Lou Reed is a stark enigma that just keeps going, ever-changing. As a younger angst-driven star in 1974, he evaded reporters’ questions with unabashed answers and stated nonchalantly that what was written about him was untrue. When a reporter asked him who he attributed the lies to, Reed responded, “journalists.” Cue laughter. He has been described as bohemian, old, cool, realistic, taciturn, a grouch. Yet through it all Reed has maintained the stamina as a prolific underground icon. As Reed once said, only he knows himself better than anyone.
Now in his sixties, Reed continues to reinvent himself as an art photographer with Romanticism, which features architecture and landscape images from his travels. The book is a departure from New York and Emotion in Action, his previous photograph collections of cityscapes. After the jump, peep images from the new book, along with ten interesting facts about Reed.
10 Interesting Facts About Lou Reed:
1. When Reed was 17, his parents subjected him to high voltage electro shock therapy, three times a week for eight weeks, in an attempt to cure him of homosexuality.
2. He is 5 feet 8 inches tall.
3. At 14, Reed was part of a doo-wop group called The Shades.
4. He knows the “Sound and Fury” speech from Macbeth by heart.
5. To impress music journalist Lester Bangs, Terry Ork, founder of underground label Ork Records, once told Bangs that he had slept with Reed.
6. Andy Warhol projected a movie onto members of the Velvet Underground, who were wearing black.
7. Welsh musician John Cale cited that his aversion to folk music by the likes of Joan Baez and Bob Dylan attracted him to Reed’s music.
8. He practices Tai Chi.
9. Reed’s new iPhone app enlarges users’ contacts but has no creative correlation to the artist.
10. Peter Gabriel is covering Reed’s “The Power of the Heart” on his new album, Scratch My Back, to be released February 2010.
Reed will showcase his new photographs and sign copies of his book at Steven Kasher Gallery on Thursday, December 17. The exhibit will run through January 9.