Allen Jones: Women and Men

By on December 11, 2014

This is my current favourite DVD. I bought one at the Allen Jones exhibition at the Royal Academy and liked it so much that I immediately ordered it for my online store.

Think of the classic images of fetish sex over past decades. They are not porn, are they? Porn has little lasting effect. It’s art that really gets to you and for that, may I direct you to Allen Jones.

Allen Jones has produced some of the most startling images of the past five decades. His is a world of iconic women done up to the nines, immaculately seductive, a world in which glamour is a given, where roles switch to the beat and passions flower in searing colour.

Jones was at the Royal College of Art around 1960 with the likes of Peter Blake and David Hockney. Soon after selling his first painting, Jones’ tiny studio in Wandsworth was visited by one of his heroes, Joan Miro.

Quickly creating a missive impact, Allen Jones’s work, be it painting, sculpture or print, ushered in the British Pop Art movement of the late fifties. He challenged Warhol and Lichtenstein on their home turf in New York; became the target of feminist anger in the 1970s, and developed a mature style which now delights collectors and gallery goers around the world.

However the man and his methods remain a mystery. This film by Jake Auerbach, explores the artist and his work with help from his sitter, the  Prima Ballerina Darcey Bussell, his wife Deirdre Morrow, artist Gary Hume and, of course, Allen Jones himself.

The film includes footage of Allen Jones discussing his work and the way that some feminists at the time considered it offensive to women. (Today, many still try to censor art that they don’t like.) There are some lovely insights, including one about a picture that Jones based on an Eric Stanton cartoon of a man stepping into a woman’s identity.

For anyone interested in the way that fetish imagery has been used in serious art – to lasting and powerful effect – this DVD is a must.
59 minutes

By it here at £15.99 from

Tim Woodward

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