Rock ?n? Roll Icons: The Photography of Mick Rock at Urbis, Manchester, 29 September - 8 January 2006
Legendary photographer Mick Rock comes to Manchester in a new exhibition spanning 40 years of rock ?n? roll ? in his largest ever exhibition to date. At Urbis, Manchester 29 September to 8 January 2006, this will be the UK?s only venue before it tours internationally.
Described as the ?man who shot the 70s? and the ?photo-laureate of glam?, Rock?s illustrious career has both defined and documented an era where music, theatre and showmanship went hand in hand and has profoundly influenced contemporary culture today. This exhibition, taken from his vast archive is an extraordinary chronicle of the lives and music of many of rock's seminal artists, including Syd Barrett, David Bowie, Sex Pistols, The Ramones, Iggy Pop, Queen and Lou Reed through to his work contemporary bands such as Razorlight, the YeahYeahYeahs, The Killers, Kasabian, The Chemical Brothers, Marilyn Manson and Manchester?s own legendary guitarist Johnny Marr, who comments
"I first met Mick in 2001 when he was doing a big article for a French magazine and we did some pictures in New York. It's great working with him because he's looking for magic, he tries to create it. When he works it's pretty high energy and quite intense in a way, always interesting. So many images which marked out my musical discoveries were made by Mick. They're iconic because he saw them that way. "
Featured will be over 150 images, including previously unseen video footage, rare images, out-takes, private recordings and personal interviews with some of the greatest rock legends, as experienced by Rock through his life on the rock ?n? roll party circuit. Based for the past 20 years in New York, and the official photographer Bowie?s most incandescent alter-ego Ziggy Stardust, Rock hung-out with Bowie, Lou Reed and Iggy Pop and lived - just - to tell the tale. A series of heart attacks during Christmas 1997 almost killed him, resulting in a quadruple heart bypass and a conversion from chemicals to yoga. The last ten years have seen a renewed hunger for his work with contemporary artists citing him as an influence and designers Mosley Meets Wilcox on behalf of Mick and Paul Smith developing and establishing entire product lines based around his imagery examples of which will be shown at the exhibition.
Scott Burnham, Creative Director of Urbis commented, "In the same way that Urbis showed how Peter Saville influenced a generation of graphic designers with his work, we?re now exploring how the imagery of Mick Rock helped define a period of rock history and went on to inspire imagery and fashion in popular culture and the music scenes of cities around the world. Even for those people who don?t know him by name, we?ve all at one time or another been captivated by his photographs.?
Rock has shot many famous album covers such as David Bowie - Space Oddity (1971), Lou Reed - Transformer (1972) and Coney Island Baby (1975), Iggy and the Stooges - Raw Power (1973), Queen - Queen II (1974) and Sheer Heart Attack (1974) and The Ramones - End of the Century (1979). He was the pioneer of seminal music videos by David Bowie - Life on Mars (1973), Space Oddity, John I?m Only Dancing, The Jean Genie (1972) and was the official photographer for The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975).
Urbis has worked closely with Mick Rock and Mancunian design agency Igloo Design to assemble this unique exhibition for its world premiere in Manchester.
As Mick Rock comments, "I was struck by the imagination, ambition and enthusiasm at Urbis and by Manchester's rich musical heritage and knew that that this was the city where I wanted to do my biggest exhibition to date. I couldn?t think of a better backdrop for my work than the scene of Manchester - you could say the city itself provides a neat piece of the rock 'n' roll jigsaw that has been my life ".
All prints in the exhibition have been supplied courtesy of Fujifilm UK.