view before it deposited them - who knows where?

In New York for a fashion show organised by Suzanne Bartsch in 1984, the duo discovered that you could dial-a-drug the way you dialled a pizza.  In this manner, they spent their visit.  Through Bartsch, they were later invited to Japan by Hanae Mori, where Trojan modelled in a 'London Fashion' show and had an exhibition - his first of twenty four paintings.  He put banana essence in the air conditioning and flock wallpaper on the walls.  He mounted his Fried Egg Trees with motors to make them wobble horribly and played BBC radiophonic workshop recordings.  It was a great success.  To celebrate they pulled such delicious pranks as filling David Holah's room with flowers.


Trojan modelling


Artist Duggie Fields and Trojan

"In late 1984 Susanne Bartsch took Leigh to Japan to show his frilly clothes clothes at same time that Michael Kostiff organised an art show for Trojan.  The Japanese were horrified at first at Leigh's show and didn't know what to make of it all, but once they saw the other English designers laughing and clapping they dared to titter embarassedly behind their hands"
Sue Tilley

In Japan, Trojan met an American model, whose seeming indestructibility as she careered through life, cushioned by a wealthy background, leaving behind a trail of dead junkie friends, naturally impressed him.  Here was another extreme, the psychosis of the rich, whose arrogance can sometimes vie with self-loathing in a potent demonic mix. It fascinated Trojan.

Victoria Fernandez, another friend of Suzanne Bartsch's became close to the gifted twenty-year-old, dazzled, as were others by his nerve and humour.  She organised an exhibition of his paintings near her home in Florence.  Trojan, who, till then, had mainly sold his paintings to Leigh, found his belief in himself as an artist confirmed commercially.  He sold a number of paintings, including a portrait of himself and Leigh.

"People in Europe used to buying paintings could see it straight away," says David Dawson.  Though recalling Picasso or the graffiti artists in their náivete, and with macabre elements common to Gilbert and George's pictures or those of the German neo-expressionists, "the distance," says Dawson, "was in terms of technique.  His was fairly shoddy, just the bare essentials to put the picture together.  He was capable of more subtlety than he employed.  That ambiguity could also disguise ignorance but it was a device he'd use.  There was hardly a hint of gesture in the drawing or the brushstroke; the emotion wasn't expressionist in that sense.  It was the narrative, in the title and the choice of objects."

With the proceeds, Trojan went on sprees.  Drug sprees or shopping sprees.  His perverse tastes and his mockery of good taste extended to the new designer lifestyle that he now had access to.  Instead of Yohji, he bought Hermés, the crassest possible designer totems.  He would linger in Bond Street shops marvelling at women buying their third Hermés scarf.  At nearby Cork Street gallery openings he reacted more to the quality of their frames than their contents.

"There was always that sense of irony," remarks John Maybury.  "He used perfume as a terrorist gesture.  He would drench half a bottle of expensive Giorgio on himself."

Mayfair appealed to Trojan, who affected a kind of snobbery tinged with ridicule.  His cynical embrace of nouveau suburban taste was a way of mocking it at the same time.  Mayfair and the Royal Borough, as he described his new Notting Hill address, were the epitome of those aspirations.  Trojan liked to recline in the gilt bosom of this rococo dowager.  Finally he was having his gaudy revenge on High Street Croydon.

At the new and wickedly fashionable Taboo club, one night in the spring of 1985, John Maybury approached Trojan.  "You look really gorgeous," he said.  "Will you come home with me?"

Trojan was moving, by himself to a small studio, which he was beginning to fill with peculiar bric-a-brac amassed from the nearby Portobello Road market.  He had outgrown his relationship with Leigh.


Maybury was seven years older, a well-known artist.  He had just ended a five-year liaison with Bodymap's David Holah - who had left him for his best friend Michael Clark.  He was emotionally threadbare.  "I was instantly besotted with Trojan," he says.  Gaunt, composed but with a mildly nervous air, and used to the artistic temper, Maybury appealed to a more mature Trojan.  "He said I was his first real boyfriend."

