“Beat Positive” celebrates the Golden Age of hip-hop as documented by Janette Beckman, David Corio and other music photographers.
The exhibition, on view at New York Seaport’s 10 Corso Como gallery, showcases raw and gritty images, including some never- before-seen photos from the Getty Images archives of entertainment photography: a young LL Cool J, triptychs of The Fat Boys filming their “Jail House Rap” video and the Beastie Boys in concert.
The show is organized around the four main elements of hip-hop – turntablism, MC’ing, graffiti writing and break dancing—and features images of everyone who was everyone in the early days of hip-hop. Getty Images Gallery Curator Shawn Waldron worked with Beckman and Corio to offer limited-edition prints of all the images in the show.
What makes the exhibition fresh and worth a visit (especially for fans of music or music photography) is the trip down memory lane.
Janette Beckman and David Corio first discovered hip hop in 1982 while on assignment for music magazines such as NME, Melody Maker and The Face. Their early portraits of Run DMC, Slick Rick, Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Whodini, Grandmaster Flash, LL Cool J, Queen Latifah and the Beastie Boys, along with many others, are now considered classics of the genre. You can feel the rawness—these are images of familiar stars before the age of Instagram and art directors, before they were styled to all feel the same.
Waldron says: “The opportunity to work with photographers Janette Beckman and David Corio is a dream come true. Their authentic portraits shot in New York and London between 1982 and 1993 are a time capsule to the days when hip hop, graffiti and b-boys truly went global. Their pictures showed the world the faces (and fashions) behind this incredible musical culture as it burst from the streets of New York.”
Through February 2, 2020
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