Larger-than-life nightlife icon, Dianne Brill, the woman Stephen Saban once referred to as “the titular Queen of New York,” is getting a photo retrospective of her eye-popping life and wildly diverse career. Says the Photo 18 museum in Zurich:
“To the Future Through the Past” is a photographic odyssey mapping the role of New York City and its Queen Of The Night Dianne Brill in the cultural revolution of the 1980s and 1990s.
The innovative show highlighting the era’s creative explosion of art, fashion and club life comes to Zurich, Switzerland January 12-16,
Hundreds of spectacular images of Dianne Brill, celebrated as a prominent figure in the movement, with roles as diverse as celebrity model, author, fashion designer, cosmetic queen and currently YouTube’s Fairy Godbabe. Hundreds of published and never before seen, private photographs convey the excitement of the unique era known as the Art/Club years in the world’s most exciting city.
Never-before-seen pictures? Of Dianne? I can’t believe it! I swear, I’ve seen them all and had each and every one of them hanging on my inspiration board at one time or another.
She is a busy woman, however, and impossible to pigeon-hole.
Dianne Brill’s contributions to the scene went far beyond parties and celebrity modeling. She was featured on countless magazine covers, appeared in several films and music videos, and designed clothes for rock stars and TV leading men of the era. She authored a best selling self-help book. She served as muse for artists Andy Warhol and Keith Haring and for such fashion heavyweights as Thierry Mugler, Jean Paul Gaultier and Vivienne Westwood.
Mannequin manufacturer Adel Rootstein translated her famed hourglass figure ( named the Shape Of The Decade) into store- window commercial mannequin in stores worldwide. Testament to Dianne’s, and the movement’s, enduring popularity, these curvaceous mannequins can be spotted today in boutiques in Europe and the United States.
I reached out to here to ask her about what an exhibition like this means to her and what surprises she has in store for us.
“It’s about telling OUR stories not letting someone else interpret them,” she told me in an email from Switzerland, where she is busy helping set things up.
As for the show: “There’s a huge Brill Building with five foot images in every window,” she explains. “The show has separte sections just like a club and each has a theme from my life. The opening party even has its own cocktail The BRILL-BONAIRE”
Love that! Wish I could go!
“To the Future Through the Past” at PHOTO 18, Halle 622 Therese Giehse Strasse10 – 8050 Zurich, Switzerland. Doors open 11:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
A few images from the show, below. (courtesy of Patrick McMullan)