Brian Aris shows art of glass with Debbie Harry shots at Proud Camden

By Alex Hopkins | 08 December 2009
A photo of a 1970s female pop star with blonde hair and a black t-shirt staring into the camera

Exhibition: Being Blondie – Debbie Harry by Brian Aris, Proud Camden, London, until January 11 2010

It is 25 years since American new wave pop band Blondie burst on to the scene, leaving an indelible mark in the music annals.

In honour of this, a new exhibition of photographs at Proud Camden celebrates their eponymous leading lady, Debbie Harry.

Harry was the focal point of Blondie – a blonde bombshell, notorious for her cool sexuality and streetwise persona.

Famous for her two-tone, bleach-blonde hair and cutting edge style, she was so intricately linked with the group that many even believed her real name to be Blondie.

A black and white photo of a female pop star in revealing black dress sitting akimbo on a stool

Aris's first session with Debbie Harry, from 1977, gave her the title "punk princess". This is the first time the picture has been seen publically since 1979

The photographs on display are by Brian Aris and feature many rare and never before seen images from his unrivalled archive.

“I have been blessed to have worked so many times with not only such a beautiful looking woman but someone who has become an icon all over the world,” says Aris.

“Debbie has crossed over three decades of the music business and her appeal is as strong today as it ever was.”

An integral part of the burgeoning 1970s club scene, Harry was a regular at New York’s infamous Studio 54, mixing with man of the day Andy Warhol. She is a pop-culture icon whose career has encompassed film and television as well as music.

A black and white photo of a blonde female 1970s pop star sitting on a stool in black boots and a black coat

A previously unseen photo taken at Holborn Studios in London in 1983

Blondie released their first two singles in 1976 and 1977 to moderate success, but then went on to gain international acclaim in 1978 with the release of Parallel Lives.

Hit after hit followed and the band rapidly established themselves as pioneers of American new wave and punk rock.

Aris has photographed anyone who is anyone over a long and distinguished career. His subjects range from Her Majesty the Queen to Joan Collins, Elton John and the Beckhams.

The images showcased capture Blondie’s liberal performance style and intoxicating stage presence.

Characterised by expert precision and attention to detail, they promise to shed new light on a unique woman who can be seen to have shaped the direction and dreams of a whole generation.

All images © Brian Aris.

Open 11am-5.30pm. Proud Camden, The Horse Hospital, The Stables Market, Chalk Farm Road, London. Call 020 7839 4942 or visit the gallery online.

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