The Company Freak Disco Collective, led by Jason King, turned Central Park Summer Stage into a dance party today. Stars like Karl Dixon and Dawn Tallman (above), Ultra Nate, the ladies from Chic and many more brought back those Studio 54, Paradise Garage nights singing classic disco, soul and house – “dance dance dance dance ” – perfect start to the GayPride weekend.
KEO (above) painted the mural of Bambaata outside the Gavin Brown Gallery. The show, curated by Johan Kugelberg features Buddy Esquire’s fliers, Joe Conzo’s photos, Charlie Ahearn’s Wild Style – and you can buy some of Bambaataa’s priceless records to play at home.
Imanuel aka BB7nyc stylin’ and profilin’ outside the gallery
The Cold Crush crew.
One weekend a year the area called Welling Court in Queens becomes a street art gallery. The project organized by Ad Hoc has grown each year with crews of legendary, groundbreaking, and up-and-coming artists transforming the neighborhood into a public art experience. This year saw legends like John Ahearn who cast street legend Smith (below), Cey (above), Lady Pink (below), and many more painting from dawn till dusk.
Alice and Trap
John Ahearn casting artist Smith
I shot this photo of the Brothers Johnson chilling out in Los Angeles in 1981 – love the number plate. George aka ‘Lightnin’ Licks’ and Louis aka ‘Thunder Thumbs’ recorded one of my favorite songs ‘Strawberry Letter 23′ which was originally recorded by the great Shuggie Otis .
Singer Jose James has a new single out called ’EveryLittleThing’ In true artist’s spirit of fearless experimentalism the new record shows his love for not only soul but rock and electronic based music. He grew up listening to bands like Nirvana, Jimmy Hendrix and Radiohead and later spent many late nights in East London Clubs hearing electronic music. .
To celebrate this we decided to wander the streets of Brooklyn to shoot the cover for the single (above) – it was a sunny day and we found this rusty painted flag wall – it seems just right.
José James’ new album ‘While You Were Sleeping’ comes out on June 10 – it is electrifying!
One afternoon Dave Sussman rolled up to my place in his beautiful 1976 Cadillac. The ‘BKLYNWAY/BEASTIECADDY‘ is covered in photos of the Beastie Boys, as a fan described it “ain’t enough o’s in smooooooth!” Dave created this art piece to honor the passing of MCA who sadly died in May 2012.
Coincidentally Ricky Powell, the man some call ‘the fourth Beastie’, just happened to be passing by – I think MCA would be be looking down smiling.
My show at HVW8 Gallery for Art & Design in LA opened last Thursday, big thanks to Tyler, Nikolai, and Addison for throwing a great party, as well as my girl Jen from Art Duet for kicking it up and getting press from the likes of Jay Z, Complex, LA Weekly (Jake you rule) and Brent Rollins for the photo above. The show is called ‘Rebel Cultures.Punks, Rap, Gangs’ : images from British punk era, LA punk scene, Old School Hip Hop, and the East LA Hoyo Maravilla gang series.
HVW8 Gallery is at 661 N Spaulding below Melrose Open Tues-Sun 1-6pm until May 18 2014
I first became aware of graffiti in London in 1982 – taking photos of the first hip hop tour to come to Europe for Melody Maker I met Futura and Dondi White who tagged the dumpster outside the hotel for my photo (see above), or maybe just because that was what they did. Earlier that month I had photographed American rapper J Walter Negro painting a mural of New York trains for the Christmas cover of the magazine. I loved this new art
Moving to New York later that year the art was everywhere. Commissioned by style magazine ‘The Face’ to photograph the Rock Steady Crew I went to Harlem to shoot them break dancing on a piece of cardboard in front of a huge mural of a tiger’s head. I photographed BDP aka Boogie Down Productions in the Bronx in front of a graffiti covered wall, Salt & Pepa on the Lower East Side, Bambaata and members of the Zulu Nation in the Bronx,Eric B and Rakim in NYC with graffiti behind them, Stetsasonic in Brooklyn posing with the Stetson sign covered in tags and stickers.I wondered who these unknown artists were that painted the backdrops for so many of my photographs.
In 1983 I was in Los Angeles documenting the East LA gang El Hoyo Maravilla – their turf was centered around the Hoyo Maravilla park and clearly marked by the local artists. East LA was covered in paintings too I shot punk band The Undertakers (below) at their rehearsal space in the barrio.
And today I am still thanking amazing artists like Cope2 for giving so much ‘Flava; to my photographs, and providing a time line for these images in the future.
GoHardBoyz The Bronx 2013
Angel Haze is the real thing. The twenty two year old stand out rapper’s music has been described as ‘brutal’ and ‘beautiful. She says “I focus on being as honest as I can possibly be because I feel like music, to an extent, is philanthropic. In all my ventures, I set out to reach people who are just like me.” I photographed her for the latest issue of Out Magazine, she is a big Tracy Chapman fan, we made friends on the photo shoot after she discovered I shot the cover for Tracy Chapman’s “Talkin’ Bout a Revolution’. Growing up in Detroit in a Pentecostal sect she rejected that life and moved to New York. Legend has it she turned down an opportunity to tour with Beyonce, in December she leaked her latest album after the record company wanted to delay the release, she walks to her own beat.