April 21, 2015


Goldfinger was a perfect cocktail of girls, guns, and gadgets, establishing the winning formula that launched a spy craze around the world. Some of the most indelible memories from Goldfinger come from the film's title sequence and promotional imagery (posters, LPs, etc), which featured actress Margaret Nolan in gold body paint. She also appeared as Dink in the opening Miami sequence. Nolan has a website that features signed photos and really cool photomontage pieces inspired by her career. Her style of collaging is beautifully rooted in a 1960s aesthetic you would find in work by other artists from the era. She prefaces her work with an excellent quote by John Berger (Ways of Seeing), which I've included here. Below: Nolan with Robert Brownjohn, Goldfinger promotional image. Story continues.

Margaret Nolan shares the distinction with actress Shirley Eaton as an iconic Bond girl, remembered for posing partially nude and covered in gold paint- the twisted method of murder by Bond villain Goldfinger. The image is stunning (and stirring), but also speaks to the complex nature of female roles in society. It seems odd that we should love this image of woman-as-statue, a kind of kinky cybernaut, frozen forever in the state of distant allure. Nolan's own artwork reflects this dichotomy of beauty and self-appraisal. She quotes John Berger (Ways of Seeing/1972) in the introduction to her gallery page: "To be born a woman has been to be born, within an allotted and confined space, into the keeping of men… this has been at the cost of a woman's self being split into two… she must continuously watch herself… and so she comes to consider the surveyor and the surveyed within her as the two constituent yet always distinct elements of her identity as a woman. Men look at women, women watch themselves being looked at… her own sense of being in herself is supplanted by a sense of being appreciated as herself by another… thus she turns herself into an object- and most particularly an object of vision; a 'sight'." Margaret's method of cutting reminds me slightly of self-image drawings I've seen made by women in therapy, which often depict two selves: the sparkly partner ready to please and the private inner-self watching from within. Her titles reveal the conflict: "My Divided Self", "Fallen Dreams", "Abyss", "Silent Night". Other pieces echo the pulse of Swinging London: "Yeah, Yeah, Yeah", "Avenger", "Blonde On Blonde", "My MGB". Below: "My Divided Self" by Margaret Nolan. Signed prints and photos are available on her website  

When I corresponded with Margaret Nolan about featuring her work on Spy Vibe, she kindly noted, "Thank you so much. It's one of the best, if not the best, review I've come across. I like the way you connected my photomontages to the titles. You Got it! -Maggie." She's considered putting together a calendar with her artwork, so I'll keep readers up to date with any new developments. Nolan's acting career spans 50 years, with appearances in Spy Vibe classics like The Saint, Danger Man, Adam Adamant Lives!, The Persuaders, A Hard Days Night ("I bet you're an excellent swimmer."), and Ferry Cross the Mersey. Related links: Interview at sister site Illustrated 007, Spy Vibe Trina Robbins Interview, John Berger at The Guardian, Shirley Eaton, Margaret Nolan, Spy Vibe's Erno Goldfinger, Spy Vibe's The Goldfinger VariationsBelow: "Stars in Her Eyes" by Margaret Nolan. Enjoy!

Selected Spy Vibe posts: Man From UNCLE RocksteadyPussy Galore Calypso, Cynthia Lennon R.I.P.Edward Mann FashionLeonard Nimoy TributeShatner at 84Bob Morane seriesNew Saint PublicationsThe Saint Complete box setGerry Anderson Box SetsMusic For SpiesThai Bond DesignBrian Clemens RIPBond vs ModernismImitation GameNew Avengers BooksRingo Does GoldfingerSixties Beat WearPopular SkulltureArt of ModestyAvengers Blu-ray updateTokyo Beat 1964Polaroid SpyFeraud Mod FashionFlint Scores!Bond DanishNew Richard Sala BookNew 007 ComicsDesigning Bond BooksGreen Hornet MangaMargaret Nolan ArtNo 6 FestivalBarbarella ReturnsDesigner: Gene WinfieldAvengers Interview: Michael RichardsonIan Fleming: Wicked GrinJane Bond Hong Kong RecordsRyan Heshka Interview, Comics Week: Man From R.I.V.E.R.D.A.L.E.Comics Week: ArchieComics Week: Robots, Comics Week: Cold War Atomic, Comics Week: SPYMANComics Week: Jimmy OlsenRare Avengers ScriptsMan From Uncle UK ComicsThunderbirds ComicsShakespeare Spies: Diana RiggShakespeare Spies I, Rodney Marshall Avengers InterviewAvengers Book: Bowler Hats & Kinky BootsGeorge Lois Design & Mad MenRichard Sala: Super-Enigmatix, Cold War Archie, Playboy Bunny InterviewThe 10th Victim Japanese and KindleU.N.C.L.E. Japanese Books, The Saint books returnTrina Robbins InterviewCatsuits, Batman '66 Green Hornet Interview: Ralph Garman Ty Templeton.

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