British photographer Mick Rock is “The Man Who Shot the ‘70s,” the inimitable rock photographer who launched his career with an unknown David Bowie in 1972. From the first photo shoot, he developed a two-year relationship as Bowie’s official photographer. During this time Rock documented the rise and fall of Ziggy Stardust, and shot promotional films, album jackets, posters, artwork, videos such as Life on Mars and Space Oddity and thousands of photographs. Rock’s career continued to soar with key ‘70s images such as Lou Reed’s Transformer, Iggy Pop’s Raw Power and Queen’s Queen II and many of the Sex Pistols’ infamous shots. In 1977, he moved permanently to New York, where he quickly became involved with the underground music scene pioneered by the Ramones, Talking Heads and Blondie. His photographs captured the revolutionary spirit of this groundbreaking period and made him one of the most sought-after photographers in the world. Recently, Rock has worked with stars such as Kate Moss, Michael Stipe, Johnny Marr, the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Foo Fighters, the Strokes, Paul Weller, the Raconteurs and Primal Scream.
Rock’s retrospective exhibition at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Museum of Photography in 2003 was hailed as “one of the most exciting exhibitions of pop culture imagery to ever reach these shores.” The 2005 Rock and Roll Icons show at Urbis in Manchester, England, was voted best gallery exhibition by the BBC.
Photographs by Mick Rock. Click on an image to launch slideshow.
Several books of Rock’s photographs have been published, including Blood and Glitter-Glam: An Eyewitness Account, by Mick Rock and David Bowie (Omnibus Press, 2001); Raw Power: Iggy and The Stooges, by Mick Rock and Iggy Pop (Omnibus Press, 2005); Picture This: Debbie Harry and Blondie, by Mick Rock and Debbie Harry (Sanctuary Publishing, 2004).
Govinda Gallery hosted Mick Rock’s first exhibition, Mick Rock: A Photographic Record, in April 1999 as well as a second exhibition in 2002 titled Moonage Daydream: The Life and Times of Ziggy Stardust which was a launch for the Genesis Publications limited edition book of the same title. Govinda organized a one-person exhibition for Mick Rock at the Matthew Street Gallery in Liverpool in 2004. Mick was one of the featured artists in the traveling museum exhibition Sound and Vision: Monumental Rock & Roll Photography, curated by Christopher Murray and organized by Govinda Gallery and the Columbus Museum in Georgia. His classic image at the top of this page was the emblematic image of that exhibition at the Columbus Museum on its banners, posters, and invitations. His photographs are available through Govinda Gallery.