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Art Macabre: The Mighty Boosh Special

1 December 2016

In a darksome, red-hued back room of The Book Club basement bar in Shoreditch, the green Snazaroo was running low. Unsurprisingly, maybe, as it had been used to colour me all over from hairline to toenails. I was just applying the finishing touches of paint to my penis and scrotum when the poor barman walked by – it was a sight that he can never unsee…

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This was Art Macabre: The Mighty Boosh Special. The rest of my green layer had been sponged on by Nikki – Art Macabre supreme director. I’d been quick in offering to take over before the matter became delicate. Here’s a top tip for life models: if you work with body paint, don’t make a laughing stock of yourself by expecting – or even asking! – someone else to paint your genitals. It’s a tad indecorous.

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© Art Macabre

Matilda

Time for work. First to pose would be Nikki’s long-time friend Lorraine (‘of Terror’). She would be Matilda – shell-covered wife of seashell artist Ramsay in The Mighty Boosh episode: ‘The Legend of Old Gregg’. She was a blink-and-you-miss-her character, but then this was a series with very few female characters at all. Judging by our full-house of artists, however, it surely had a predominantly female following.

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© Art Macabre

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Old Gregg

After Matilda’s two 5-minute poses it was my turn to be Old Gregg himself. In addition to green skin, I had dark eyes, dark moustache, red lips, red tutu, pearl nipples and a green plastic seaweed wig. With a bottle of Bailey’s and a shoe from which to drink it, I posed for 10-minutes, 20-minutes and – by popular demand – an extra 5-minutes. In between, Nikki wove the storyline, and played Boosh extracts while artists sketched.

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The Crack Fox

Next on stage was Raquel as The Crack Fox – furry-faced, faux fur stole and syringes for fingers, but otherwise fully nude. Whilst this exotic facsimile of the Julian Barratt original entranced our artists for 20-minutes, Nikki set about adjusting my greenery in the back room. Off came the seaweed, off came the tutu, and off came the gratuitous pearl nipples as I was transformed into another Noel Fielding creation.

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The Hitcher

The combined body warmth of more than forty busy artists could not quite permeate to where I waited, so I hugged a coat tightly around my shoulders as Raquel’s pose came to an end. At the appointed moment I emerged once more, resplendent in red wig, top hat, a white sticky-tape triple cross on my chest and a giant Polo-mint over one eye. I was… The Hitcher! My friend Louise loaned a cane to perfect the look.

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© Art Macabre

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Nikki asked me to pose in a proper bandy-legged Cockney style to start, so I obliged for 5-minutes. Next I perched on a stool for 15-minutes, a tad more relaxed until Nikki burst forth as the evil screeching Nanatoo – a very noisy granny – to pose with me for another 15-minutes. But the poor old dear only lasted halfway till her back packed up and she needed a stool of her own. A final 5-minutes standing, and I was done.

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© Art Macabre

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Artworks

It had been a fun session. Nikki garnered applause for her models, and I reciprocated. Then came the chance to admire the artworks and attempt to photograph them in the dingy mottled light of the bar. After the artists left, we sifted through a pile of drawings that remained abandoned. We were rather taken aback when the one below surfaced. Ahh, maybe it was by the barman who walked in on my preparations…

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This event was staged to coincide with The Boosh Club – an exhibition of previously unseen photography from designer, photographer and cast member Dave Brown aka Bollo, with selected works by: Noel Fielding, Ivana Zorn, Andy Hollingworth, Mr Bingo, and Jake. Catch it for free from 20 October 2016 until 29 January 2017. Thank you for joining us, Boosh fans!

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