Coming soon to a gallery near you: the art of the publicity stunt.
Coming soon to a gallery near you: the art of the publicity
Through August 12, London’s Proud Galleries are staging Improperganda, a
photographic exhibit celebrating some of the century’s most colorful
plays for publicity.
Presented by London agency BorkowskiPR, the 500 photos on display
include images of men laying eggs (Viagra gone awry?), moviegoers
watching films underwater, elephants skiing down rivers and four tons of
mashed potatoes being poured from a cement mixer into a 20-foot pie.
Curated by agency managing director Mark Borkowski, who culled the
pictures from libraries and newspapers, the exhibit showcases P.T.
Barnum-esque publicists like Harry Reichenbach and Jim Moran, arguably
PR’s most original stunt man. One picture shows Moran selling ice to
Eskimoes, while in another he promotes a politician by literally
changing horses in midstream.
’It’s an homage to great stunt masters throughout history,’ said agency
director Sally Homer. Present-day publicity mavericks, including Richard
Branson, Salvador Dali and Sex Pistols manager Malcolm McLaren are
featured as well.
Homer says that a handful of stunt techniques, such as celebrities
holding look-alike contests and beautiful women (such as Marilyn Monroe
and Elizabeth Hurley) wearing revealing clothing, have stood the test of
time. But she adds that today’s stunts have to be more clever. ’You have
to be particularly subtle and careful, because everyone is media savvy,’
she explains. ’They know when a stunt is coming at them.’
Homer is currently looking for exhibition space for Improperganda in the