The following day, at his flat, Trojan pulled out a child's Magic Box. In it, he kept various drugs.  "Trojans's use of drugs was so much a part of him," says Maybury.  Leigh was surprised, earlier, how much Trojan knew about them.  "He liked the way they changed his mood and feelings.  He was interested in altering his state of being - just for fun."

What was it, though, that was so uncomfortable about his state of being?"  "He loved mad people, anything absurd," says Maybury.  "Leigh made him laugh.  It's hard to pinpoint.  We were always laughing.  The commonplace and the ordinary were real sources of amusement to him."

For a year, the pair lived together; Trojan disappearing to Granny Gater's Cottage - as he called his Notting Hill studio - to work.  Maybury's competitive interest soon turned to encouragement.  "Once I saw his work I was won over.  It's really hard to look at them and not be amused.  That's a rare thing in painting."

Trojan painted his friends in nightclubs - his world as he saw it - merged with his inner life.  It wasn't youth culture and it wasn't political in terms of disrupting any establishment, "It was art," says David Dawson.  "It's only dialectic was itself."

At twenty-one, Trojan had aroused the curiosity of important figures in the art world, though, says Norman Rosenthal, secretary of the Royal Academy, "I didn't really get the point."  He was feted by an older crowd, who, though they had seen it all before, watched with vicarious glee as Trojan sharpened his antagonism on the world.  But Trojan was having fun.  He became friends with people like the young Peter Getty.  His social horizons were expanding.  His work was on display at the new Limelight club and at the Anti-Art fair in Camden - his first London show.  With that unabashed sense of his own worth, he was demanding high prices for his paintings.

He was busy amassing materials for a new series of paintings.  He had found a shop selling plastic display food, and, with an idea in mind, had bought a bag full of it.  That day he returned to Maybury's flat in Camden Town.  There was no one home.  He put some food in the oven.  He was hungry; a dull hunger.  The DFH8 and Rohipnol made everything dull.  His empty stomach tightened.  He choked and the room spun.  His body was found a few hours later.

Trojan had performed the dazzling act of inventing himself.  You can invent a new self but how to escape the old one?  His idea was that if he desecrated his suburban past, turned it into a gross caricature, then he could expunge it.  The trouble was, only drugs - and not disguises - would truly allow him to escape from himself.  The search for new extremes of being and substantially altered states, accidentally consumed him.


Boredom was always on impulse.  The extreme was the only value.  Trojan made a mask out of his alienation and wore it to nightclubs.  With Leigh, he was on the verge of provoking an aesthetic revolution that never quite came about.

"The fashion community was too scared to put it down - but it was totally arbitrary whether they were in or out," says Maybury.  "It was a joke they were in on and nobody else.  It was a statement, but it didn't say anything."

Earlier that year, outside the Camden Town flat, Trojan stood with Leigh, Maybury, his friends Fiona Russell Powell, designer Lee Sheldrake, model Leslie Weiner, her boyfriend Kevin Mooney and others on their way to a party.

Under his arm he clutched a painting he had done as a present.  It involved a brick stuck to a plastic turd, a doughnut and some severed fingers.  He called it Trojan Doughnut Thief.

Trojan was wearing an old Ossie Clark snakeskin coat, shorts, a pastel Benetton jumper and pastel socks.  He reeked of perfume and his torn ear was rouged.  They were waiting for a taxi.

"I feel completely ridiculous carrying this painting!": he said and, suddenly aware of how ridiculous he looked, burst out laughing.

By Paul Rambali


••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••

Remembering Trojan


Photography by Lele Salveri

Princess Julia
DJ, Writer, Nightclub Legend, Gay Icon

He called by one afternoon dressed in woollen shorts, (the pair I'd taken up for him), hair cut into a lopsided bob, half his earlobe missing.  He was carrying an attaché case, a classic looking type.  'Cup of tea? I asked, 'yes please,' Trojan politely replied.  He was ever so polite.  Trojan would tell you all sorts of wicked stories in this polite manner, a small smirk would appear when the stories became so far-fetched not even I would believe them, and I believe everything everybody tells me.

