Sean-Patrick M. Hillman
April 4th – May 4th
POP International Galleries Soho
473 West Broadway
Reception for the Artist Thursday, April 3rd 7 to 9pm
Pop International Galleries is pleased to present a selection of photographs from legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen. The show will present nearly 100 photographs of rock greats including John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Debbie Harry, The Ramones and more. The show will also include original contact sheets that correspond to each of the featured photographs, demonstrating the selection process of pre-digital photography. In addition, the show will include a new collage of Rolling Stones photographs from the 1972 Madison Square Garden show of the “Exile on Main Street” concert, a Teenage Bedroom installation and a new silkscreen series.
For forty years, Bob Gruen has been documenting the rock scene, capturing now iconic images of The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin, New York Dolls, Blondie, The Ramones, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono among others and continues to work today with current acts Green Day and the Strypes. Bob Gruen says of his career, “Photography has led me to some great experiences and enduring relationships. Blurring the line between work and play, many of the people I met through my work have become friends; some are like family to me.” Signed copies of Bob Gruen’s 14th book ROCK SEEN (Abrams 2011), a monograph spanning his career, will be available at the gallery.
According to Jeff Jaffe, owner of POP International Galleries, “Bob Gruen is perhaps the most well known and respected photographer in rock and roll. POP International Galleries is a natural forum for showing his work given our great reputation for representing artists like Ringo Starr, Ronnie Wood and Bob Dylan. Gruen’s photographs are the glue that connects the music scene with the fans, and POP provides the venue for fans and collectors to own a significant part of rock history. We are very proud to show the work of Bob Gruen!”
Bob Gruen’s career began in 1965, when he shot his first concert photos at the Newport Folk Festival. “I was still a kid and a big Bob Dylan fan.” Bob Gruen recalls, “I talked my way into getting a photo pass so I could be down front. That was when Dylan played electric guitar and claimed rock'n'roll was American folk music and got booed off stage for it. After that I began taking photos a lot.” (Bob Gruen, Interview with Carlo McCormick, The New York Trash)
While shooting freelance work and photo stories for the underground rock magazine, “Rock Scene” Bob photographed local New York City bands “on stage, off stage, at home, at parties, and during time off”. “Many photos I was taking then weren’t used until years later; they weren’t considered to be news at the times, but now they are ‘history’ ” Bob says of his early photographs which document the very beginnings of what would later become a monumental rock scene at the now infamous New York City clubs CBGB and Max’s Kansas City where bands such as the Ramones and Blondie got their start.
Many of Bob Gruen’s iconic photographs began with unassuming introductions that became the catalyst for honest and enduring friendships. A hurried introduction to Ike and Tina Turner outside a concert began a friendship that resulted in Gruen’s first album cover, and later Gruen’s first concert tour. In 1972, Gruen met John Lennon and Yoko Ono at a benefit concert, and later dropped some prints at their nearby apartment. This simple gesture began a close friendship between Bob Gruen, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono. Throughout the 1970’s Gruen worked as their personal photographer, documenting concerts and press conferences, as well as capturing serene moments between John and Yoko, and the first images of their son, Sean Lennon. In 1974, Gruen suggested photographing John Lennon on top of his New York apartment building, which would later become the hugely iconic image of John Lennon wearing the New York City T-Shirt.
Gruen’s photographs are in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London, and have been shown in the Museum of Modern Art’s 2009 exhibition, “Looking at Music: Side 2” and the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s 2009 exhibition, “Who Shot Rock & Roll”. Bob Gruen lives and works in New York City.
For RSVP information to opening night please log on to www.popInternational.com
or e-mail BobGruenRSVP@popinternational.com.
For interviews with Bob Gruen, contact Carol@Klenfner.com or call (917) 860-0211
For more information on Pop International Galleries, visit www.popInternational.com and follow them on Facebook and Twitter.
Press Contacts: CORBIN-HILLMAN COMMUNICATIONS
Sean-Patrick M. Hillman
Executive Vice President