The boy looked at Johnny, Johnny wanted to run…


Patti Smith "Horses" (c) Arista Records (1975)

Patti Smith- Horses

Is this the most iconic rock album cover ever? OK, so ‘iconic’ is a vastly over-used word, but for me it marked a crossing of the Rubicon. The point at which poetry, rock, photography and art all came together as one (im)perfect whole- a statement of faith in the transfigurative powers of rock & roll. 

 Photographed by Robert Mapplethorpe, “this picture exposes what he really was: a romantic. He has photographed Patti Smith as the essence of every romantic icon, a savage heart on a highway to hell. Dark, shadowed and desperate, she burns herself into the picture.

Mapplethorpe’s picture summons up myths of the outsider artist and confers on the nascent punk star a romantic character developed by painters since the 19th century” (Jonathan Jones)

…and suddenly I did get the feeling I was being surrounded by horses…



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