• /the-shot-blog/moon-zappa-jerry-schatzbergs-photograph-her-father

    By Moon Zappa

    When I look at Jerry Schatzberg's photo of my famous father’s unsmiling face contrasted with his curly, onyx hair in pigtails (a notoriously joyful hairdo usually reserved for young girls) I have to laugh. Mr. Schatzberg has clearly captured my father’s dry, acerbic wit, his quiet, Buddha-like lucidity, and his naturally rebellious, boat-rocking essence. This is made all the funnier because my father hated having his photo taken.

    On the few occasions I was brave enough to ask my father if I could snap his photo, his instant scowl of impatient annoyance was not worth the trouble, (nor what I wanted to remember). So, I waited and begged for the discards from the test Polaroid piles of his shoots with the Professionals of the Still Image Realm. Or I waited and used my mother’s sewing scissors to clip images of Frank Zappa from magazines and newspapers (like everyone else) and pasted the flimsy sheets in my family photo albums alongside fuzzy snapshots I had taken of my mom and my siblings.

    Another reason this photograph floods my heart with joy is that I have been led to understand that long hair worn by men in the late 60’s was already an atypical and suspect sight for the times, but that the addition of a symmetrical up-do on a working man was almost criminal. Let’s just say none of my friends have photos of their awesome, heterosexual dads in pigtails in their scrapbooks from that same era.

    I have heard it said that the optimist thinks the world is great just as it is, and that the pessimist fears this is true. I love this idea because the malcontent cannot tolerate stagnation and MUST cultivate and protect aliveness. Here, in Mr. Schatzberg’s remarkable image, he illuminates this paradox; from beyond the grave my father continues his steadfast work of challenging us to question assumption, to not settle for the numbing habit of decorum for habit’s sake, to take action against anything that oppresses the human spirit, and to do so with the quiet confidence and humor of a true pessimist.

    The photo of Frank Zappa is included in Who Shot Rock & Roll, running at the Annenberg Space for Photography through October 7, 2012.

    Top image courtesy of Jerry Schatzberg, Frank Zappa, "Himself", 1967. Right image courtesy of Diva Zappa.

  • /the-shot-blog/photography-space-re-opens-its-doors

    "Who Shot Rock & Roll" finally opened to the public on Saturday and people came out in droves. This was our largest opening weekend ever!

    Some visitors really wanted to make sure they were the first people to see the exhibit. Jennifer & Allison (pictured above) showed up about an hour early just to be sure they would be the first guests to walk through our doors when we re-opened to the public.

    Featured "Who Shot Rock & Roll" photographer Ed Colver also showed up that day and graciously chatted with staff and even signed books for those who purchased them at the front desk.

    Have you seen the show? What do you think?

  • /the-shot-blog/heart-makes-magic-stage-who-shot-rock-roll-gala

    Last night's opening gala at the Photograhy Space was rockin'! It was a great celebration of photography and music amidts a crowd of hundreds of rock & rollers and photographers.

    The hundreds of people in attendance were treated to a special surprise performance by the one and only Heart! The group sounded amazing and played an energetic five song set list of some of their classics including "Barracuda" & "Crazy on You." They opened their performance with "Even it Up." Watch a short clip of that above.

    We'll have photos from last night's gala to share soon. Stay tuned!

  • /the-shot-blog/rock-roll-unites-all-segments-nation

    By Exhibition Curator, Gail Buckland

    Who Shot Rock and Roll opened at the Brooklyn Museum late in October 2009. Thousands turned out for the opening with live music by Blondie.  We were all ready for a rock & roll party after the economic downturn and other depressing news.  It is amazing how great photographs of one of the most significant social revolutions of all time can make spirits soar.

    The Annenberg Space for Photography's hosting of the exhibition may be the last venue on a nine-museum tour across America.  There is always something special about the East Coast/West Coast - the country’s bookends - connection.  But, rock & roll is a powerful thread that unites all segments of the nation. 

    At almost every venue, people who never crossed the threshold of an art museum, entered and were entranced.  Regular visitors discovered, or rediscovered, that great photography - no matter what the subject - is also great art.  And, people asked me, over and over again, “why hasn’t there been an exhibition like this before?”

    The answer lies, in part, because I chose the photographs on their merit, not simply because of who was in them.  My approach to curating Who Shot Rock and Roll is exactly the same as any other art exhibition I have organized - do the research; visit the artists; go through their archives; ask questions that have not been asked before; select photographs that are worthy of hanging on museum walls and inclusion in the larger histories of photography, art and culture; write a catalogue and wall labels that illuminate the subject and provide new information and insight into the pictures.  Music photographers have been treated as outsiders.  My mission is to acknowledge the enormous contribution of the men and women who photographed rock and gave it its image.

    Who Shot Rock & Roll opens at the Annenberg Space for Photography on June 23, 2012.

  • /the-shot-blog/lynn-goldsmith-photographs-bruce-springsteen-first-time
    Bruce Springsteen, New York City © 1972 Lynn Goldsmith

    By Lynn Goldsmith

    I met Bruce in April of 1972.  It was my first assignment for Rolling Stone. They told me he was the Bob Dylan of the ‘70s. The article was going to be called “It’s Sign up a Genius Month.” Because the shoot was set to take place in a dark bar on Bleecker Street in New York, I knew I could not depend on available light. I would need a flash. I’d never used one before and thought this “genius” is going to know I’m stupid.

    Six years later Bruce told me what he was thinking the first time I took his picture. He said, “I thought a Rolling Stone photographer; a girl who lives in New York City - she knows what she’s doing. She’s going to think I’m just this guy with a bar band from New Jersey. She’s going to think I’m a dope.”

    Who Shot Rock & Roll, which features more photographs by Lynn Goldsmith, opens at the Annenberg Space for Photography on June 23. Learn more about Lynn at www.lynngoldsmith.com.

  • /the-shot-blog/come-rock-out-photo-space

    Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History 1955 - Present will debut at the Annenberg Space for Photography in what seems like no time. Once here, visitors will be able to take in the amazing images, music videos and original documentary that are all part of the exhibit. But, that's not all. To further celebrate the exhibit (and also take advantage of the great summer weather in Los Angeles!), we're offering a free summer concert series that will feature Moby, Portugal. The Man, Raphael Saadiq and Band of Skulls. Very cool, right? We think so.

    On the nights of these special concerts, which are being put together in conjuction with our friends over at KCRW, the Photography Space will remain open until 11pm so guests can come to the galleries to experience the exhibition once the artists have put down their guitars and turned off their mics.

    Details and dates are here. Be a part of the fun and RSVP for your free tickets now. Hope to see you all there!

  • /the-shot-blog/watch-who-shot-rock-roll-video-teaser

    "I want my MTV?" Not this summer when the new music catchphrase will be "I want my ASP." Via the above 30 second video teaser, take a peek at what you'll see when Who Shot Rock & Roll rolls into the Annenberg Space for Photography this summer. Mark your calendars for opening day: June 23.

  • /the-shot-blog/coming-summer-who-shot-rock-roll

    We're very excited about our next exhibit, Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present! The show, which features 166 prints by over 100 photographers, was originally shown and created by the Brooklyn Museum. The summer exhibit will include an original documentary Annenberg Space for Photography film (as we always do) with interviews and behind-the-scenes footage of photographers Ed Colver, Henry Diltz, Jill Furmanovsky, Lynn Goldsmith, Bob Gruen, Norman Seeff, Mark Seliger and Guy Webster. There'll also be appearances by rock stars Alice Cooper and Henry Rollins. Click here for more information. Mark June 23 down on your calendar!

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