His mother used to breed miniature Lassie dogs, I'd make him tell me the same stories over and over again and curl up laughing.  He told me how he'd turn tricks as a sort of tranny boy, but he'd just wear a bra with his normal clothes and pull fast ones with his punters.  He could get away with anything.


Princess Julia c. 1984

Today he opened his case and showed me all the contents in a very explanatory way.  Trojan's dole cheque had come through that week and he went straight to a special doctor up in Harley Street.  I'd heard about this doctor before, you could buy all sorts of appealing pharmaceuticals from him; downers, uppers, mogadon, 5ml, 10ml and Trojan had the lot.  Capsules and pretty coloured pills.  He laid them out and held them up for inspection.  Next came the perfume, Trojan was a 'perfume terrorist'.  He'd wear so much that he'd seductively stink out a room... OK with me, but not so OK in public places; you  could see people wince at the overpoweringly fragrant waft.  He enjoyed the effect his perfume terrorist antics had on people.  There's that attractive smirk again.  Next to appear from the case came the latest Hermés scarf.  He pulled it out with a flourish as we admired the design and he pointed out the details.  Trojan then tied the scarf around his neck with a jaunty flair and shut the case.  'Well I'll see you soon' he said, 'Goodbye then.'


••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••


Sue Tilley
Leigh Bowery's best friend, muse for the painting 'Benefits Supervisor Sleeping' by Lucian Freud, which sold for £17.2 million at Christies, New York and author of the book Leigh Bowery - Life and Times of An Icon.

I first met Trojan with Leigh at Cha Cha's.  I didn't know much about him at the time but as I got friendlier with Leigh I got to know Trojan well too, although the connection between us was never as strong as the one between Leigh and me.

He had been born Gary Barnes and had been brought up in Sutton in Surrey with his two brothers, one of whom was in the army.  His dad had done quite well for himself and had set up a video shop when they were all the rage. Trojan realised that he was different from a very early age and was determined to move to London as soon as possible.  He was very beautiful and didn't really fit it in there with his artistic nature and camp mannerisms.  While at school he had a Saturday job in a supermarket and one day after work his manager lured him round the back and Trojan had his first gay experience.

When Leigh first came to London, Trojan embarked on a romance with a girl, although he was attending a teenage gay group on Holloway Road.  But it was no regular woman that he hooked up with - It was Scarlet Bordello who ran the legendary club Cha Cha's that took place round the back of Heaven.  She was an extraordinary looking girl and she loved having Trojan on her arm.  However, his gay urges were too strong and their brief affair ended with her hitting him round the head with a frying pan.

Vaughan Toulouse and Scarlet

Leigh and Trojan were best friends and as much as Leigh mocked Trojan for his lack of education, intelligence, dress sense, choice of drink (Bacardi and Coke) and anything else he could think of, Trojan always held the upper hand as Leigh fancied Trojan but Trojan didn't fancy Leigh, although he loved him as a friend.

Leigh loved Trojan for his looks and his fearlessness.  I remember walking into Heaven with the pair of them and Trojan kicking a tramp.  Leigh was too well brought up to do that as he worried about the consequences, but Trojan just went ahead without thinking about it.  Like the time he threw the cat off the balcony or sliced his own ear in half.  Leigh knew that this was all wrong but somehow Trojan didn't.  So he just went ahead and did what he wanted, and while he gloated at his own bravado, Leigh sobbed in his bedroom.

When Leigh first designed the 'Pakis from Outer Space' look, he was too shy to wear it so he debuted the look on Trojan.  However, after a couple of weeks Leigh saw how much attention Trojan was getting and decided to adopt the look himself.  After that there was no stopping him.


