Mick Rock, British (1948 - )

Mick Rock

Legendary rock photographer Mick Rock may be best known as The Man Who Shot the Seventies, for his iconic images of Syd Barrett, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Queen, the Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Blondie, Rocky Horror Picture Show etc. But he continues to shoot today and has produced many memorable images over the last decade of performers and artists such as Ceelo Green, Snoop Dogg, The Killers, Johnny Marr, Janelle Monaie, Jimmy Fallon, The Black Keys, The YeahYeahYeahs, Robin Thicke, Ellie Goulding, Kate Moss, Iggy Pop, Joan Jett, Alicia Keys, Michael Buble, Daft Punk, Perry Farrell, Motley Crue etc. He shot the photos for new album and single cover and press for outrageous Atlanta punk band The Black Lips.

Rock was instrumental in creating many key rock ’n’ roll images, such as album covers for Syd Barrett’s The Madcap Laughs, Lou Reed’s Transformer and Coney Island Baby, Iggy and the Stooges’ Raw Power, Queen’s Queen II (recreated for their classic music video ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’) and Sheer Heart Attack, the Ramones End of the Century and Joan Jett’s I Love Rock ’n’ Roll, among many others. He was the chief photographer on the films The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Hedwig and the Angry Inch and Shortbus. He also produced and directed the seminal music videos for Bowie to be found on Bowie’s Sound and Vision DVD collection: ‘John, I’m Only Dancing’, ‘Jean Genie’, ‘Space Oddity’, and ‘Life On Mars’.

In recent years he has published a series of books, mostly based on his classic images:
A Photographic Record 1969–1980 (foreword by Lou Reed)(Century 22 Books, 1995), Glam: An Eyewitness Account (foreword by David Bowie) (Omnibus Books, 2006)), Psychedelic Renegades / Syd Barrett (Genesis Publications, 2002), Moonage Daydream / Ziggy Stardust (with David Bowie) (Genesis Publications), Rock ’n’ Roll Eye (Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, 2003), Killer Queen (with Brian May and Roger Taylor) (Genesis Publications, 2003), Picture This / Debbie Harry & Blondie (foreword by Debbie Harry) (Omnibus Books, 2004), Raw Power / Iggy & The Stooges (foreword by Iggy Pop) (Omnibus Books, 2005), Rocky Horror (foreword by Richard O’Brien) (Schwarzkopf & Schwarzkopf, 2006), Classic Queen (Sterling Press, 2007), Tamashii: Mick Rock Meets Kanzaburo (Kabuki Theatre Photos) (Hachette Fujingaho, Japan, 2007), Psychedelic Renegades (Gingko Press, 2007), EXPOSED (Hardback version, published by Chronicle Books 2010), Transformer (with Lou Reed, Genesis Publications 2013), EXPOSED (soft back, published by Palazzo Editions, autumn 2014)

Upcoming publication: Book of Ziggy Stardust photos (untitled as yet) with David Bowie (Taschen Books, October 2014)

A documentary (untitled as yet, produced by Vice Films and StraightUp Films) about his extensive career is currently being edited by director Barney Clay. It is expected to be in circulation by September 2014

A European Internet campaign for the New Nikon Df digital camera, called ‘The Revisit’ centered around Mick and his work, including a new photo session, will be launched in April 2014.

Mick’s massive 2003 (186 prints) retrospective exhibition at the Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography was dubbed ‘one of the finest collections of pop art to ever reach these shores’ in the local press.

A classic quote from Mick in the London Times, who dubbed him ‘the music world’s top snapper’: ‘I’ve never felt like a voyeur, although I’ve certainly done plenty of looking! I work from the inside out. Like a cook I gather all the ingredients and keep mixing and stirring and tasting until this kind of effluvia starts to rise, then I’m off to the races. It’s an addictive kind of a feeling that I need a regular shot of otherwise I don’t feel right…’

Mick Rock’s Fall New York exhibition EXPOSED at Sumo Gallery showcases his iconic images of Syd Barrett, David Bowie, Lou Reed, Ramones, Iggy Pop, Queen, Blondie, Madonna, Ozzy Osbourne, Motley Crue and other rock legends. The exhibition includes never before seen images of the icons as well as his recent work of today’s musical glitterati including Pharrell Williams, Snoop Dogg, Karen O, Janelle Monáe, Daft Punk and John Cameron Mitchell as Hedwig. EXPOSED also features a selection of the PhotoArt that Rock has produced over the past 20 years but rarely exhibited, with interpretations inspired by his iconic photos of David Bowie, Iggy Pop, Lady Gaga, Bob Marley, Freddie Mercury, Lou Reed and Paul McCartney. From Andy Warhol to The Rocky Horror Picture Show, the exhibition is a visual celebration of the energy and unique style of the music that created the most exciting era in rock history. EXPOSED has received rave reviews from Vanity Fair, Style.com, Daily News, Village Voice, NY Post, NY Observer, W Magazine, Vice News and Paper Magazine among others. Due to popular demand, the exhibit’s run has been extended through November 13th.

Mick’s latest book EXPOSED, the inspiration for the exhibition, is available now from Palazzo Editions.

He has had major exhibitions in London, Liverpool, Berlin, Manchester, New York, Los Angeles, Oslo, Stockholm, Amsterdam, Rotterdam, Tokyo, San Francisco, Las Vegas etc. His exhibition at the Fotografia Europea Exhibition in Reggio Emilia, Italy 2013 produced the biggest attendance of any exhibition in their history.The first exhibition of his photo artwork was presented at CATM Gallery in New York in 2012. His next major photographic exhibition will be in Sao Paolo from March 20 to April 20. He will have exhibits in London, New York, San Francisco and LA in the autumn of 2014.

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