Celebrated as The Man Who Shot the 70s, Mick Rocks images define rock n roll. Rock launched his career in 1972 with his portrait of an unknown David Bowie and spent the next four decades capturing the most fascinating and exciting characters in rock music. This outstanding exhibition will coincide with the publication of Rocks new book Exposed: the Faces of Rock n Roll, which includes previously unseen and unpublished images, as well as rare and unexpected portraits.
Mick Rock's images are gritty, sexy & mesmerizing. Always drawn to extreme performances, and defiant, rebellious artists, his unusual portraits encapsulated the dawning of an era, and continued to recreate it in succeeding decades through his work with underground musicians of the 1980s, 1990s and into the new millennium
This retrospective exhibition is a journey through an exceptional career as well as musical history. He lived the life as well as documented it. Always in the right place at the right time, Rocks Terrible Trio photograph, the party snap as he calls it, captured David Bowie, Iggy Pop, and Lou Reed, and set him on the road to success. He became Bowies official photographer on tour, and with access that no other photographer had at the time, was able to document the creation of Bowies Ziggy Stardust persona.
Building on this early success, Rock began to travel back and forth between London and New York photographing emerging artists. In 1977 Rock moved to New York permanently, where he became immersed in the underground music scene characterised by The Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie. Once again, he was part of the moment. His pictures captured the essence of an era and made him one of the most popular photographers in the world.
"London in the late sixties and early seventies was a hotbed of creative interchange. The prevalent hippie philosophy united all manner of artists, musicians, film makers, models, designers, actors, writers, and photographers into a unique and fertile community. My timing was excellent. Curiosity and circumstance drew me into the flame of rock n roll." Mick Rock
His photo shoots are legendary. Rock not only captured, but created, the drama and vital essence of the rock scene, his notorious shoots and resulting photographs from them helped to shape the theatre of rock n roll. Being photographed by Mick Rock is now a right of passage for any emerging band.
Rocks enthusiasm for his art has remained undimmed and his enthusiasm for his subjects remains as fresh as ever. He confesses The truth is that some of my favourite pictures are the ones that have never been published. Some of these favourites will be revealed in his latest book, Exposed Faces of Rock n Roll (Chronicle Books, Autumn 2010), featuring many images of his classic subjects that have never previously published, plus a selection of his recent photos and many other unexpected photos from his extensive archive.
Mick Rock Rock Music in association with Zippo 11th November 16th January Idea Generation Gallery