Well blow me down. Here’s something you don’t come across everyday: an art exhibition inspired by a Bananarama video. Seriously. There’s you lot thinking that New York was always so much cooler than everywhere else, yet in 1984 the Big Apple was singing along to Cruel Summer just like the rest of us and the sight of the three big-haired saucepots walking the New York streets in the song’s video made such an impression on urban art historian Roger Gastman that it’s stayed with him ever since.
While most sensible New Yorkers try to escape the city in the height of summer when the temperatures peak, the London lasses used the oppressive conditions as a metaphor for the emotional pressure of a break-up. I think. Stateside chart success came with the song’s inclusion on the Karate Kid soundtrack; the film is another reason Gastman fondly remembers 1984, along with the launch of the space shuttle Discovery and the Los Angeles Olympic Games. The exhibition, being held at both New York branches of Jonathan LeVine Gallery, includes Shepard Fairey, Cleon Peterson, Dabs Myla and Revok among an impressive list of more than 20 participants. Closing date is 23 August.