"sex, drugs and rock&roll" aesthetics in photography

Discussion in 'Casual Photo Conversations' started by pawel_baranski, Oct 31, 2012.

  1. I'm looking for photograhers/pictures that would fit into "sex, drugs and rock&roll" aesthetics (this is the way i call it).
    What i mean are kind of snapshots, often with use of flash, often at night, with subjects that usually intuitively feel like "sex, drugs and rock&roll".
    Do you know anything like that?
  2. search "Jim Marshall"
  3. Oh, very important thing - i'm looking for "intimate reportage", not staged portraits.
    Nan Goldin may be good example, but she wasn't that much of "rock&roll".
  4. Some of Jeff Spirer's pics...
  5. Larry Clark
  6. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Some of Jeff Spirer's pics...​

    Me, oh come on...

    Roots Show at The Fillmore
  7. I will not point out, Jeff, that we hit upon yet another vocabulary here. ;-)
  8. 1. Hire a band
    2. throw a party
    3.. get model releases from everyone present
    4. shoot everything that moves
  9. Try these names for starters: Gered Mankowitz, Jill Furmanovsky, Bob Gruen, Anton Corbijn, Ray Stevenson. If any others come to mind I'll post.
  10. Yeah, that's Jeff all over! In spades! ;-)
  11. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    There's a lot of suggestions that don't fit what was asked for. Goldin certainly doesn't, but Clark, while immersed in a world of drugs, wasn't part of the rock'n'roll scene from what I've seen until he switched to video. Mankowitz was really a portrait photographer, Corbijn also a portrait photographer who shot live shows. Stevenson and Gruen are good choices.
    For my money, the absolute best is Edward Colver. And for a snapshot-like aesthetic of the punk scene, on and off the stage, complete with sex and drugs, try Jenny Lens. She really captured "sex, drugs and rock'n'roll" in the punk scene in all its glory. Stephen Shore and Gerard Malanga were primarily focused on the Factory, which included the Velvet Underground, but also other elements of the scene.
  12. it


    jeff spirer is the man around here
  13. I'm not necesarilly asking about pictures of rock stars.
  14. I think you want Annie Leibovitz.
  15. Forty-eight of the hundreds of musicians Deborah Chesher photographed from 1974-79 have since passed away. "Everybody I Shot Is Dead" is a high quality 208-page coffee-table book with over four hundred iconic never-before-published photographs, accompanied by biographies and Deborah Chesher's personal behind-the-scenes reflections of a time when music was the magic that drove a generation. Musicians honored in "Everybody I Shot Is Dead" include Ron Aspery (Back Door), Peter Bardens (Camel), Ronnie Barron (Paul Butterfield, John Mayall), Michael Bloomfield, Marc Bolan (T-Rex), John Bonham (Led Zeppelin), Tim Buckley, Paul Butterfield, Albert Collins, Papa John Creach (Jefferson Starship), Steve Currie (T-Rex), John Denver, Tom Evans (Badfinger), John Fahey, Tony Flaim (Downchild Blues Band), Rory Gallagher, Jerry Garcia (Grateful Dead), Lowell George (Little Feat), Maurice Gibb (Bee Gees), Mike Gibbins (Badfinger), Keith Godchaux (Grateful Dead), Pete Ham (Badfinger), George Harrison, John Hartford, Alex Harvey, Donny Hathaway, Tony Hicks (Back Door), Hollywood Fats (Jimmy Witherspoon), John Lee Hooker, Waylon Jennings, Terry Kath (Chicago), Keith Knudsen (Doobie Bros.), Rick Nelson, Harry Nilsson, Gene Pitney, Billy Preston, Malcolm Roberts, Hank Snow, Darrell Anthony Sweet (Nazareth), Stanley Turrentine, Jane Vasey (Downchild Blues Band), Carl Wilson (The Beach Boys), Dennis Wilson (The Beach Boys), Jimmy Witherspoon, Peter Wood (Al Stewart, Pink Floyd), Tammy Wynette, Mighty Joe Young, Frank Zappa.​
  16. There are some great pics that Patti Smith took of Mapplethorpe and, of course, vice versa. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll written all over them. A lot of interesting and lesser known ones are in Patti's recent autobiography and homage to her relationship with Mapplethorpe, Just Kids.
  17. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I'm not necesarilly asking about pictures of rock stars.
    Not sure why someone would post Annie Leibovitz after that from the OP. I don't think she knows what a non-star is. And then the long list of everyone Chesher photographed, also stars. I'll say it again - check out Edward Colver. He shot in an environment where the stars and the audience blended into one, and he was part of it too. His book Blight at the End of the Funnel is terrific, it does have some of his shots of performers for album covers, but lots of the scene also. His photos do add another element, more like "Sex and Violence and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll."
  18. <<<I don't think she knows what a non-star is>>>
    Check out her photos of her family, a substantial body of work included in A Photographer's Life. It's a much more humble, intimate, and less star struck side of Leibovitz.
  19. <<<Not sure why someone would post Annie Leibovitz after that from the OP>>>
    They were probably trying to be helpful. Generally, when someone says "I'm not necessarily asking for . . . " I interpret that to mean that's not my ONLY necessary criteria. It doesn't seem to me it would exclude the possibility.
  20. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Family, especially in her case, is not "sex and drugs and rock'n'roll." Which is the topic. And her work on music is sterile and totally star-driven. It also has nothing to do with the topic.
  21. You made the claim that Leibovitz doesn't know what a non-star is and I pointed out she has a body of photos that are not like that. I didn't claim, and you know I didn't, that those had something to do with rock stars. Often, topics are broader than what the OP puts out and when someone makes a mistaken claim about a well-known photographer, it's worth correcting the error, even if the mistaken party wants to be defensive and claim the correction is off topic.
    We have no way of knowing what the tastes of the OP are. That Jeff Spirer doesn't like Leibovitz's photos of rock stars is NO reason not to submit these photos as an answer to the question. It's possible, highly improbable, but possible, that someone will have tastes different to Jeff Spirer.
  22. His photos do add another element, more like "Sex and Violence and Drugs and Rock'n'Roll."​
    Chesher's photos also added another element: "sex, drugs, rock&roll, and death".
  23. If Liebowitz was asked to photograph joy- riders she would produce standard images of F1 drivers (yawn) not the 12 and 14 year olds of Belfast and Manchester stealing and wrecking cars and sometimes running rings round the cops; she's on a different planet.
  24. Thanks for all replies.
    When i said "rock&roll", i meant lifestyle rather than actual music. perhaps it would be more clear if i'd replace "rock&roll" with "we are cool and we don't give a f*ck".
    apart from photography subject - esthetics also have to be "rock&rollish". By this i meanpictures that are very snaphot-like, looking more like very-lucky shoot of a beginner, rather than shot by professional photographer. Pictures that are trying to capture the mood. Nan Goldin is great, but I'm looking for something less depressive and more rock&rollish (like i said before - capturing life attitude, not music itself).
    http://accidentswillhappen.blogspot.com/2008_01_01_archive.html - this blog is a moderate example of esthetics im looking for.

