Lou Reed – Blake’s Hotel London 1975 photograph obtained by Reuters on March 2, 2021. Copyright © MICK ROCK 2021/MIDARO/WEST-CONTEMPORARY-EDITIONS.COM/Handout via REUTERS
Photographer Mick Rock, known for some of the most recognisable pictures of rock legends such as David Bowie and album covers of the 1970s, is marking his 51 years working in the music industry with a new project collaborating with urban artist Fin DAC.
“MIDARO” fuses photography with painting, with the Irish artist reworking Rock’s photos of Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop and Debbie Harry to create a series of limited edition prints and canvas artworks.
Released on Tuesday, to coincide with what would have been Reed’s 79th birthday, they each show a woman wearing a T-shirt adorned with one of Rock’s photos of the music stars.
Rock said he had long been cautious when previously approached for artistic collaborations.
“All he (Fin DAC) (had) to do is show them to me, that was the deal. I had to approve of them,” Rock told Reuters. “There was nothing not to approve.”
London-born Rock, often referred to as “The man who shot the 70s”, first picked up a camera as a student at Cambridge University.
He went on to photograph Bowie as Ziggy Stardust and album covers for Syd Barrett’s “Madcap Laughs”, Reed’s “Transformer”, Iggy and The Stooges’ “Raw Power” and Queen’s “Queen II”.
“It wasn’t like ‘I’m going to be a rock and roll photographer’,” Rock said. “These people weren’t so well known when I first met them. It was all about age and timing.”
More recently, New York-based Rock has photographed Kate Moss, Lady Gaga and Miley Cyrus.
As well as the collaborative images, which will be on show and sale on the West Contemporary Editions platform, Rock is also releasing a selection of photographs he snapped of Bowie, Reed, Harry and Pop between 1969 and 1980 as well as his own art pieces.