NICO / STRIP-TEASE [SWEET SKIN] (1963) 9 ½ x 7" (24 x 18 cm.) gelatin silver print, France. Nico, dir: Jacques Poitrenaud. An extremely rare portrait of Nico, long before she joined up with Warhol and the Velvet Underground. This quite obscure French film gave Nico her first starring role (prior to this, she had mostly small, uncredited parts). Very moody portrait of her, the only such which I have ever seen from this early in her career.
Named by Yukio Mishima after Kenneth Anger’s film Scorpio Rising, Theatre Scorpio (Sasori-za / 蠍座) was a legendary underground art space beneath the Art Theatre Guild’s Art Theatre Shinjuku Bunka. The venue quickly became a centre of activity for all corners of the 1960s arts scene, offering a platform for performance art, theatre, dance and screenings of avant-garde films. Although their autonomous voices were characterised by diversity in approach and style, the artists were united by their urge for individual expression and a desire for a space to share their ideas. Theatre Scorpio met their needs and became a nexus for their experiments.