I could not let Nick Rhodes’s birthday week go by without doing something to acknowledge a bit of his artistic genius. I debated about which aspect of Nick’s career would best shed light on this. Obviously, I could have looked into his work in Duran Duran. Of course, I could have chosen one of his many side projects, including his most recent. His work as a producer could have been a good topic as well. Yet, I chose to go with his photography, which also seemed like a good focus for our Memorabilia Medley topic.
How many people reading this has a copy of his book of photos entitled Interference? If you are unfamiliar with this book, the Duran Wiki page describes it in this way:
“The book is a collection of abstract polaroid photographs of television screens from around the world, taken by the book’s author Nick Rhodes whilst on tour during 1983 and 1984. Each picture shows depth and colour, which demonstrates that abstract photography can come from the simplest of things and does not need to be complicated to be art. The configuration of the book allows individuals to make their own interpretation of what they are seeing which is the basis of art.
The book features an introduction by Nick Rhodes, who became interested in the art world early in his career, making friends with Andy Warhol and The Factory Crowd. The camera used was a Polaroid SX-70, with the photos manipulated only by using the TV controls. None of the pictures were enhanced or manipulated by computers, although some of the images in the book were changed a little graphically by the designer Malcolm Garrett.”
I definitely did not own a copy of this when it came out in late 1984. Luckily, I was able to find a copy about 15 years ago or so on eBay. It was not cheap but as someone who appreciates art, I was excited to get my hands on a copy. I remember going through the images and being confused, intrigued, curious, and more. It is exactly like I like my art to be. I am not a big fan of art that leaves little to the imagination. No, I like to be able to interpret what I see and Nick’s photos allowed that. In fact, I was so into what I saw that I was not satisfied with just looking through the book. This led me to go to my mom and tell her this and wonder if she had any ideas to satisfy my desire for something more. For those of you who don’t know, my mom is a fiber artist. This means that she makes work of art from mostly fabric, thread, etc. Of course, at times, she uses paper or other materials within. I might be a bit biased but I think that my mom’s work is pretty amazing. Anyway, through our discussion of Nick’s photos, I managed to convince her to make a piece using a photo as inspiration. I loved what she came up with and still have her piece hanging in my living room. Every time I look at it, I am reminded of both Nick’s genius as well as my mom’s. Thanks to Nick and to my mom!
Nick’s photo entitled “Burning All the Books”:
My mom’s interpretation entitled, “Waves a Blaze.”