Portraits

DIOR PARIS

dior-3

I spend a week in Paris in late September photographing the Christian Dior collection designed by their new creative director Maria Grazia Chiuri. I photographed everything from the atelier to the fittings, backstage, the show, the celebrities and the scene. I decided to photograph in documentary ‘fly on the wall’ style, black and white images. It was  the most amazing experience watching the collection take shape from the seamstress  making the clothes to the final  show. Attention to detail, beautiful clothes with a feminist twist, Maria Grazia’s Dior is all about celebrating the power of women.

1-dior-clothes

dior-2

dior-5

dior-6

 

Handball King of Courts

 

 

 

Handball King of Courts

Handball King of Courts 2016

The King of Courts Tournament was held this year on a 98F day in a park off the Grand Central Parkway in Jamaica Queens. Handball is played all over the city, old and young battle in dusty parks every day. It’s a real street game, all you need is a ball and a wall. I documented this year’s tournament for Jocks & Nerds.

GHETTO GASTRO

 

 

Ghetto Gastro Bronx

Photographed the Ghetto Gastro crew outside a local deli in the Bronx for Interview Magazine. Ghetto Gastro’s core crew is Jon Gray, a Bronx native and ringleader of Ghetto Gastro, Lester Walker, who grew up with Gray in Co-Op City, and trained as a chef; Malcolm Livingston II, a pastry chef from the Bronxdale Houses and Eastchester; and Pierre Serrao, 28, a chef who trained in Italy. “We form like Voltron—everybody has their own specialty” They are bringing ‘Boogie Down Bronx’ style to the culinary arts. fusing high and low culture and cuisine.

 

ghettogastro

 

FIGHTBALL

fightball-1

Fightball is an intense one-on-one basketball competition held in a club setting. It pits some of the world’s best ballers against each other. This spring I shot the Fightball final in NYC. An intense game between Andrew “Spongebob’ Washington and Brazil’s Leandro de Lima. Sitting with my toes touching the side line behind the basket trying to follow the players with my lens and avoid getting hit by the ball made the game extra thrilling.

I had photographed the players earlier in the day at practise, ‘Spongebob’ seemed to have a fierce light in his eye – and he came out on top that evening wnning the grand prize of $100,000.

fightball-2

 

UK MASHUP 2016

In January 2016 I had an exhibition at the Punctum Gallery in London – the show was called Punk Hip Hop MashUp.  In honor of London’s 40th Anniversary of Punk and being back in my home town I decided to do a Punk MashUp. I asked my artist friends from back in those days, who were connected with British music and culture from 1976 to 1982, to reinterpret my photographs. Here are a few of them with their comments about why they chose to work on those particular images:

FAN-IN-MUD_CHRISTOS-TOLERA

CHRISTOS TOLERA “My immediate response to this image was the recognition of the similarity between this and Sir John Everett Millais’ ‘Ophelia’ and the ecstasy so closely associated with death. I was inspired to make more of this and at the same time draw attention to the futility of peaceful protest in the times we live in. The man playing air guitar in the original image is re-imagined dying, dropping the white Poppies which had symbolised peace in his hands for us to be reminded that war continues unabated. The title ‘I Feel Ya’ is a play on words referring to the original inspiration whilst at the same time describing both the old and new images. 

The artist Christos Tolera was born, lives and works in London. After a short lived pop career as a member of 80’s latin funk jazz outfit Blue Rondo A La Turk he eventually settled into the career of an artist as a painter and occasional actor. He has never quite managed to avoid the spotlight nor does it seem he wants to. www.christostolera.com

BOY-GEORGE_SUE-TILLEY

SUE TILLEY: “I have always been a huge fan of Boy George and think that his influence on the world and his song writing abilities are very underestimated. I was thrilled to be one of the main characters in his musical ‘Taboo’ which was performed in the West End and on Broadway. I wanted to make the photo painterly so used thick red paint to cover up the background. In the picture I sprayed the gold paint to mimic the drips on Leigh Bowery’s head as George played him in ‘Taboo’. I used the cut up letters to spell out the lyrics of one of my favourite songs and to answer some of the horrible treatment he has received from newspapers. They are also a nod to the punk sensibility of Jamie Reid.”

When Sue Tilley left college she went to sign on and they enlisted her to work in the dole office, finally leaving last year after 37 years. While working there she embraced the London night life scene, working on the door at Taboo and The Wag Club and regularly crawling into work with appalling hangovers. She met Leigh Bowery in a night club who was to become her best friend and a huge influence in her life. After he died in 1993 she wrote his biography which has become a bit of a cult classic. Bowery introduced her to Lucian Freud who painted her 4 times.
SPECIALS_HORACE-PANTER

HORACE PANTER “Why did you choose this image?  Easy … I’m the guy first from the right in the photo!

