Porn Star

In today's Covershot, Steve Watson is full of admiration for the Shame issue of Little White Lies – a collaged porn mag tour-de-force by illustration supremo Paul Willoughby.

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I was working at The Church of London when Paul Willoughby, at that time the art director of Little White Lies, made this cover for the Shame issue. He disappeared into the basement with a great pile of second-hand vintage porn magazines, and emerged two days later with this incredible portrait of Michael Fassbender as Brandon the sex addict.

He worked by ripping the pages by hand, and every time I see it the skill and painstaking detail blows my mind. All those flesh tones and hair colours are created from different body parts, with the features layered on like some kind of big, dirty oil painting. You can’t really see anything recognisably risqué in the finished piece, though, because they didn’t want to take the chance of WHSmith balking at a surreptitious nipple and pulling the entire issue from the shelves.

It stands out for me as a really great piece of cover art because it so perfectly encapsulates the feeling and content of the film – this is a character who seems fairly normal at first glance, but who reveals a whole mess of dirty, furtive secrets on closer inspection. Little White Lies has been responsible for some of my favourite covers over the years and I think this is the one that remains most vividly in my mind, even though it’s not necessarily the sort of thing I’d want to have hanging on my living room wall.

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