Sue Tilley, 1984

I think that I was closer to Leigh as he was nearer in age to me and we had similar backgrounds.  Trojan could be a bit sulky sometimes and was jealous about the amount of time Leigh and I spent on the phone to each other.  What he didn't know was that we were often talking about how much Leigh loved Trojan and how he could get him to be his.

It all came to a head one evening at the Wag Club.  Leigh begged me to go and tell Trojan that he fancied him.  I thought it was all very school playground (especially as they shared a flat!).  I was very drunk so went off and did it - just for the drama.  Trojan just laughed and said he would 'never do it with Doughnut', his nickname for Leigh.

A few weeks later Leigh phoned me, ecstatic that they had finally 'done it'.  He had discovered a way to convince Trojan that he was the one for him.  He plied him with acid and for about two weeks they had a torrid affair but Trojan came to his senses and realised Leigh wasn't the one.

Leigh Bowery and Sue

Leigh was devastated but they continued to share a flat and Leigh continued to torture Trojan more and more.  However, he also championed him and encouraged him to pursue his art career and to develop his own style.  To make money Trojan turned to male escorting, which really worked Leigh's nerves.  Even so, he was fascinated with the strange nature of most of Trojan's punters and constantly regaled me with tales about them, the most popular being 'Plum Knob' so called because he tied a purple extension to his penis with a long ribbon.  Sometimes Trojan had to dress as a woman, his alter ego Sandra, who was a pretty but sulky creature.


Trojan's Sandra
"Leigh and Trojan would spend hours rummaging around second-hand shops for sophisticated evening dresses and shoes for Sandra"
Sue Tilley

At this time Leigh was having a fling with a nightwatchman at a local warehouse, which he liked to throw in Trojan's face.  He was devastated to find out that the nighwatchman had rung up for him but he wasn't in, so Trojan had gone off to meet him behind his back!

Leigh had been getting more and more worried about Trojan's drug use.  He was horrified when he found out he'd been taking heroin.  He tried to stop him but to no avail.  Trojan was hooked.  He loved all the seediness of drug taking and all the paraphernalia needed to take it.  Leigh and Trojan became less of a double act and began to go out separately.

Sue Tilley, Leigh Bowery, Trojan and Rachel Auburn

One night at Taboo, Trojan met John Maybury and they started dating.  Leigh was devastated about this but continued to mentor Trojan.  Eventually Trojan moved out of their flat and got his own place.  Trojan got his own look which was very Chanel with a diagonal black fringe which he made more severe by painting it underneath.

Unfortunately, without Leigh's influence, Trojan fell further under the spell of hard drugs and one evening I got a call from Leigh in floods of tears.  He had just been told that Trojan had been found dead in John Maybury's flat where he was staying while John was away.  He'd been found dead on the kitchen floor while two meat pies frazzled away in the oven.

It was presumed to be an accidental death as it's unlikely someone would put their dinner on if they were about to commit suicide.


•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••


Patrick Lilley
Club Promoter and Publicist

I remember the first moment I saw Trojan.  It was at The Pink Panther and he was with Leigh and a part-time member of their gang, Peter The Space Princess, who shared style tips.  As I spotted them out of the corner of my eye, grabbing attention and breaking every style rule in the book - it was the era of "Hard Times" chic.  Indecently ripped jeans and leather jackets were de rigeur, a new butch look that was soon to be popularised by a Face magazine cover - to a wave of dislike.  My initial horror as my eyes moved from toe to head - platform boots!?  brightly coloured clothes?  But by the time I got to their heads and saw their rasta hats and painted faces my feelings changed to those of huge admiration.  It was the beginning of their Pakis From Outer Space look I soon learned.

I shuffled over and invited them to our hip party Circus, that I promoted with Jeremy Healy.  It was a roving warehouse party in 1983 or so.

