Brooklyn-born photographer Marcia Resnick was 26 years old in 1977, hanging out at CBGB, Max’s Kansas City, and the Mudd Club at night. She had no way of knowing at the time that she was part of a colorful chapter in the history of New York City’s punk and avant-garde scenes.
“I convinced myself that my photographic forays into the night, were my art,” Resnick said of the time period. “After taking candid pictures backstage or in dressing rooms at clubs, I would often invite people to my studio for photo sessions where atmosphere could be generated, lighting could be manipulated and props could be employed. My work with the Soho Weekly News, New York Magazine, and other periodicals gave me access to photograph people who were well known in the popular culture.”
The artist quickly noticed she was one of a few women in the downtown scene and became interested in “flipping the power dynamic by photographing the men who dominated those arenas.” Her subjects were New York City’s enfants terribles — Iggy Pop, John Belushi, John Lydon, Mick Jagger, and even Andy Warhol as a young mod-punk.
The photos have been collected in her new book, Punks, Poets and Provocateurs: New York City Bad Boys, 1977–1982. Resnick’s portraits of icons, iconoclasts, and antiheroes are on view at Manhattan exhibition space Howl! Happening through March 2.