I have been reading Barry Miles wonderful book about alternative culture in the capital London Calling http://www.amazon.co.uk/London-Calling-Countercultural-History-Since/dp/1843546132 . He covers the post war era well, though alternative London in the 40s and early 50s seems little more than alcohol-fuelled hi jinks by pissed artists in Soho and Fitzrovia. He is on much better territory with the 60s and it is here that he reminded me of the genius of Pauline Boty.Boty was the ultimate 60s scenester. She was a dancer on Ready Steady Go, appeared in a few films most notably Alfie (see the fuzzy image in the blue jumper pic 3) and hung out with all the key movers and shakers of the time. Most importantly though she was a hugely talented artist and IMO should be recognised as the country’s leading pop artist of the decade (well along with Peter Blake anyhow). Check out the amazing Only Blonde In The World (pic 1) which mixes a striking image with rich bright colours that were so redolent of the era. It is in the Tate at Liverpool. The Keeler image (pic 4) is also fantastic, but was tragically lost. Sadly Pauline died of cancer not long after the birth of her first and only child in 1966. She was just 28 years old. Not only was she the UK’s only significant pop art painter, but it is clear that she would have gone on to become recognised as one of the greatest artists of the last century. There’s some good articles about Pauline here http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/the-darling-of-her-generation-pauline-boty-was-the-heartbreaker-of-the-sixties-art-scene-talented-and-outspoken-she-was-loved-by-countless-men-including-the-painter-peter-blake-with-a-revival-of-interest-in-her-paintings-they-are-growing-mistyeyed-again-1496166.html and here http://www.guardian.co.uk/artanddesign/2004/jun/19/art But it does strike me that it is about time her life were captured on a film. It would be a fascinating piece and might once again place an amazing and incredibly talented woman in the spotlight. It is perhaps time she gets the credit she so thoroughly deserves.
Incidentally there’s a fabulous collection of images of Pauline here http://www.colinrobinson.com/Boty.html If you need a quality image of Pauline for a magazine that’s the place to go. There’s also a directory of links to articles about her life.