Photography by Kate Garner
Patrick Lilley, 1984

Trojan and I had something in common.  We cottaged.  Cruised the local conveniences for trade.  As did Leigh.  I remember the first time we ever spoke, it was in the dark men's underground loos near Farringdon.  I soon discovered it was near their legendary flat.  I lived at the top of Farringdon Road and Leigh and Trojan lived in Clerkenwell.

He was always a nice queen to me but others reported a slight (I understate I think!) change in behaviour as he moved to ground zero hip.  He remained nice to me though.


The period was very exciting.  My lot had just exited punk poserdom and it felt like a new style emerged every month - it was like the era of Mod where fashions changed daily.  I was twenty-two, Trojan was four or five years younger.

He dated John Maybury.  When John directed Alana Pellay's video for Pistol in My Pocket it was filmed at Taboo, Leigh styled Alana and Trojan art directed.  It was a real family production.  I think it's the only film to really capture the mood of the party.  I think Trojan's cut ear appears in a cameo!  



Pistol in My Pocket by Lana Pellay
Directed by John Maybury at Taboo

When we got the call saying that Trojan had OD'd.  You know what the strangest thing was?  It didn't seem strange or weird at all.  That was normal - a day in the life/death of Trojan's end game.  In fact dicing with death was an art form they all practiced with varying degrees of success.  Depending on what you'd call success with Russian roulette.

Trojan was immortalised in song soon after his death in tributes written by Kevin Mooney of the band MAX.  The song was also recorded by Boy George for his Sold album.  I worked with MAX - a legend in their own lunchtime - the band led by Kevin who was previously in Adam and the Ants.  I still treasure their songs.   Kevin's then girlfriend Leslie Weiner was the female muse - a heroin chic model before it was known of.  Leslie is a story and a half!  She's great.

The fabulous Leslie Weiner

I love both songs that Kevin wrote about Trojan -  'Little Ghost' and 'Even to spark out now would be no pain.'

Leigh without Trojan would have just been eccentric.  Leigh with Trojan and Space were a movement.

Trojan came to town this sweet home counties Gary Numan fan and soon along with Leigh found himself in the centre of the hippest club in the world.

•••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••


Richard Habberley
Club kid turned model agent extraordinaire.  Richard looks after the careers of some of the world's most famous models at Elite, New York

Trojan was the same age as me, he was born ten days later and I felt we had a real bond.  We were friends, and because of that Leigh and Rachel (Auburn) were like his mum and dad.  I first met him when he came to Heaven with Leigh and Space (Princess) when they had the Pakis From Outer Space look.  Leigh felt like the fat friend next to Trojan and belittled him accordingly.  Trojan had a crusty nose from the piercing he'd done to get the chain to go from his nose to his ear.  When he sliced his ear open as a tribute to Van Gogh I was very impressed - I thought he took his art seriously.

Photography by Kate Garner
Richard Habberley c. 1984

I can remember Trojan and I lying on the floor in the toilets at Taboo, sniffing glue out of a bag, laughing uncontrollably while people banged away on the door.  He had a great sense of humour and was a gentle boy with a caustic edge.

Leigh Bowery (second left), Richard Habberley and Trojan, New York 1983


Richard kept a note Trojan wrote to him in New York

I found out on the night he died, drowned in his own vomit in the kitchen at John Maybury and Leslie Chilkes place.  John tried to kill himself soon after and I went to see him in hospital.  We were all really just kids, weren't we?  I remember thinking he was never going to get to twenty-two, and I was.  He was so young.

I think Trojan would have gone on to be a great artist had he lived and I still miss him.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••


John Maybury
Artist and Film Director

I'd first seen Leigh and Trojan in The Bell in about 1984, when they first tipped up on the scene looking like a couple of Indian gods.  Soon after I had a show of my paintings at the B2 gallery in Wapping and he and Leigh came along.  When Leigh saw my paintings he apparently said to Trojan "you could do that!"  I know that Trojan started painting around that time but I didn't meet him properly until later on.  I knew Leigh better than Trojan, in fact Trojan was always very quiet then.  He would be standing around looking pretty while Leigh was doing his "Leigh" routine.

