French pop music
Gigi Gaston, The Black Flower, was a hugely popular and tragic sixties French pop star who in reality never existed. She’s the creation of conceptual artist, and former art director of New York Magazine, Josh Gosfield. He’s done an astonishingly convincing job of documenting a life that never was, through photo-shopped pictures, a mock documentary, a video shot by Jean Luc Godard (not), newsclippings and fictional biographical ephemera.
We see her Gypsy family’s escape from Bulgaria, her affair with her stepbrother, her first guitar, her rise up (and fall down) the charts, the car crashes, funerals, love triangles and the murder trial. All this played out in a garish media spotlight before the insatiable eyes of her public.
I was initially fooled by Gosfield’s elaborate hoax and went looking for information on the French chanteuse, including checking Amazon for cds, only to discover that I’d been had.
Gosfield has included fictional quotes from icons of the era, including this one by Norman Mailer from a nonexistent Esquire article.
As Norman Mailer wrote, in a 1974 Esquire story:
Could this Black Flower with a voice like Piaf have guessed that when she bloomed into a teenage singing idol for post-war European youth, and later became the Continental fashion icon and sexy French pin-up girl on the bedroom walls of the hippest kids, that the future would strangle her dreams of normalcy, like the protagonists in one her romantically fatalistic songs? No, of course not. Because the characters of Greek tragedies are always the last to know their fates.
Here we a have Gosfield’s perfectly realized faux Jean Luc Godard video and the trailer for the documentary.
Check out Josh’s website and be prepared to be amazed by the depth of detail and work that went into creating his pop fantasy.
More photos of The Black Flower and the documentary trailer after the jump…