• /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/watch-who-shot-rock-roll-trailer

    Only 11 days until Who Shot Rock & Roll opens at the Space for Photography. At this very minute, our staff is hard at work hanging the art on our gallery walls and putting the finishing touches on the accompanying short documentary film. People have been buzzing about this show for months and we can't wait until it opens to the public so we can share these incredible images with all of you.

    Just ahead of the show, we're debuting this brand new 2-minute video trailer about the exhibit and the film, which includes original interviews with our featured photographers (such as Mark Seliger, Jill Furmanovsky and Lynn Goldsmith) as well as legendary rock & rollers Alice Cooper and Noel Gallagher. Pretty cool, right? Click the embeded video above to watch the trailer and let us know what you think!

  • /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/mothers-day-space

    Thanks to everyone who came out to celebrate Mother's Day at the Space for Photography on Sunday! There was complimentary food and drinks on hand for everyone who came in to celebrate mothers and take in the final days of our current exhibit, Digital Darkroom. Those who stopped in even had the option to have their photo taken (like the adorable one above!) and share it via Facebook, Twitter or just plain old email. We hope everyone had a marvelous time and an outstanding Mother's Day!

  • /the-shot-blog/celebrate-mothers-space-photography
    Martine Roch, The Good Kids (2009)

    Mother's Day is coming up - in fact it's this Sunday! If you want to avoid the hustle and bustle of the city's restaurants during brunch, why not visit the Annenberg Space for Photography to see our soon to close exhibit, Digital Darkroom. In honor of the holiday and moms everywhere, our staff will take free photos of guests which they can share during their visit via email, Facebook or Twitter.  We'll also have complimentary treats available for everyone.

    Fine art photography, food and pictures of your family to commemorate the day: what a great way to celebrate your mom and make her proud.

  • /the-shot-blog/final-days-digital-darkroom

    The last day to see Digital Darkroom is May 28 (Memorial Day!) and that date is right around the corner. Not only does that mean that those lovely street banners all over town will be coming down soon but so will the photographs currently hanging on the ASP gallery walls. Seems like the show just opened but in fact there are only a few mere weeks left to see the exhibit in person.

    For those who have yet to experience Digital Darkroom, come for the first time and for those who have, drop by for a second or even third time! Pick up a pair of free 3D glasses and enjoy the 3D images on display; watch the original 30-minute documentary film in beautiful 4K resolution; See the 14-minute 3D film in our special screening room; Most of all, come immerse yourself in the astounding worlds created by the 17 artists and photographers.

  • /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/focus-jerry-uelsmann

    Decades before the advent of Photoshop, Jerry Uelsmann was already creating an impressive and groundbreaking collection of photographic work. His darkroom-developed images combining multiple negatives would ultimately lead to a revolution of mid-20th century photography and a career that spans five decades. His black and white images are part of the Annenberg Space for Photography’s current exhibition, Digital Darkroom. We are thrilled to have Uelsmann as one of our featured artists and excited to learn what the “forefather” of manipulated photography may be up to next.

    Born in Detroit in 1934, Uelsmann developed an interest in photography as a teenager.  After receiving his MFA from Indiana University, he began teaching photography at the University of Florida in 1960. It was during this decade that other photographers would evaluate his work of combining unrelated negatives into imaginary and fantastical scenes as not being true photography. Uelsmann says “I would show my work to other photographers, they’d always say, ‘Well, this is interesting, but this is not photography.’ I’d buy the same cameras, spend hours in the darkroom, but somehow they were locked in to the sort of documentary, camera-conceived imagery tradition, which still dominates photography.”

    A major break for Uelsmann occurred in 1967, when his images were exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.  His collection of work, that just a few years earlier had been criticized, was now viewed by a dedicated faction as avant-garde and boundary breaking. “It was like being blessed by the Pope,” he later joked about the experience. Uelsmann would continue to defy and challenge tradition over the following decades leading to a retrospective of his work with the publication of “The Mind’s Eye” encompassing fifty years of his photography.

    Despite the readily accessible digital photography programs such as Photoshop, Uelsmann has no interest in changing his work routine, even now at 77 years old. When recently asked why he continues to work in the darkroom, rather than transition to digital he said, “I fell in love with the alchemy of the photographic process and to this day, watching that print come up in the developer is magic for me. I still find it a wonderful, challenging experience.”