I'd broken up with my partner David Holah from Bodymap after five years.  He'd run off with one of my best friends, Michael Clark and I was pretty cut up about it.

Trojan and I were at Taboo one night necking untold quantities of cocktails and I don't know what else, although there was obviously a something involved!  You know what it was like.  We ended up carrying on the party back at my place.  That's how it began.

I then went over to his studio on All Saints Road and he showed me all his paintings for the first time.  I was astounded by his work, it was just fantastic.  I think he was twenty at the time and he'd produced dozens and dozens of these really insane pictures which were unlike anything I'd ever seen.

He produced a kids magic box from under the bed.  When he opened it there were no magic tricks.  It contained just about every drug known to mankind.  Literally every single thing you could possibly imagine, like a Dr Feelgood box!  So basically, Trojan and I began working our way through the box and that was the beginning of our love story!  It was art and drugs and lots of make-up.

John Maybury and Princess Julia


In 1985 we were both included in a show that this Columbian woman Victoria Fernandez organised called London Goes To Tokyo.  Leigh Bowery and Rachel Auburn were showing their clothes and Trojan and I and Peter Doig and a bunch of artists were flown out with our pictures.

A version of that show went to Florence.  Trojan and I went together and had an amazing time.  He had his twenty-first Birthday out there.  I remember we stayed in an apartment Victoria was renting from Emilio Pucci, all terribly glamorous.  It was the kind of stuff we all just took in our stride then, we all thought it was our god given right to be swanning around the planet like that.  Particularly Trojan, although he was a very young kid, he was super confident about his work and about his right to be out there in the world.  He took himself very seriously as a painter.

I was in Los Angeles shooting a video for Psychic TV.  They were doing a cover of The Beach Boys Good Vibrations, ironically.  While I was there I got a call telling me Trojan had died at my flat.  I was completely devastated.  I've never really found out what actually happened.  Lots of people were in my flat while I was away, various friends were there hanging out.

When I got back there was this lamp that he'd been painting for me with a skull on top.  He'd done it with oil paints.  When I got back 48 hours later the paint was still wet, which was freaky, it was a strange connection if you like.  Equally horrible was the Coroners Court where they'd taken Trojan's body was directly opposite my flat.  It was August and the Coroner had gone on holiday so the body had to just stay there till he got back.

I flipped out, I didn't know how to handle it.  It was a nightmare.  There were stains on the kitchen floor where he'd OD'd and no one had bothered to clean them up so I had the pleasure of doing that.

A little while after that I OD'd.  I was taking far too many tranquilisers to calm me down and I ended up in hospital in a coma.  I stayed in hospital for about two months.  It's so sad because I didn't even get to go to his funeral.

It was a very heavy and nasty time in my life.  I think it was Nick Knight who came to see me in hospital and brought me photographs of the funeral, which was very thoughtful and very sweet of him.  People really rallied around me and I came back to life and into the real world.  It was the first time in my circle of friends that someone had died so young.


All Trojan's paintings still exist, scattered all over the world.  I had a lot of his paintings.  I gave quite a few to Leigh before he died, some of the very large ones because it was all quite overwhelming to have so many in my small flat.  I have about twenty or thirty drawings that were framed up for a retrospective of Trojan's work at Manchester City Art Gallery.

I have some fantastic film of Trojan.  I shot a lot of experimental Super 8 stuff, there's a Review of the 80's for The South Bank Show that I did which has footage of Trojan in.  Of course I've kept them all this time but it's kind of difficult to go back and look it again, so I never have.  Maybe I will one day.

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••



Even to spark out now would be no pain - Trojan
by John Maybury

Anti-Art Fair description: A vivid image; the level of colour saturation is astonishing.  Trojan is depicted as a demi-mustachioed, one and a half eared aesthete in an oversized jacket.  A skull floats directly above his tousled hair.

