The Queen of Punk

Debbie Harry, Andy Warhol's Bad T-Shirt,
Old Street Studio, London 1979.
© Brian Aris

LondonArt & Culture

The Queen of Punk

Retrospective shows the iconic face of feminine fearsomeness...

Debbie Harry, the face that launched a thousand furtive boyhood fantasies, and spawned a sea of new wave copycat peroxide hairdos in the 1970s and ’80s. Singer, style icon, sex symbol, frontwoman and trailblazer for hook-laden pop-punk outfit Blondie. Unquestionably, strikingly handsome, Harry’s unmistakable face has an almost cruel beauty that projects an air of near palpable hostility; she seems as likely to slap you as shake your hand, apropos of nothing.

Long-time friend and photographer Brian Aris spent a lot of time capturing on film the visual representation of that wild persona – a latter-day Monroe with a faintly perceptible snarl replacing the pout, with that tousled, two-tone, sensual I-just-got-out-of-bed-and-guess-who-I-left-handcuffed-to-the-headboard air. Debbie Harry: Queen of Punk. Photographs by Brian Aris is a retrospective of Aris’s shots from 1977 to 1988, revealing a slight vulnerability in the early days through to the fully-evolved feminists’ arse-kicking wet dream. Aris’s vision of Harry will be stalking through the Proud Chelsea gallery until 17th February.

The Queen of Punk

Debbie Harry, New York Apartment,
New York Apartment, Back Yard, 1983.
© Brian Aris

The Queen of Punk

Debbie Harry, New York Apartment
with Warhol Portrait, 1988.
© Brian Aris

The Queen of Punk

Debbie Harry, Dressing Room,
New York Studio, 1985.
© Brian Aris

The Queen of Punk

Debbie Harry, First session.
Old Street Studio, London, 1977.
© Brian Aris

The Queen of Punk

Debbie Harry,
New York Studio, 1981.
© Brian Aris

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