Revisiting the ‘Rebel Cultures’ Photographed by Janette Beckman [RECAP]

Posted on: September 23rd, 2016 at 5:06 am by

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Photo: Lori Greenberg

Our regular readers know that we love to cover the early punk, new wave and hip hop music scenes in New York City. Most people who were around during the early days, were also obsessed with the bands coming out of the UK.

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Photo: Lori Greenberg

This reporter remembers going to East Village record stores (remember when there were record stores? and records?) and discovering The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Jam, Bad Manners, The Specials, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Selector and many others. We played those records endlessly until the vinyl wore out.

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Photo: Lori Greenberg

We also learned about those groundbreaking UK bands in magazines like The Face and Melody Maker. In those pages is where we first discovered London-born photographer Janette Beckman. A self-described “documentary photographer,” Beckman got her start photographing the punk, ska and early hip hop scenes in both the UK and New York in the ’70s and ’80s. Her current work continues to explore music and musicians, among other subjects.

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Grandmaster Flash, 1986 by Janette Beckman

Beckman has been living and working in New York since the early ’80s. Her work is still featured in UK music publications, alongside the usual American counterparts.

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Terry Hall (with Andre 3000 watching over him). Photo: Lori Greenberg.

“Rebel Cultures by Janette Beckman,” a retrospective at Fiorentini + Baker, showcases her broad breadth of work. We checked out the recent opening that, along with incredible photography, featured surprise guest DJ Terry Hall (of The Specials and Fun Boy Three).

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The MashUp, which includes Keith Haring, Afrika Bambaataa, LL Cool J, Salt n Pepa, Slick Rick and Queen Latifa. Photo: Lori Greenberg.

The show includes a wall of recent work called “The MashUp.” Curated by artist and designer Cey Adams, the MashUp combines Beckman’s portraits of influential DJs and MCs with the work of many of New York’s legendary graffiti artists. We’re now dreaming about purchasing the entire wall.

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Janette Beckman photo of Debbie Harry, 1980.

Rebel Culture runs until October 16 at Fiorentini + Baker, 54 Mercer Street, and the prints are currently for sale. If we can’t have that whole MashUp wall, then maybe just a piece of it?

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