Blogs

Godlis Shot Rock: The Photographer On His Photo of Patti Smith

By Godlis

I remember that night like it was yesterday. They say a camera stops time, and for me, in this case it’s proven to be true. One-quarter of a second exposure on my handheld Leica IIIf camera back in 1976 has endured via silver and megapixels all these years.

I spent a lot of time in 1976 looking through the French photographer Brassai’s photographs of Paris nightlife in the 1930s, and had worked out a way to shoot photographs at night by natural light without flash. In looking back now, it was all of another time – pushed tri-x film, arcane developing chemicals, nights in the darkroom. But it enabled me to return night after night to CBGB’s with boxes of pictures to show off my experiments to my friends in a budding scene and create my “Documents for Artists.”

It was in between sets when everyone headed out from within CBGB’s, to the raw air under the Bowery streetlights.  Patti Smith was standing in mid-conversation that night, when I tapped her on the shoulder and asked if I could take her photograph. I know I saw the Bleecker Street sign in the background and thought “perfect.” I knew that she was standing in the right spot, under the streetlamps. All the elements were in place. So when she turned my way and brought her hand to her face – I knew in that moment, the photo was mine to have or screw up.  Shooting at night, handheld – no tripod - meant both Patti and I would have to be perfectly still. I did my part that night, and obviously Patti more than did hers. One-quarter of a second stopped forever. Time on my side.

See Godlis's work in the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibit, currently showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography. To learn more about the photographer and his work visit his official website.

Raphael Saadiq & Band of Skulls Rock Out At 'Who Shot Rock & Roll: Live'

Who Shot Rock & Roll: Live went out with a bang this past Saturday. The third and final show in the free concert series continued to bring people to the Annenberg Space for Photography in the name of art and music.

This concert featured not one but two incredible acts: Raphael Saadiq and Band of Skulls!

Attendees took advantage of the great summer weather in the park just outside of the Photography Space.

KCRW's Anne Litt kicked off the evening's entertainment with a terrific DJ set starting at 7 o'clock.

Everyone was in a great, festive mood - smiles all around!

Think you've seen the Who Shot Rock & Roll photo exhibit? Well, we've just installed a brand new outdoor installation as part of the show. Crowds gathered around the over dozen images peppered in front of the main entrance of the Photography Space.

Saadiq took the stage just after 8 o'clock and put on an amazing show.

He performed a strong, energetic set list with a six-piece band. Wow!

Band of Skulls was up next and the English rockers did not disappoint.

They played some of their big hits such as "Sweet Sour" and "Death by Diamonds and Pearls."

What a way to cap off this concert series! Thanks to our partners over at KCRW but most of thanks to all of you for helping bring the community together for these special events intended to bring awareness to photography, music and all types of art. We hope everyone enjoyed Who Shot Rock & Roll: Live!

(Images by Unique Nicole for the Space)

Laura Levine Shot Rock: The Photographer On Her Photo of R.E.M.

R.E.M, Walter's Bar-B-Que, Athens, Georgia, 1984

By Laura Levine

R.E.M. and I clicked from the moment we met at our first photo shoot in my Chinatown apartment back in 1982. We became close friends, and over the next few years as we spent an increasing amount of time together, I photographed them more than any other band before or since: on the road, at their homes, in my studio, backstage and onstage.

This particular photograph was taken in March 1984 in their hometown, of Athens, Georgia. The band was about to release its second album, Reckoning, and since their record label didn't have a budget to send a photographer to Athens to do a publicity session, I flew down on my own dime to shoot pictures, make a Super-8 film (Just Like a Movie) and spend a few days hanging out with my friends.

For the next few days I shot rolls and rolls of film as the five of us explored every nook and cranny in Athens that had photogenic possibilities - the railroad tracks, abandoned factories, trees blanketed in kudzu, outsider artist R.A. Miller's whirlygig yard and, of course, Walter's Bar-B-Que.  Actually, this shot at Walter's wasn't even planned. We'd been taking photos all morning and we'd worked up quite an appetite, so we stopped into Walter's for lunch (It was the guys' favorite BBQ joint).  While we were eating I looked around and saw a great photograph there, so I stepped behind the counter and quickly took a few frames (I'm afraid I didn't even allow them to eat their meals in peace).  By the way, that's my plate of food in front of Michael Stipe.

This photograph has a special place in my heart not only because of our friendship, but because it documents a time and a place that disappeared soon thereafter. (Even Walter's is long out of business). I don't suppose any us of could have imagined how much would change in just a few years' time. It captures those last moments of innocence, just as they were on the cusp of stardom and about to embark on an adventure of a lifetime.  But mostly, for me, when I look at this photograph, I see my four friends being themselves, smiling, relaxing, and chowing down on a good Southern meal.

See Laura Levine's other images in the Who Shot Rock & Roll exhibit, currently showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography. To learn more about the photographer and her work visit her official website.

