Ron English on Bowery NYC


The legendary Ron English has a new piece on Bowery and Lafayette.

Know for his “culture jamming“, modifying advertising billboards like Camel cigarettes, replaced with Ron’s creations The Cancer Kids painted in the same style. His detailed, prolific oil painting skills are credited to his early background as an art reproducer.

English coined the term POPaganda to describe his mash-up of high and low cultural touchstones.

Coney Island

Spring like weather today in NYC – I just found these photos I shot at Coney Island last July. It’s one of those timeless spots in this ‘city on the beach’ where you can see all sorts of people.




Black Panther Film Festival

Sad to hear about the passing of the brilliant director Albert Maysles (above) who I photographed at the 3rd Annual Black Panther Film festival. He directed ‘Gimme Shelter’ and ‘Grey Gardens’ amongst so many great documentaries.

A huge fan of his work, I asked if I could take a portrait of him after the screening of a documentary about the Angola 3 at the Maysles Cinema in Harlem. I took a couple of shots’ he asked to see them and declared I needed to get in closer and reshoot them. The final shot (above) got his approval. Thank you Mr Maysles.

another MashUp – CES

“Big Daddy Issues”  Another great MashUp this time by the artist CES. who began hitting trains in 1983, he was a writer for the legendary FX crew. The piece features ‘Rat Fink’ a character created by artist Ed “Big Daddy” Roth who conceived Rat Fink as an anti-hero answer to Mickey Mouse. CES has Rat Fink brilliantly shaving a tag into Big Daddy Kane’s fade.  CES explains: “I choose the photo for the fact Big Daddy Kane was my shit back in the 80’s – got to see him perform several times back then as well.”

Wild Style

Two legends meet at the Bond Street studio : Cey Adams working on a ‘Wild Style’ collage, Charlie Ahearn dropping by with my ‘Wild Style’ beanie.

Jose James Billie Holiday

Jose James’ new album is a tribute to the legendary singer  Billie Holiday We shot the cover photo in Amsterdam.

“My first clear musical memory is of Billie Holiday,” writes James in the album’s liner notes. “Billie’s voice floated through our house – grand, warm, intimate, and wholly unique…..Her work was mastery – of pain, of trauma, of faith in music and the power of transformation. I had found my teacher. Billie Holiday made me want to be a jazz singer and set me on the path that I’m walking today. “

Paris and Ford Models

Two weeks ago, driving through Paris in the Ford Models company car, suddenly the Eiffel Tower appears – its still a thrill – feel like a kid seeing it for the first time. All day shoot for Christel Vatasso the fabulous director of Ford Paris (below). I photographed a band ‘Air Bag One’, the DJ Clara Deshayes, actor Isham Conrath,  some of the models and the staff. Finished late champagne at the office, editing the photos, Paris is beautiful, we had a great time

Steve Strange

RIP Steve Strange – Steve was a fixture on the streets of Covent Garden in the punk /New Romantic years – I first met him at  the store ‘PX’ which was the premier New Romantic boutique, Steve worked there for 2 or 3 years, he helped me buy a pair of black leather trousers which I wore when I went to shoot the Clash in Milan.  He started the New Romantic movement with Rusty Egan at the Blitz Club – new styles, new dance, new music. A visionary  of his time.

New Kids New Edition

Diggin’ in those crates again with Sean Corcoran from Museum of City of New York, preparing for the ‘HipHop Revolution’ exhibition.  I came across these old polaroids amongst the HipHop photos.

New Kids on the Block are touring again – I took this photo of them for 17 Magazine in the mid eighties when they were the pin up idols of their teen generation. Discovered by Maurice Starr they sold over 80 million records worldwide. Donny Wahlberg ( the older brother of Mark Wahlberg) became an actor/ producer currently in the TV series ‘Blue Blood’. Check the message on the photo ” Betcha didn’t know that we rap”

And talking about the NEW- I shot this photo of New Edition in Boston for the cover for the single ‘Candy Girl’ in 1983. Maurice Starr had discovered them too, he loved the ‘Michael Jackson’ like high voice of Ralph Tresvant. British journalist PaoloHewitt interviewed them during the shoot and said “Some people say you sound like Michael Jackson..”  The band replied ” That’s OK cos we know we aint” . The young Bobby Brown was a lead singer in the group.

Le Salon Paris Le MashUp

In Paris for an exhibition of ‘Le Mashup’ at Le Salon d’Atelier, a lovely gallery owned by Louise Gabet-Winter. Great crowd, most arrived on motor bikes, people stand outside the packed gallery smoking and drinking beer, we sold a bunch of art. Thanks to DJ Richie Reach for the hip hop tunes. Great review from the Paris daily newspaper Liberation .