Last Updated: 3 November, 2009
The Brooklyn Museum is exhibiting works by photographers of Rock & Roll with an emphasis on the photographers rather than merely their celebrity subjects. Photographers include: Michael Putland, Andy Earl, Albert Watson, Baron Wolman, Max Vadukul, Barry Feinstein, Ian Dickson, Henry Diltz, Andreas Gursky, Amy Arbus, Jean-Paul Goude, David LaChapelle. (Yes, pretty heavy on the ‘guy’ photogs, eh?)
Exhibitions: Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present pays tribute to those who made the images, and thus helped make the public images of the rockers as well.
Amy Winehouse on her wedding day in Miami, Florida. The exhibition publicity references the significant 20th century fashion photographer, Cecil Beaton, saying, “Cecil Beaton, …, remembered the revolutionary feeling in photography when female models were allowed to spread their feet apart—even a little. Prior etiquette demanded that the two feet touch.”
Here Albert Watson casts a sepia bust of LLCoolJ in the same iconic portaryal that he often casts fashion and pop figures.
Getting a bit o’ art cultural reflective reference always pays off as in Andy Earl’s cover art for Bow Wow Wow. In recreating Edouard Manet’s, then controversial painting, painting of 1863, “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe” (The Luncheon on the Grass), some of the heat of public shock is hoped to transfer to the present. It does, and with such, uh, flash!
Throughout rock photography’s history, often, the most striking shots are those where the object of iconography is seen out of context. It seems to bring the Olympian pop gods down into the street, where they might commune with us mortals, such as in this shot of Dylan on the street. It’s like when we, as schoolchildren, espy one of our teachers at the deli counter, or on line at a movie. How thrilling!
I couldn’t write about the above shot without feeling it as mildly reminiscent of this cover of “The Free Wheelin’ Bob Dylan.”
Shot by CBS staff photographer Don Hunstein one hundred years after Manet’s “Le déjeuner sur l’herbe”.
But, it’s still the performance shots which pack the biggest rock n roll punch.
Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present will bre on display at the Brooklyn Museum, October 30, 2009–January 31, 2010.
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