'BEAUTY CULTURE' To Be Part of DocuWeeks Showcase

We're happy to announce that the Annenberg Space for Photography's film BEAUTY CULTURE has been selected by the International Documentary Association (IDA) as an entry in the 16th Annual IDA DocuWeek Theatrical Documentary Showcase which runs in Los Angeles August 10-30, 2012.

The 30-minute documentary is directed by filmmaker and photographer Lauren Greenfield. BEAUTY CULTURE explores feminine beauty in contemporary culture through photography and the implication for female body image. It examines our obsession with beauty-- its biological origins and how photographs shape our definitions of it. Elite fashion photographers, models and artists join pageant stars, bodybuilders, teenagers, and intellectuals in a provocative dialogue that addresses the persistent “beauty contest” that is daily life

Screenings of the film will take place in Los Angeles from August 10th through the 16th at the Laemmle NoHo 7 in North Hollywood. A Q&A session with Greenfield will follow those screenings on August 10 & 11.

The documentary will be screened on these seven dates as part of the festival's LA Shorts Program:

                    FRI 8/10        4:25 PM followed by Q&A with the film's director
                    SAT 8/11       6:00 PM followed by Q&A with the film's director
                    SUN 8/12      6:10 PM
                    MON 8/13     4:25 PM
                    TUE 8/14      6:00 PM
                    WED 8/15     6:10 PM
                    THU 8/16      4:25 PM

General public admission to screenings are available at the Laemmle for $11.00, $8.00 for IDA members and $8.00 for seniors and children. Please see the DocuWeeks site for details about showtimes and admission fees.

Watch a trailer for Beauty CULTURE here.

Watch A Clip Of 'Who Shot Rock & Roll: The Film'

Who Shot Rock & Roll: The Film accompanies the photo exhibit of the same name. The short documentary focuses on the work of the show's nine featured photographers with original interviews and hundreds more rock & roll images. One of the interviewees, Mary McCartney, discusses her mother Linda's body of work. Watch a 3-minute clip of Mary talking about her mother's photos of Paul McCartney, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin and many others above. A young Mary even makes an appearance in one of the photos she discusses.

David Corio Shot Rock & Roll: The Photographer on His Image of Salt-N-Pepa

Salt-N-Pepa, Radio City Music Hall, New York City, 1994

By David Corio

The policy for live shows at most large venues since the 1980s allows photographers with press passes to shoot the first three songs at the front of the stage or in the aisles and then must leave the venue. This is primarily as the record companies and publicists don't want their artists to be captured looking sweaty and with their hair out of place. Of course it also takes away from the real atmosphere of a concert as you can guarantee it will be the fourth song when the artist gets into their groove.

When shooting concerts with swirling, flashing lights and, particularly with black musicians, getting the best from film is very important. In order to get the best exposure, I always have the camera exposure setting on manual over-ride. I'll normally uprate the film to 800 or 1600 ASA and with black and white film you can always compensate in the darkroom and the added graininess gives a more contrasty gritty image that I prefer as well.

Henri Cartier-Bresson's term "The Decisive Moment" is one that most photographers will be familiar with. It is a great feeling when you know you have got the picture after pressing the shutter. Then of course you hope that it is in focus and that the exposure is correct! That was the case with this image. It was difficult to get Salt, Pepa and DJ Spinderella all in one frame as Spinderella was normally behind the decks. Fortunately, during the third number she came to the front and the trio did some  choreographed moves with their male dancers. It meant being patient and hoping to get all of their heads visible and, despite a lot of dry ice, I knew that I had my shot once I pressed the shutter.

See David Corio's other images in Who Shot Rock & Roll, currently showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography. To learn more about the photographer and his work visit his official website.

Portugal. The Man At Who Shot Rock & Roll: Live

Who Shot Rock & Roll: Live continued over the weekend with the second of three concerts we are presenting with KCRW - and what a show it was! The night served to bring people together to celebrate music and photography  as well as commemorate the 40th anniversary of T. Rex's influential album The Slider - all for free! Portugal. The Man put on an amazing show - one that people were still talking about days afterward.

Droves of people filled the park outside of the Annenberg Space for Photography.

Everyone was in good spirits at this all ages show. Some adults even let out their more youthful and care-free side.

There was a line to enter to see the Who Shot Rock & Roll photography exhibit all day long.

One of the exhibit's featured photographers, Ed Colver, who also attended the Moby concert earlier this month, showed up with his lovely wife Karin.

Before the show, the members of Portugal. The Man came up to the Annenberg Foundation to play for a live televised news segment.

KCRW DJs Dan Wilcox & Gary Calamar began the entertainment part of the night by spinning some records.

The crowd had a good time listening to music...

...and dancing!

A concertgoer proudly shows off his newly purchased Who Shot Rock & Roll t-shirt!

Portugal. The Man came on stage shortly after 8 o'clock playing their own songs as well as covers of T. Rex tunes.

The band has even compiled their own YouTube video playlist inspired by the exhibit.

The crowd - really energized by the music!

