Friday, January 19, 2007

Man and Baby poster

Who would have thought that the above poster would have adorned 5 million walls since it's release in the 1980's. This poster was considered to cheesy to be art but in 2007 it's considered a collector's item, and yesterday a limited edition print from the posters original negative fetched £2,400 at auction.

The poster that came to be considered the ideal of the "New Man" wasnt without it's share of lies, addiction and tragedy. What people didnt know about was that it was thought up by a gay guy, who later died of AIDS, was shot by a guy who ended up with a drug addiction due to the money he earned, and starred a guy who ended up sleeping with over 3,000 girls.

The poster was created by the Athena chain of art shops after the company's art director, Paul Rodriguez, came up with the idea. The photographer, Spencer Rowell, took the pictures and it was shoot in London in 1986 and took all of 20 minutes to shoot. The model used was Adam Perry, who went on to become a highly sought supermodel. The baby was named Stelios Havatzias, who now lives in Cyprus with his family.
Paul Rodriguez was diagnosed HIV positive and died from AIDS in 1993. Spencer Rowell went on to make thousands after refusing a one off payment and settled for taking 10% of the profit made from selling the poster. He used the huge cheques to fund a lavish lifestyle, which unfortunately also developed him a drug addiction. In 1994 he declared himself bust. Adam Perry was once described as the "worlds most promiscuous man" by GQ magazine. He used his notoriety as a pin-up to bed 3,000 women but financially for him the poster deal was a disaster. He had his fee reduced on the day of the shoot because he turned up with a sunburnt chest. He is now setting up a multimedia business.
The Athena chain didnt escape the curse of the poster and eventually went into receivership. In 1995 all but a few of its 157 store closed down. The only person not to have suffered any curse is Stelios Havatzias. In 2004 he was traced to his family home in Cyprus, where he lives a normal teenage life. He did say that he was only paid £32 for the whole shoot and his family werent even given a copy of the poster. They had to buy it themselves.

With me being only 7 when this poster was created, I didnt see the hype that it caused. Once I hit the age of 15 I wanted a copy of the poster for my wall but never managed to fullfil that dream. These days, I'm going to settle for it now being on my blog.

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