New Photography Exhibition Brings Iconic and Never-Before-Seen Images from the 1970s …

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D’Stassi Art is pleased to present Legendary Moments – a new exhibition bringing together some of the most memorable moments from the rock and punk music scene of the 1970s, shot by legendary rock photographers Bob Gruen and Leee Black Childers.

On view from Friday 29 July until Friday 19 August, iconic and never-before-seen images will chronicle the vibrant scene of 1970s punk music and culture from the underground worlds of London to downtown New York. Curated by Stephen Colegrave – co-author of the definitive text, Punk – A Life Apart (2010), the new exhibition presents photography by Gruen and Childers whose works collectively represent the best record of the changing music scene of the 1970s.

In keeping with the continuously evolving spirit of the movement, D’Stassi Art has invited several contemporary artists to freely reinterpret the featured photographs by Gruen and Childers, creating fresh dialogues between the original legendary figures, and the newest generation of renegades such as London-based contemporary artists ENDLESS, Hackney Dave, Rugman, Craig Keenan and more.

Deeply embedded within the communities they photographed, both documented a pivotal era in music when the industry’s focus shifted from established stars like Elvis Presley and John Lennon, to up-and-coming punk bands like the New York Dolls and the Sex Pistols. Capturing the raw intensity and excitement of an era of possibility where stardom felt within reach of anyone and everyone, Legendary Moments brings us a rare glimpse into the lives of larger-than-life figures, from the viewpoints of those who knew them best.

Amongst these are Gruen’s haunting portraits of Alice Cooper and Salvador Dali, and a selection of snapshots that span the early New York scene with the New York Dolls and the Ramones, and with the UK bands The Clash and the Sex Pistols. Gorgeous photos of the rock icon Debbie Harry are interspersed throughout, along with photos of John Lennon, who was close to Gruen when he lived in New York in 1971.

Many of Childers’ photographs will also be unveiled for the first time, thanks to the ambitious undertaking of Colegrave and Smutty Smith who searched through thousands of film negatives in the late artist’s brother’s home in the US. Together, they scanned and restored the 45-year-old negatives, and selected the best works to debut at D’Stassi Art, partnering with premier fine art photography printer Bayeux. These include rare images of Debbie Harry before she was blonde, a very young Michael Jackson on the drums with the Jackson Five, the only shots in existence of the Sex Pistols on stage in Manchester and Leeds during their notorious “Anarchy” tour, and amazing pictures of Elvis Presley at the International Hilton press conference before his show at Madison Square Gardens in 1972.
Marking Gruen’s first major exhibition in the UK since 2014, Legendary Moments will also see his first ever UK limited edition. In addition to these iconic prints, Gruen has collaborated with renowned printmaker Gary Lichtenstein on a new series of original screenprints, digitally printed on canvas for the exhibition, adding new dimension and texture to Gruen’s storied images.

Colegrave’s curation celebrates the spectacle of fame while shining light upon the real people beneath its veneer. The independent energy of the time was epitomized by these innovators, creators, and disruptors, who have assumed cult status in the popular mythology of the late 20th century.

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