Music Photographer Mick Rock Has Photographed David Bowie, Janelle Monae, and Beyond. Now, His Photos Are on View at a New Online Gallery

The immersive virtual exhibition includes striking color photographs of music legends ranging from David Bowie to Janelle Monae.

Mick Rock, David Bowie, Sax, London(1973). Courtesy of Skull + Monarch.
Mick Rock, David Bowie, Sax, London(1973). Courtesy of Skull + Monarch.

Opening a gallery is never an easy task, but it’s made exponentially more complicated when much of the world is in lockdown.

Nevertheless, Skull + Monarch, a brand new gallery, has managed just that. The online space has launched with a series of immersive virtual exhibitions to reach audiences who might not be able to travel. The gallery, founded by art and entertainment veteran John Atanasio, is kicking things off with “Mick Rock,” a virtual exhibition that brings together a dazzling array of images by the legendary music photographer. 

Mick Rock has been nicknamed the “Man Who Shot the Seventies,” and even if you don’t know his name off the top of your head, you’ll be sure to recognize his photography. His iconic images of David Bowie, Lou Reed, Mick Jagger, Syd Barrett, Freddy Mercury, Ozzy Osbourne, Iggy Pop, Queen, and the Sex Pistols are among the defining images of an era and have appeared on more than 100 albums covers.

Mick Rock, Truman Capote and Andy Warhol (1979). Courtesy of Skull + Monarch.

Mick Rock, Truman Capote and Andy Warhol (1979). Courtesy of Skull + Monarch.

The virtual exhibition—an easy-to-navigate, clickable gallery—showcases many of these recognizable images from the ‘70s, including rapturous images of Iggy Pop, Bowie, and the Rolling Stones performing, along with more than one photograph of Andy Warhol, the consummate icon of the age.

What the expansive exhibition also makes clear is that the Rock’s career did not dead-end with the decade. The images bring us through the 1980s and ’90s with shots of Madonna, The Ramones, and Tina Turner, up to contemporary artists of today including Alicia Keys, Janelle Monae, and NAS, among many others. 

At a time when seeing live music is a near impossibility, the photographs, particularly of live performances, pack a particular punch, full of creative energy and physicality. All the images are printed in large format Fujiflex silver halide photographic paper, which is known for its richness of color and depth, and are mounted on aluminum. Interested collectors can simply click on a work to purchase.

Skull + Monarch says it aims to serve as a creative access point and resource for both seasoned and new collectors alike, and will be launching auction and advising components soon. For now, “Mick Rock” inaugurates a rollicking, fun start.

Mick Rock” is on view with Skull + Monarch through December 31, 2020. 


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