Friday, October 7, 2016


If the famous cover of Grace Jones’ 1985 “Island Life” LP seems unreal to you…well, it is.
The picture was actually an ingenious form of “pre-Photoshop” trickery.

One of pop culture’s most famous photographs, the album cover was created by Grace’s then-partner, Jean-Paul Goude, art editor for Esquire Magazine. Grace’s impossibly graceful, nearly-nude pose was indeed impossible. Goude skillfully created it by cobbling together a montage of separate images.

“Unless you are extraordinarily supple, you cannot do this arabesque,” Goude noted. “The main point is that Grace couldn’t do it, and that’s the basis of my entire work: creating a credible illusion.” Goude photographed Jones in a variety of positions, using boxes to hold up parts of her body, before combining the pieces he needed for one stunning and unforgettable image.

Goude met R&B diva Grace Jones during the heyday of New York’s disco scene, according to a 2009 interview. "In 1977 or ’78, I met Grace and it was a period of decadence. People were still doing lots of drugs and I had been working so hard for so long and she made me part of her lifestyle, made me go out dancing at Studio 54. She became an obsession and we did everything together." 

Soon after meeting, Goude and Jones pursued a romantic relationship, but paradoxically, their relationship ended after Jones became pregnant with their son, Paulo. "We both had our moments of weakness and when she announced she was pregnant," Goude said, "I had no intention of staying with her. I wasn’t happy with it. And things became so bad, I had to leave [Grace]. But I did my best work with her…and we’re still very friendly. She is great." 

But the album cover lives on, embraced in tributes by many imitators, a few of which can be found below.....

Amber Rose (2010)
Xavier (2016)

Hard Ton (2010)



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