POST BY PADDY JOHNSON
LEFT: Sean Lennon with girlfriend Kemp Muhl RIGHT: Lydia Guevara posing for PETA
What do Lydia Guevara and Sean Lennon have in common? Those hoping to read the answer “not that much” will be disappointed to learn that Lennon now shares Guevara’s legacy of posing for poorly conceived homages of their relatives. Just this spring, Lydia Guevara, granddaughter of the iconic guerrilla from Argentina, posed naked for PETA in an ad campaign promoting animal rights and vegetarianism. It’s a sexy photograph of course, but it’s hard not to question whether the representation trivialized her grandfather’s role in the Cuban revolution by creating a false equivalency with a vegetarian lifestyle.
Fast forward three months and The Huffington Post reports Purple has published a photograph of model Kemp Muhl, naked and attached to her boyfriend Sean Lennon’s clothed body. The image is a reversal of Rolling Stone’s iconic photograph capturing Lennon’s parents, John Lennon and Yoko Ono and was shot by Annie Leibovitz only a few hours before the rock star was assassinated. As a remake it’s unclear what if anything the new photograph intends to achieve besides monetizing an iconic image and powerful history. Unlike the original, the gender power reversal no longer exists. This may be good news for Muhl, as she’s unlikely to be vilified, but it also removes much of the photograph’s intrigue for staged lust. In fact, the expressions borne are almost indistinguishable from any American Apparel ad.