PETER CHRISTOPHERSON


Peter Christopherson (1955-2010) was born in Leeds into what he described as a "large academic family": his father, Derman, was a professor of engineering who later became master of Magdalene College, Cambridge, and received a knighthood. After taking his A-levels, Peter went to study computer programming, theatre design and video at the State University of New York at Buffalo. While there he became interested in the work of radical performance artists such as Chris Burden, photographers, including Robert Mapplethorpe, and the surrealist Arthur Tress.

Although the subject matter of Christopherson's photography – usually boy models with simulated injuries – was considered too shocking for publication, their technical quality earned him a job with Hipgnosis, the design team best known for producing Pink Floyd's album sleeves, on his return to England in 1974. They also impressed Genesis P-Orridge and Cosey Fanni Tutti of the transgressive performance art group COUM Transmissions, who Christopherson met at an event in Kennington, south London, the same year. Such was Christopherson's enthusiasm for the sexual aspects of COUM's performances, which often featured nudity and self-mutilation, and took inspiration from Tutti's "day job" as a pornographic model and stripper – that the pair affectionately called him Sleazy, a nickname that stuck. He began participating in their performances the following year, while continuing to design album sleeves and work as a photographer. In the latter capacity, one of his clients was a then-unknown band called the Sex Pistols, who Christopherson shot in the toilets of a YMCA, styled as rent boys, an image rejected as too shocking by their manager, Malcolm McLaren.

McLaren's reaction prefigured the response of the punk movement to Throbbing Gristle, the musical project Christopherson, P-Orridge and Tutti embarked on in 1975 with Chris Carter, a sound engineer and electronics enthusiast who built his own synthesizers.

After Throbbing Gristle's split in 1981, Christopherson went on to form the surprisingly melodic Psychic TV with Genesis P-Orridge, then Coil, with his partner Geoff Rushton, a Throbbing Gristle fan who became known as John Balance."

Published by Timeless Ed. :

"PETER CHRISTOPHERSON PHOTOGRAPHY"  - Book (1st edition) - 2014 - Sold out

"PETER CHRISTOPHERSON BOXSET"  - Book - 2015 - Sold out

"PETER CHRISTOPHERSON POSTER" - Poster - 2015 - Available here :Timeless-Shop

"PETER CHRISTOPHERSON PHOTOGRAPHY"  - Book (2nd edition) - 2016 - Available here : Timeless-Shop

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