August 29 – October 5
53525 New York 30 (corner of Main and Bridge) Roxbury, NY
Reception for the Artist and Book Signing Friday, August 29, 5-8 pm
The Orphic Gallery is pleased to present an exhibition of photographs from legendary rock photographer Bob Gruen. The show will present 46 photographs of rock greats including John Lennon, Led Zeppelin, The Clash, Debbie Harry, The Ramones and more.
Rock Seen at the Orphic will also include a Teenage Bedroom installation (as seen at MoMA). In addition, signed copies of Bob Gruen’s 14th book ROCK SEEN (Abrams 2011), a monograph spanning his long career, will be available at the gallery.
For forty years, Bob Gruen has been documenting the rock scene, capturing now iconic images of The Clash, The Sex Pistols, Led Zeppelin, New York Dolls, Blondie, The Ramones, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono among others and continues to work today with current acts Green Day and the Strypes. Bob Gruen says of his career, “Photography has led me to some great experiences and enduring relationships. Blurring the line between work and play, many of the people I met through my work have become friends; some are like family to me.”
Bob Gruen’s career began in 1965, when he shot his first concert photos at the Newport Folk Festival. “I was still a kid and a big Bob Dylan fan.” Bob Gruen recalls, “I talked my way into getting a photo pass so I could be down front. That was when Dylan played electric guitar and claimed rock’n’roll was American folk music and got booed off stage for it. After that I began taking photos a lot.” (Bob Gruen, Interview with Carlo McCormick, The New York Trash)
While shooting freelance work and photo stories for the underground rock magazine “Rock Scene,” Bob photographed local New York City bands “on stage, off stage, at home, at parties, and during time off”. “Many photos I was taking then weren’t used until years later; they weren’t considered to be news at the times, but now they are ‘history’ ” Bob says of his early photographs which document the very beginnings of what would later become a monumental rock scene at the now infamous New York City clubs CBGB and Max’s Kansas City where bands such as the Ramones and Blondie got their start.
Many of Bob Gruen’s iconic photographs began with unassuming introductions that became the catalyst for honest and enduring friendships. A hurried introduction to Ike and Tina Turner outside a concert began a friendship that resulted in Gruen’s first album cover, and later Gruen’s first concert tour.
In 1972, Gruen met John Lennon and Yoko Ono at a benefit concert, and later dropped some prints at their nearby apartment. This simple gesture began a close friendship between Bob Gruen, John Lennon, and Yoko Ono. Throughout the 1970’s Gruen worked as their personal photographer, documenting concerts and press conferences, as well as capturing serene moments between John and Yoko, and the first images of their son, Sean Lennon. In 1974, Gruen suggested photographing John Lennon on top of his New York apartment building, which would later become the hugely iconic image of John Lennon wearing the New York City T-Shirt.
Gruen’s photographs are in the permanent collection of the National Portrait Gallery, London, and have been shown in the Museum of Modern Art’s 2009 exhibition, “Looking at Music: Side 2” and the Brooklyn Museum of Art’s 2009 exhibition, “Who Shot Rock & Roll”. Bob Gruen lives and works in New York City.
For further information on Rock Seen or the Orphic Gallery, please contact Phillip Lenihan at 607-326-6045 or firstname.lastname@example.org.