    https://www.google.pl/search?q=the+...Ld4QSnwYDYCA&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAQ&biw=1366&bih=588 - some of these pictures also are close to what I'm looking for.

    I realize that all this may be very subjective and misty.
  25. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    It's pretty hard to tell what you are looking for, "misty" is close but "fogged in" might be better. The blog has no "sex/drugs/rnr" feeling to it at all. It mostly comes across like some college student demonstrating daily life. It looks like the people are older than college, hard to tell since I can't read the language, but it doesn't look like the "r'n'r lifestyle." The second set is almost all posed shots, the opposite of the first set in its commercialism. A few live shots, but mostly posed shots.
  26. Sounds like you're describing something more akin to the self-celebratory narcissism phase that occurs in every generation of youth. I don't mean that to sound judgmental or dismissive - it is what it is and occurs in every generation. We're more aware of it now because of the prevalence of devices that facilitate quickly sharing photos online.
    But it's been there all along. Some of these photos taken in the 1970s by a fellow who goes by the nickname slackercruster capture the flavor of that era. A dash of debauchery, a dollop of decadence and dark humor, yet done with - to my eye - a touch more compassion than exploitation (tho' we debated that quality on this forum a couple of months ago).
    Larry Clark has been mentioned. Some of his still photography and, especially, the movie Kids, may be close to what you're thinking. Some lingering shots in that movie could be still photos, probably influenced by Clark's own work. Harmony Korine's movies may interest you as well.
    By now the H-word is a cliche, but hipsterish photography touches on some of the vibe you've described, although generally without the ragged edge of decadence and debauchery. For that edge, try Terry Richardson's older work.
    As an alternative, you might try the compassionate observer's viewpoint of documentary photographer Brenda Ann Kenneally, whose intimate documentary work resonates more with me. She's immersed herself into her Brooklyn neighborhood as both a neighbor and documentary photographer and shows her community, warts and all, in a way that outsider observers would find difficult. Her work has been featured on the New York Times Lens blog twice recently.
    And if none of this is what you're after, you may need to invent your own genre.
  27. Jeff - this blog was example of snapshot esthetics (composition etc.), not subject.
  28. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    That doesn't make anything more clear. In your earlier post, you said " i meant lifestyle rather than actual music." The second link, which apparently is not about aesthetics, is mostly posed, often in the studio, shots. They are definitely not "lifestyle" shots. It's still confusing what you are talking about. And if you really are looking for snapshot aesthetics combined with rock'n'roll "lifestyle," I will again recommend Jenny Lens. Her book Punk Pioneers is filled with that.
  29. oh! i know!
    I'm looking for something similar to nan goldin/jenny lens/larry clark, but contemporaty.
    This is the best definition of what I'm looking for so far ^^
  30. @Jeff

    Me, oh come on...​
    lol. You mean you may have to dig through a few archived photos till you find some?
  31. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Mark, I might have to go back three or four days :)

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