Horace Panter graduated from Lanchester Polytechnic (Coventry) in 1975 with a BAHons in Fine Art and a basic knowledge of the bass guitar. Joined fellow Coventry alumni Jerry Dammers in The Specials until the bands demise in 1982. Taught art in Coventry from 1998-2008, played bass when The Specials reformed (to the present day). “The band, although an incredible live unit, was fragmented and unhappy at the time the photograph was taken. I’ve tried to accentuate that – seven individuals as opposed to a group.”

ISLINGTON-TWINS_KOSMO-VINYL

KOSMO: I’ve loved both pictures of the twins forever – I think the parka one was in the first issue of The Face wasn’t it? Anyway I think one of the greatest things about British Punk Rock was the Punk/Dread Alliance, both scenes could see kindred spirits in each other and how their enemies were common to both. I always felt that the Two Tone Explosion was a product of this and that it had produced a brand new species. I remember Ranking Roger of The Beat getting up on stage with The Clash and singing “White Riot” – he was so into it- afterwards he told me “I’d always wanted to do that song on stage”. I’ve just tried to capture some of that lightning.”

The former Londoner turned New Yorker, Kosmo Vinyl, is perhaps best known for his work with Ian Dury & The Blockheads and The Clash. Starting out at Stiff Records in 1976, he became a key figure in the London-based music scene. These days Kosmo’s artistic blow-by-blow account of his existence as a long distance fan of West Ham United soccer team is documented in the blog “Is Saitch Yer Daddy,” The title comes from some cryptic East London graffiti from his youth. “You could see it just past Bromley By Bow station, when taking the District Line Underground train east, en route to Upton Park, home of The Hammers.”

JOE-STRUMMER_MARCO

MARCO : “I choose Joe Strummer  because is a wonderful singer with guts and brain. When I was doing the painting of the photo I put a union jack ripped, because Joe represent his country like no one and at the same time was critic towards it, so he destroy what is wack in England and at the same time put the english music to a huge level, the one that this country deserved for all the incredible tracks it brought to the world, cause the crown sucks, but his people kill !!!! It’s the only country that can step against the huge US music machine, like the Beatles or the Stones they fuckin did it. ” This is England!!”I also wrote some of my favorite title of the band, like a medley written all around him, cause all this came out of this man. I never been a fan in my life, but I’m a big time Clash supporter!!! Revolution Rock!!!”

I was a graffiti vandal, I did architecture studies, I’m now making films, and still keep on writing graffiti ( Not street art), and sometimes I even tattoo…. Art is the expression of emotion, and if people can feel it, then it is. My name is Marc-Aurèle Vecchione, people call me Marco, I write Orel -you choose!!

SIOUXEE_PAM-HOGG

PAM HOGG ” Knowing I was good friends with Siouxee, Janette suggested i worked on her image, so of course it was a great choice for me, I loved the photo. I’ve been drawing since I was able to hold a pencil, it seemed the most natural thing to do, and I’ve been doing it all my life.”

DEE-DEE_IAN-WRIGHT

IAN WRIGHTONETWOTHREEFOUR, innit?”

I’m interested in what could be. I especially enjoy making portraits and I’m excited by the process of collaboration. I love conversation. I’m obsessed by music. I’m looking forward to what happens next.” Ian Wright is an artist, he worked for The Face & NME back in the day. He has also been supplying me with the best compilation mix tapes, CD’s and MP3’s since 1979.

AND MORE great pieces were created by: Lorraine Kinman (Costume Designer,worked with Vivien Westwood and Boy), Ian’Swifty’ (Graphic Designer, Straight No Chaser, Talkin’ Loud), Hattie Stewart (Illustrator), Dan Holiday (Artist), Chris Sullivan (Journalist, DJ, artist, Blue Rondo A La Turk, the Wag), Princess Julia (Writer, painter, ID Magazine Blitz, PX). Kash (Graffiti artist and painter). Soon to be seen on my website …

SHINOLA 2015

SHINOLA-BILLBOARD

 

My photo from the Shinola shoot in Detroit is a billboard in Los Angeles (above). Shinola hired me to make portraits of all the people that work in their Detroit factory making the watches. I spent four days photographing people at work, staff members with Shinola products on the street, on Shinola bikes at the ‘Slow Roll’, wielding baseball bats at the site of the old Tiger Stadium. Shinola is deeply invested in the Detroit renaissance.