The artist, model and designer Trojan, real name Gary Barnes, had died of an accidental heroin overdose at the age of twenty-one, shortly before this poster was issued.  He was the lover of film maker John Maybury, who illustrated this poster, and a close friend and intimate of bisexual clothes designer and exhibitionist Leigh Bowery.  Bowery and Trojan once shared an East End council flat with a bizarre and  surreal interior.  The flat appears in Charles Atlas's contemporaneous film on dancer Michael Clark called 'Hail The New Puritan.'

••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••


Little Ghost

Written by Kevin Mooney/MAX
 As a tribute to Trojan

Here comes the little ghost
Here comes the little ghost
Here comes the little ghost

Oh what a bad mood he's in in the morning
Acting like that is the best thing that's going
Seems like he was always dancing around you
And I remember him spinning all over
I've been here, but not for much longer
Go out and get me a handful of powder
Red eyes and red lips that come up and kiss you
Sun coming up on a big broken picture

Here comes the little ghost
Here comes the freaky boy
Here comes the little ghost

Angel with nothing but make-up and fab things
Diamonds and fur coats and money and gold rings
Pictures of people who love ya and kick things
One for the blue boy and two for the dead kings
Here is an angel with wings on his shoulders
Very expressive cigarette holder
Here is an angel with a bow and an arrow
Saying god doesn't know how to put on his halo

Here comes the little ghost
Here comes the freaky boy
Here comes the Rolls Royce
Here comes the little ghost

Here he comes
Here he comes




Little Ghost by MAX
Directed by John Maybury and starring the gorgeous Kevin Mooney



Little Ghost - extended version
With narration by Leslie Weiner and featuring footage of Trojan and Leigh shot by John Maybury


••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••••


Very special thanks to the wonderful people below for writing a piece especially for this post or talking to me

John Maybury
Patrick Lilley
Princess Julia
Richard Habberley
Sue Tilley

With special thanks for use of images of Trojan and his friends to

David Gwinnutt
Derek Ridgers
Johnny Rozsa
Kate Garner
Kevin Bosch
Lele Salveri
Michael Kostiff
Patrick Lilley
Sheila Rock
Sue Tilley

And of course to Paul Rambali for his brilliant writing of The Trojan Story



Trojan
(1966-1986)


23 comments:

Anonymous said...

What a beautiful piece. Thanks for posting.

Wildernesschic said...

What a fantastic piece .. I have always loved characters such as Trojan. Individual and slightly "Off" but in a good way :)
I had never heard of him before, I think its because I was in Spain through most of these infamous years.. having my Latin version of infamy ... and all its trimmings. But I love hearing about all these people and London in that era xx

Dash said...

Christina this is wonderful, a great and moving piece of work, shame you lost it and had to re do it, but it's worth it.

It's so sad that every hedonistic period has it's casualties, Trojan seems to be one of those people who was destined to die young, I am sure he would have thought it a riot, that people would be writing about him twenty four years later. Still, can't help wondering what he could have achieved had he survived.
XX

Anonymous said...

Great blog ... should be a book really.

Trojan looked amazing, granted.

Let's not forget though that he was a deeply disturbed individual. He's the guy who killed his cat by throwing it out of the window of the tower block flat he shared with Leigh.

Can you really have respect for someone like that?

Looks aren't everything!

Anonymous said...

That was a fantastic read! Really interesting. What an exciting time the 80's were for a lot of people. Such a shame Trojan didn't live longer. I wonder what he'd be like now if he had? x

Belle de Ville said...

What a well written post. I love reading about a part of the early 1980s that I knew nothing about as I was happily ensconced at home as a young matron. I don't feel sad at all having missed the hedonistic club scene...especially if I can read about it through you.

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this well written and incisive piece. Trojan was truly extraordinary-he carried himself with greater elegance than anyone I have ever encountered since.

duggie fields said...

