Portraits

The Jam

Paul-weller

Pete Townsend said; ‘The Jam were a very real manifestation of the kind of band I would have wanted to be in myself’.”

An exhibition ‘The Jam – About The Young Idea” just opened at Somerset House in London, the band symbolized life for Britain’s disenchanted youth during the late 70s and early 80s. I photographed them several times and documented their farewell concert in Brighton which ran in Melody Maker in 1982 (below).

Jam-last-concert

 

Tuff City

t-signt-ces-tatt-train

Last weekend I went to take a– portrait of CES the legendary graffiti and tattoo artist at his spot ‘Tuff City’ in the Bronx. The place is great, tattoo artists work on their clients in individual train cars, they have a recording studio upstairs, and next door is a yard for graffiti artists to paint. It seemed to me like the “Cheers” of graffiti – people drop by to chat, paint and hang out. On  rainy day I bumped into legends LAVA, TRIKE, BIDS, BOOTS, CHECKER170,BOT707,HEZE and KEYS shooting the breeze in the yard.

t-group-3t-checkert-grafft-gates

 

Welling Court Mural Project

 

w-cey-mural

The annual Welling Court Mural Project in Astoria Queens near 30th Ave and 12th Street took place in June this year. On a hot summer’s day over 100 artists came to paint. It all started in 2009 when residents approached Ad Hoc Art gallery owner Garrison Buxton to inquire about sprucing up the neighborhood.
What started with 44 murals has now grown to 130. The artists donate their time, and in some cases materials, other supplies are donated by local businesses. Buxton gets permission from property owners to turn their buildings into a canvas. Artists from all over the world come to paint the walls of industrial buildings in the neighborhood . If your passion is ‘Bob Marley’ then bring your kid and paint a mural, if you are an OG come paint a wall with old friends. This year artists such as Greg Lamarche, Lady Pink & Smith, Cey Adams, Queen Andrea, and Meres of 5 Poitnz fame all came to see old friends and paint. Meres-5Pointz

w-marley

W-mex-

 

Take the 6 train

6-train-2

Compelled to take a photograph of these guys on the 6 train platform tonight at Union Square.

Streetbird Harlem

MARCUS-SAMUELSSON

Take the B train to 116 street and Frederick Douglas Blvd. Marcus Samuelsson’s new spot Streetbird is (to quote reggae artist Dr Alimentado) ” The best dressed chicken in town” . The restaurant feels like home – thanks to the lovely staff, decor echoing the Harlem hip hop street vibe and a few of my photos on the walls. Food is off the hook, street flavors, rotisserie chicken, mac and cheese, corn bread and great cocktails.

Ron English on Bowery NYC

ron-English

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.

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.

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