Hip-Hop Revolution

by Chris Murray on May 1, 2015

1-IMG_1370Govinda Gallery Director Chris Murray at the Museum of the City of New York. Copyright © Cindy Strauss. All Rights Reserved. .

Not long ago I visited the Museum of the City of New York to see the exhibition Hip Hop Revolution. It was a brilliant show with photographs that chronicled some of the earliest musical and visual artists in New York that formed and influenced the emergence of hip hop. I went to an evening program “Documenting Hip Hop from Three Angles” which featured photographers Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, and Martha Cooper. It was a standing room only crowd that enjoyed the compelling stories and photographs told by the three photographers.

Govinda Gallery has known Janette Beckman for some time and is proud to have her portrait of Run DMC in Queens, NYC, 1984, in the Govinda music photo collection. Joe Conzo’s images of early performances by DJ Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaata, Chief Rocker Busy Bee, Kurtis Blow, and more revealed a scene that started on the streets, in high school gyms, and in nightclubs. His story about starting photography as a teenager, his struggle with drug addiction in the 80s, and his recovery were compelling. Baltimore native Martha Cooper’s photographs of the graffiti scene in the 70s and 80s give us a definitive look at the great graffiti art in New York City in the 70s and 80s.

It was a terrific exhibition and another demonstration of fantastic photography documenting the hip hop movement. They are indeed extraordinary photos for serious collectors of this sort of photographic imagery.

1-RUNDMCQueensRun DMC in Queens, NYC, 1984. Copyright © Janette Beckman. All Rights Reserved.

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