I LOVED HIS PAINTINGS.
THE PICTURE WAS TAKEN IN TOKYO
TROJAN'S EXHIBITION STOLE THE EVENT THERE FOR ME.
LEIGH'S FASHION SHOW WAS FABULOUS, FUNNY, SEXY AND PERVERSE. HILARIOUS EVEN, AS WAS THE STUNNED AUDIENCE REACTION. I LOVED EVERY MOMENT OF IT..
BUT TROJAN'S EXHIBITION I LOVED IT IN A WAY I'VE LOVED FEW OTHER ARTISTS, EVER.

NIGEL said...

Great piece. Brought back lots of fun memories from the 80's. Thank you

Lucy Fishwife said...

What a wonderful, entertaining, surprising piece. Why isn't this a book? Go, girl. Loving the blog btw.

Smashingbird said...

What a fantastic post, I've really enjoyed reading your pieces about this era as I have practically no knowledge about it, so it's really fascinating to me.

Charlie Porter said...

That piece from The Face was one of the signposts of my childhood - I took that issue with me on a family holiday and read it over and again, startled, shocked and obsessed, particularly with the picture of the torn ear. My copy of it is long gone so its a joy to see it again - thank you!

♥ Miggy ♥ said...

This was a truly emotive post.
I was just a baby while all of this was happening but have heard about Trojan on a few occasions in recent years.
Thanks for enabling us to see such personal stories/tributes.

His memory lives on.

x

helsalee said...

I am totally agree with the above posters that this is really awesome and fabulous post. I also like characters like trojan.
Office furniture

S.G.F said...

what a beautiful insight to the weird and wonderful. I loved every word. I have the pleasure of working with a past friend of leigh bowery and i cant get enough of the stories! Keep writing!

http://stephaniegfoy.wordpress.com/

Anglomaniak said...

Thank you so much for posting this piece. Like a previous poster said why isn't this a book? It'd also make a fabulous film. Up until reading this piece I'd not really seen anything about Trojan, so found him a mysterious, enigmatic personality, on the fringes of Leigh Bowery's sphere. This post proves my assumptions wrong and has shown me he was a talented artist and a name not to be forgotten.

Anonymous said...

my mum and dad owned the pink pather where Patrick lilley meet Trojan and Leigh for the first time! my mum can remeber great shocking stories about the club and its clients!! how wounderful it is to see THE PINK PATHER is not forgotten xx

Anonymous said...

That piece from The Face was one of the signposts of my childhood - I took that issue with me on a family holiday and read it over and again

Whiteboard | Whiteboards | A Boards | Pavement Signs | Notice Boards

shermiepoo said...

Thank you for posting The Face article. It made an enormous impression on the 16-year old me, and I've been looking for a copy of this issue for as long as ebay's been around.

Mark EE said...

Wow, on New years eve 2011 I come across your post. I read the original The Face article when it came out and I was transformed. Running through these photos I remember them like it was yesterday I saw them in the article almost 25 years ago. I still have the original! Thank you for posting your tribute and article. Sad that he died. He could have been the precursor to McQueen or Galliano if only he didnt chase the dragon

Anonymous said...

sadly at the time most of us didn't care what drugs were doing to us...
beautiful tribute.
also remembering leigh, mark vaultier, jalle bakke, ray petri, etc...

alwayseatbreakfast said...

Brilliant post thanks. Doing an essay on Bowery for university at the moment. Feels like the critics have largely dismissed what looks like true collaboration ?
They were so young and bold, it is exciting to think of.

richard susskindseo said...

Richard Susskind & Company is a leading commercial property agency specialising in the letting, selling and acquisition of office, retail and leisure space in Central London. With our continued presence in Clerkenwell dating back to 1989, Richard Susskind & Company is positioned to offer unparalleled property advice in one of London’s fastest growing commercial districts. Our agents are active across the capit with expert knowledge of the Clerkenwell, Farringdon, Shoreditch and Old Street areas.

Property in Farringdon