I learned about Josh Gosfield a few years ago when I stumbled across his cool art project that consisted of spot-on ephemera about a fictional French ye ye girl, Gigi Gaston: The Black Flower. Now Josh has a new art project about another fictional superwoman: Fathom Butterfly, aka "Scandal Shirley" -- the Notorious Beauty Queen, Showgirl, Hammer Horror Actress, Porn Star, Felon and Feminist Filmmaker. He has a great sensibility for old magazines and movie posters!
The fantastic Fathom Butterfly born during the Blitz of WW2 was a British beauty queen. She became Miss England but lost the crown in apublic debacle. She went on to become a chronic perpetrator of publicity stunts, a famed showgirl and a Hammer Horror Film actress all before she was 23. With swinging 60’s London as a backdrop, Fathom’s PR genius and self-staged scandals kept her in the public eye. At the center of a political imbroglio, she left England in the late 60’s for L.A.. Then on the cusp of Hollywood fame, Fathom crossed a powerful producer, who left her career in tatters. Fighting for survival throughout the 70’s, Fathom starred in cheap exploitation movies and pornos until she raised enough money to start her own production company toprotect vulnerable young actresses like she had once been herself.
Josh Gosfield a devout fanboy tracked down the British actress long after she had retired and convinced her to write a memoir based on her astonishing life. But when Fathom took ill and time grew short, they retooled the memoir project for Twitter. As Gosfield uploads images he has collectedfrom Fathom’s life—movie posters, film stills, adverts, newspaper clippings, paparazzi shots and home photos—Fathom recounts her past.
Fathom Butterfly has "written" her memoirs and selections of her memoir along with her movie posters, magazine covers, and tabloid stories will be tweeted for the Twitter Fiction Festival and featured from 5-6 PM EST Weds, Nov 28 to Sunday Dec. 1
See more images from Fathom Butterfly's incredible career after the jump.
(Josh and Camille Sweeney interviewed me for their upcoming book, The Art of Doing: How Superachievers Do What They Do and How They Do It So Well.)
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. Come and hear Mark speak at the ALA conference in Chicago on July 1.