    Learn more about master craftsman Jerry Uelsmann with a visit to the Annenberg Space for Photography. You can catch his surreal images along with the work of our additional sixteen featured artists in Digital Darkroom now through May 28th.

  • /the-shot-blog/chris-levines-vision-comes-life

    By Chris Levine

    In 2004, I was commissioned by the Island of Jersey to create a modern portrait of the Queen of England to commemorate the island's 800 years of allegiance to the crown. When word came back from the palace that Her Majesty 'was tickled by the idea of being made into a hologram' things got serious and a date was put in the diary for the shoot. When I initially got the call for the commission, I thought it was someone playing games. It seemed so far-fetched and hard to believe that, until an official date was set,  I told myself that shouldn't get too attached to the idea because I imagined it would all fall through. It was of course a great privilege and honour to be selected and it was a commission I put my heart and soul into. I couldn't have imagined the success of the work today.

    As the project gained momentum I went through a series of reality checks. I am not a holographer though my vision for the piece was holographic. I chose as my collaborators the creative holographers Rob Munday and Jeffrey Robb who I'd worked with on many occasions and had made some incredible holograms together, and the US master holographer Dr John Perry who produced the original hologram as shown at Buckingham Palace and the Jersey Museum in 2004 as unveiled by Prince Charles. These were in my opinion the world's leading holographers and my ideal team. Luckily they all accepted the invitation to get involved. My assistant Nina Duncan was selected for me by the office of my friend the fashion photographer Mario Testino and I had the confidence of a highly capable team behind me. In developing the creative direction for the work, the inspiration came to me through my practice of meditation. [www.dhamma.org] and both images "Equanimity" and "Lightness of Being" relate fundamentally to meditative practice. I wanted to develop a piece of work that would be timeless and not bound by any iconography or stylistic language and resisted the use of any props or suggestive devices in the image. The portrayal of Her Majesty was in itself to communicate the basis of the relationship with the monarch and the Island and is intended to convey a sense of power and dignity in perfect harmony, equanimous to all. I got to choose Her Majesty's attire with her dresser Angela Kelly including the beautiful diadem she wore for the shoot. It was a surreal moment when Her Majesty arrived on the date, on time, wearing the clothes I had selected for her. I was very happy with the results of the first sitting though we had some frustrating technical issues on the day.

    Within minutes of the first sitting being complete, one of Her Majesty's aides came to me and said that the Queen had enjoyed the sitting and if I'd like another to please write. Of course I was overjoyed to have another sitting and in the benefit of hindsight with one sitting under my belt, I decided on some fundamental changes to my camera angles and lighting and the work published is all from the second sitting. Perhaps one day I will show work from the first sitting which is in fact quite different. I also captured images of Her Majesty using a laser scanner 3D data and have yet to explore that material. "Equanimity" was the working title as used in the development stages of the project and I proposed it to Her Majesty and we agreed it as the formal title at Windsor Castle 2004. During the same meeting, the final choice of image for production as a hologram was made. The sense of stillness and calm was in part captured by through timing the exposures with the breathing cycle of Her Majesty as she sat for the lengthy exposures. The work has had extensive coverage around the world and I created a body of work out of the material from the sittings.

    To commemorate the Diamond Jubilee this year, I worked again with holographer Rob Munday to use the original image sequence to create a holographic postage stamp for the Island of Jersey. It is to be mass produced using an advanced holographic dye process whereby a relief pattern of the holographic data is pressed into metallised foil. When light hits the surface of the foil, it is diffracted into the form of the image, a perfect scale reproduction of the original hologram. The stamp will be released by Jersey Post in June 2012. The image "Equanimity" will also appear on the forthcoming 100 pound bank note to be released this year. Both "Lightness of Being" and "Equanimity" will be featured in the forthcoming Queen Art and Image show at the National Portrait Gallery in London in May 2012, the first and final pieces in the show that celebrates the imagery that has been created of the most portrayed woman in history. Sometimes I have to pinch myself.

    Chris Levine burst onto the scene in 2004 when he was hired to take the first 3D photographs of Queen Elizabeth II. He calls what he does “light-based work,” utilizing lasers, lenticular images and other cutting-edge techniques. See his work in "Digital Darkroom" which runs from December 17, 2011 - May 28, 2012.

    Above two photos © Nina Duncan

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