grace_jones_island_life.jpg

Holy god. The first thing that I thought when I saw this cover was: “what a fearsome thoroughbred.”

Photographer Jean Paul Goude took this photo in 1978 for a New York Magazine profile of model Grace Jones. The article (and the accompanying photographs) would help to transform her into a pop singer and gay icon. When Island Life – the punnily-titled compilation of her biggest singles for Island Records – was released in 1986, this image was pulled out of the bottom draw and dusted off to create a classic album cover.

grace_photo.jpg

Some more background on the original image has emerged with the release (the puns continue) of So Far So Goude, by Jean-Paul Goude with Patrick Mouries. At the time of the photo Goude was Jones’ lover and she was his muse. Before they fell out, they furthered each other’s career in a way neither could have imagined.

“Initially, she was flattered by all of my attention,” says Goude. “And she’s no dope – Grace is an opportunist and she knew my vision was good for her career. Initially, she let herself be taken over, but then she suspected that I had only fallen in love with her image.”

If you’re wondering how Jones’ body can do this pose, the simple answer is that it can’t. Goude employs what is technically referred to as “visual trickery”. Here’s how it was done:

visual_trickery.jpg

Here’s a picture of somebody else trying the pose:

copy_of_jones_v2.jpg

Describing the concept, Goude says “…unless you are extraordinarily supple, you cannot do this arabesque” (the ballet pose in the picture). “The main point is that Grace couldn’t do it, and that’s the basis of my entire work: creating a credible illusion.”

Apart from this album cover the only thing I previously knew about Jones was that she was good friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 80’s. It kind of makes sense – they both look as if they have emerged from an alternate reality where infants are breastfed steroids and the puny are used as toothpicks. 25 years later he’s the conservative Governor of California while she’s still drunkenly touring the world and releasing albums with cover art like this (2008’s Hurricane):

hurricane_v1.jpg

Grace Jones: Island Life, Island Life

grace_jones_island_life.jpg

Holy god. The first thing that I thought when I saw this cover was: “what a fearsome thoroughbred.”

Photographer Jean Paul Goude took this photo in 1978 for a New York Magazine profile of model Grace Jones. The article (and the accompanying photographs) would help to transform her into a pop singer and gay icon. When Island Life – the punnily-titled compilation of her biggest singles for Island Records – was released in 1986, this image was pulled out of the bottom draw and dusted off to create a classic album cover.

grace_photo.jpg

Some more background on the original image has emerged with the release (the puns continue) of So Far So Goude, by Jean-Paul Goude with Patrick Mouries. At the time of the photo Goude was Jones’ lover and she was his muse. Before they fell out, they furthered each other’s career in a way neither could have imagined.

“Initially, she was flattered by all of my attention,” says Goude. “And she’s no dope – Grace is an opportunist and she knew my vision was good for her career. Initially, she let herself be taken over, but then she suspected that I had only fallen in love with her image.”

If you’re wondering how Jones’ body can do this pose, the simple answer is that it can’t. Goude employs what is technically referred to as “visual trickery”. Here’s how it was done:

visual_trickery.jpg

Here’s a picture of somebody else trying the pose:

copy_of_jones_v2.jpg

Describing the concept, Goude says “…unless you are extraordinarily supple, you cannot do this arabesque” (the ballet pose in the picture). “The main point is that Grace couldn’t do it, and that’s the basis of my entire work: creating a credible illusion.”

Apart from this album cover the only thing I previously knew about Jones was that she was good friends with Arnold Schwarzenegger in the 80’s. It kind of makes sense – they both look as if they have emerged from an alternate reality where infants are breastfed steroids and the puny are used as toothpicks. 25 years later he’s the conservative Governor of California while she’s still drunkenly touring the world and releasing albums with cover art like this (2008’s Hurricane):

hurricane_v1.jpg





10 Comments

  1. Awesome. Those early Grace Jones records were amazing, and she always had great visuals to back it all up. I met Grace once on a very random occasion, and by her physical presence, I had no reason to doubt that album cover pose!
    The world before Photoshop, I guess…

  2. Would be good to do a review of the Slave to the Rhythm album art. I think it's the same photographer and he even has a monologue on the album.

  3. lol I know tons of professional ballerinas who could do that pose easily.

    but yea, the editing is phenomenal.

  4. but can they do it while wearing a Grace Jones costume?

  5. Amazing pose! Nice album cover.

  6. Amazing pose! Nice album cover.

  7. But why is she standing on that towel thing? And why do we have to see the mic cord? These are the things that annoy me…

  8. The pose is physically impossible to replicate naturally. Yes, the overall look can be copied, but the actual position is unnatural. Her chest dead-on facing the camera, while the left leg is at a right angle to it. The base of the spine is also curved beyond human capacity. The position of her right left could be replicated with extreme fitness, but not at the same time as her left leg; her body would be split in half. It’s an incredible image, and yes, impossible to copy with 100% accuracy.

  9. The mic is plugged into the wall socket, the rubber pad she is standing on keeps her from getting the S&*t shocked out of her.

  10. This pose is imitated in the Hype williams video for Nicki Minaj’s song “Stupid Hoe.” I wonder how they did, it there.

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