The band ended their fantastic hour and a half-long set with a lively rendition of the Beatles' "Hey Jude."

Thanks to everyone who came out to this magical night to enjoy rock & roll images and rock & roll music. Our third (and final!) show in the free concert series with Band of Skulls & Raphael Saadiq will be Saturday, August 4. Find more information about that night here.

(All images by Unique Nicole for the Space)

Henry Rollins Rocks IRIS Nights

It was an honor to have Henry Rollins take part in IRIS Nights last night. Rollins spoke about his travels around the globe and the photographs he took of the different people and cultures during those trips. The Photography Space was packed - standing room only! One of those in the crowd was featured photographer, Ed Colver, whose photo of Rollins greets visitors as on an oversized layover on the front door of our building.

Rollins, Colver, and his giant image of the rocker on the door in the same place at the same time? That's a rare moment so there was only one thing we could do: post-lecture, we had Rollins and Colver pose in front of the door and we got the cool shot above!

We'll have Rollins' lecture on our site soon and Colver himself will take the IRIS Nights stage in September.

Photo by Unique Nicole for the Space.

Maripol Shot Rock: The Photographer On Her Polaroid of Madonna

 © Maripol, Madonna, Danceteria, New York City, 1983
Maripol with son, Lino

By Maripol

When I arrived in New York from France, still fresh from the École des Beaux-Arts school of arts, I didn’t have a clue what an artist was supposed to do. Being a girl, I loved fashion and I loved to make accessories. I also really loved to snap photos with my Polaroid SX 70 camera. It was pretty much like my clutch bag.

I first met Madonna one night in 1983, a time when the music scene was amidst change: disco had just died, Hip-hop and rap were on the rise and clubs like the Roxy and Danceteria were showcasing a great mix of performers.

On that night, Fab 5 Freddy was about to take the stage at the Roxy and he asked me to recruit some cute girls to dance with him up on stage. I spotted Madonna, whom I knew from the city’s club scene, hanging out with my good friend Jean-Michel Basquiat. I asked her if she was wearing a nice bra and if she minded taking her top off to dance on stage. She thought I was out of my mind…and the rest is history.

I shot this Polaroid right before Madonna’s own performance in 1983 - at Danceteria. She was very young but just as gorgeous as she still is today. There is only one Polaroid like it that captures this moment. I love the way she looks at me and also love seeing her lips through the glass while she drank (her favorite drink was a dry Martini). The cigarette in the photo is not lit. We all smoked back then but we also liked them for attitude.

The image captures a couple of my fixations: fashion & accessories – all with another love of mine: my Polaroid camera.

I am delighted to share this private moment in such a great show like Who Shot Rock & Roll with the public.

See More of Maripol's images in Who Shot Rock & Roll, showing at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 7, 2012. Learn more about her on her official website.

The Rundown For This Saturday's Concert

Our free summer concert series,Who Shot Rock & Roll: Live, which we are presenting in conjunction with KCRW continues this Saturday, July 21st, with Portugal. The Man (yes, that additional period is their own). The band will perform live to celebrate the 40th anniversary of album The Slider by T. Rex, who were one of their early influences. Taking place just outside of the Annenberg Space for Photography, the event will also feature DJs Dan Wilcox and Gary Calamar spinning before Portugal. The Man's performance.

Please note that attendees will be granted entry on a first-come, first-served basis until we hit capacity. RSVP does not guarantee entry. If you are coming in a large group, we recommend that everyone show up at the venue together. We can only accommodate the first 4,000 guests. One wristband per person will be distributed at check-in. No ins & outs, including access to your car in the garage, are allowed.

Additionally, chairs, umbrellas, pets are not allowed into the venue. There will be food carts available for purchase and a beer garden will be open for those who are 21+. No outside beverages or alcohol are allowed but you are welcome to bring your own food and picnic blankets. Please note, these purchases are also cash only. Restaurants in the complex that will be open to provide food include Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Habanero Grill, Piknic, Sen Asian Kitchen, and The Stand.

The general public will be able to visit the galleries of the Photography Space to see Who Shot Rock & Roll from 11am - 5pm on Saturday without having to wear a wristband. After 5pm, the Space will only be accessible to those visitors who are wearing a wristband as a concertgoer. As a bonus, those guests will be able to enjoy the exhibit through 11pm.

Self-parking in the underground garage at Century Park is a flat rate of $1. You must bring cash and pay upon entry. If the underground parking is closed when you arrive, this means the concert is already at capacity. Therefore, we strongly advise against finding alternate parking in the area.

Who Shot Rock & Roll: Live is a free concert series created by the Annenberg Foundation and KCRW to benefit the community. The Foundation supports the arts as part of its mission to share ideas and knowledge. The Annenberg Foundation and KCRW encourage you to continue to support the arts.

Follow both the Photography Space and KCRW on Twitter for real-time updates on capacity on the day of the show.

Read all about Moby's amazing show last weekend, our first entry in this free concert series. Looking forward to celebrating rock & roll and photography with the community on Saturday - see you then!

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