We came back to New York City to shoot jazz singer Jose James on the street and at Rockwood Music Hall (below). Last night Jose played a brilliant full set at the Shinola store in Tribeca.

Jose-Shinola

Ledfoot

 

Ledfoot-2015

Ledfoot aka Tim Scott Mcconnell is part Cherokee, part Irish, he grew up in the Appalachians, learned to play guitar and joined a band. We met in Reykjavik couple of weeks ago and did a photo session on a roof in the wind and rain. He plays 12 string guitar with with porcelain slide and steel finger picks,  performs self-written songs he calls ‘ Gothic Blues’. Springstein is a fan, he recorded his song ‘High Hopes’. Ledfoot is an original, the real deal. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iSHTml9KHJc

 

 

Tracy Chapman

Tracy Chapman has a greatest hits album coming out. She is using some of my photos from the shoot I did with her in 1988 in the CD book and press. When I shot this photo of her in 1988 the record company had been searching for the right photographer to shoot press pictures. They had already done three photo shoots with some big name photographers but Tracy didn’t like the images and the record company knew she was going to be important. They needed someone who she would get along with and that turned out to be me. She arrived at my studio unaccompanied and we decided to take a stroll through the East Village – stopping at various spots to grab a couple of shots, talking about politics, music, racism in America – I was shooting Tri X film so there was no way to look at what we were getting but I think she felt at ease.We stopped for a coffee in the local diner before going back to the studio to shoot a few photos with her guitar one of which ended up on the 12″ sleeve ‘Talkin’ bout a Revolution’. Tracy grew up  poor in Cleveland, her lyrics on that first album touch on lazy, cops, race riots, wife beating and escaping poverty : “poor people gonna rise up and take what’s theirs” In spite of telling uncomfortable truths about the America she saw, her debut album beat out the likes of Def Leppard and Guns and Roses and rose to #1 in the charts that summer.

DETROIT

CLEADUS-_BROADWAY

Met these two stylish gentlemen, Cleadus and Kevin outside the menswear store “Broadway’, in downtown Detroit .

KEVIN

PHOTOVILLE 2015

 

PHOTOS_IMG_4582

“Back then it was down to earth photographs taken in scruffy clubs or backstage changing rooms. Today everything is so ‘thought about’ image-concious, marketed and packaged. I know which I prefer. ” Sir Paul Smith Menswear Designer and British Style Icon

Three months ago the United Photo Industries crew Dave, Laura and Sam came by my studio – they asked me to curate a show for the opening night of Photoville: the best music photographs from the last 4 decades, we called it ‘Down & Dirty’. They were also drawn to the ‘MashUp’ project that I had hanging on the wall (legends from the graffiti world painting on my old school hip hop photos).

I’ve spent the last three months combing through rock n roll music images and the result is ‘Down & Dirty’ on display in a shipping container at Photoville, there is a free limited edition newspaper and of course the slide show which will be shown on Thursday during the opening night party. Plus extra bonus is a mega ‘MashUp’ created by artists Cey Adams and Queen Andrea on the side of our container (visible to the folk stuck in traffic on the BQE)

NYC-VIEW_IMG_4562

This show endeavors to highlight some of the great photographers that have documented music over the last four decades. These photographers followed bands capturing whatever they could, from intimate moments at home to fans crowd surfing at concerts, to gritty backstage scenes. The images were mostly created without the help of hair and makeup, stylists, no management in sight, just the photographer and the musician(s). Photographers, some you’ll have heard of and some not but you will know their images – such as Roberta Bayley, Godlis and Bob Gruen who captured the East Coast punk scene, Mick Rock who hung out with Bowie and Iggy and shot the glam rock scene, Chalkie Davis who shot the 2 Tone scene in the UK, David Corio and Adrian Boot who shot UK punk and reggae in Jamaica, Glen E Freidman who shot West coast punk, hip hop and skateboard culture, Danny Clinch ‘s photographs of so many genres from Tupac to Johnny Cash, Lawrence Watson’s post punk Brit pop, Jonathan Mannion, Michael Lavine’s 90’s hip hop, Michael Putland’s classic rock, Mel D Cole’s modern hip hop classics and the list goes on.

None of this would have been possible without the help of Julie Grahame (for those that don’t know Julie ran one of the world’s biggest music photo agencies), AmandaGorence fabulous photo editor and producer, and the Photoville posse who were crazy enough to ask me to do this.

And the beat goes on! Hope to see you at the opening this Thursday

PHOTOVILLE_JB_INVITE