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Glenn O'Brien

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Glenn O'Brien

Glenn O'Brien is an American writer, largely on the subjects of art, music and fashion. He's featured as "The Style Guy" in GQ magazine, and has published a book with that title.

He has worked as an editor at a number of publications, and published the arts and literature magazine Bald Ego from 2003-2005.

Early life and education

O'Brien was born in Cleveland, Ohio, where he attended the Jesuit-run St. Ignatius High School. O'Brien went to Georgetown University and edited the Georgetown Journal, which had been founded by Condé Nast. O'Brien later studied film at Columbia Graduate School of Arts and Sciences.[1]


In his early years he was a member of Andy Warhol's Factory. He was editor of Interview in its formative years, from 1971 to 1974. After his departure, he continued to write for the magazine and returned as editor several times, with a nearly 20-year association with the title. He was a music critic for the publication in the punk era, with the influential column "Glenn O'Brien's Beat".

In 1980-1981, he wrote the screenplay (which he also co-produced with Patrick Montgomery) for a film to be called New York Beat, starring Jean-Michel Basquiat[2] (The film was only released in 2000, as "Downtown 81"), with post-production managed by O'Brien and Maripol.

In the late 70's, O'Brien coined the now popular title "editor-at-large" after briefly being made Editor-In-Chief of High Times magazine. Not wanting to work at the magazine office full time, the title was an inside joke, apparently a reference to the FBI's Most Wanted posters, as many criminals were tagged Status: at-large.

From 1978 to 1982, Glenn O'Brien hosted a New York city Public-access television cable TV show called "TV Party," which featured such then underground figures as David Byrne, Klaus Nomi, August Darnell, Fab 5 Freddy, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Cookie Mueller, John Fekner, Amos Poe, and bands like Blondie, The Clash, DNA, and The Fleshtones.[3][4]

After leaving "TV Party" in addition to continuing his writing career, he attempted a stint as a stand up comedian, and was a contributing editor of Allure, Harper's Bazaar, and Creative Director of advertising at Barneys New York. For 10 years, he wrote a monthly column for ArtForum Magazine. He edited Madonna's Sex.

In January 2008 he was named Editorial Director of Brant Publications, which includes Interview Magazine as well as Art in America and Antiques.[5] In June 2009 it was announced that he had left his position with Brant Publications.

He has lent his collection of early Jean-Michel Basquiat works to various exhibitions, including Deitch Projects,[6] and is a co-author of a major work on the artist.[7]

Published works

Awards and honours

On February 17, 2009, Glenn was named one of Top 10 Most Stylish Men in America by GQ Magazine.[10]


External links

  • Official website for Glenn O'Brien
  • Internet Movie Database
  • Style Guy Blog
  • List of article, interviews and reviews by Glenn O’Brien
  • magazine in The Block Issue 18
  • YouTube

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