Wednesday, 15 July 2009
When I got there, I looked for the green amongst the myriad of music mags and found one copy peeking out. My face dropped a little when I picked it up and saw that the cover was dog-eared. I searched the rack and found one more copy hiding behind a pile of Q magazines (I'm sorry to the Glambert who probably hid it and hope this blog makes up for any bad karma!) so snatched it up quickly. When I got home, I realised it was a less-than-perfect copy. There must have been a bit of a printing mishap because there were various ink splotches on the photo of Adam applying eyeliner. It does detract a little from the picture but could also look like a deliberate effect so I gave it points for uniqueness (continued after photo).
Even though I'd seen it and read the article from scans, I still found myself staring at the photo for some time. It's an incredibly arresting, erotic photo and the first thing that struck me were those eyes. They are thickly lined and intense and see straight through to your deepest buried secrets. His head is angled so he's looking slightly down, showing who's in charge of that power struggle. He's playing with you because he knows your darkest desires and wants you to explore them. The self-assured 'come hither' expression, the barrier of arms out of the way, the very dilated pupils and the open mouth are suggestive of a state of arousal, daring you to try to see if you can handle what's next on that messy unmade bed, or whatever fiery impulses lead to.
The next thing I was drawn to was the crotch area and the luminous green python with its forked tongue licking out. That snake is truly a thing of beauty - I never knew they came in such brilliant shades of colour. It was Adam's idea to use the snake in the shot, alluding to the Garden of Eden and wanting people to question the concept of morality. Then there's the starry butterfly next to it, which was the stylist's idea. There's a lot of symbolism to be made of what these elements mean. The snake embodies temptation (you know you want it, quit resisting and just succumb to your infernal desires, bitch!) but is in itself phallic, and the way it rests on his crotch could point towards his homosexuality. The butterfly is quite feminine, complemeting the masculinity of the snake and perhaps representing Adam's experimentation with masculinity, femininity and androgyny. I think it reinforces his belief in the universality of attraction and the fluid nature of sexuality. It could also symbolise Adam's liberation in finally spreading his wings after emerging from the safe conformist middle-America-pleasing AI chrysalis to reveal his true fabulous nature. Next I'm drawn to the chest, exposed by his unbuttoned shirt, and the notice the stubble. There seems to be a tie draped over his neck, which adds a kinky S&M element to it. His wrists are inviting to be tied up and he's willing to be submissive whilst remaining domineering. The thick ruffled hair begs to be grabbed onto - you'll need to hold on for the ride of your life.
The Rockstar Adam photo simmers and is reminiscent of Jim Morrison but with more clothes on. The composition is superb, I love the understated colour and the areas with the strongest contrasts lure you to the two focal points: face/crotch crotch/face, one leading to the other, and we're torn between the two. It's one sexy MF of a cover which I feel is another one of those full circle moments where he started on the Idol stage doing a Rolling Stones cover only to end up as the cover of Rolling Stone.