During the 1980s, Times Square in New York City was a radically different place. A center for sex and sleazy goings-on, the city was economically depressed, and crime rates hit an all-time high. One basement bar in Times Square became a center for artistic expression during one of New York’s darkest times, Tin Pan Alley.
Named after a section of the city where music publishers set up shop, former Tin Pan Alley bartender Cara Perlman created a series of finger-paint portraits of bar patrons — including now-renowned artists like Kiki Smith and Nan Goldin.
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The progenitors of punk probably never imagined themselves in photographs that would be selling at art auctions, but the New York City scene during the ‘70s and ’80s continues to prove irresistible. Allan Tannenbaum’s rare “punk portfolio” is up for auction — and the kind folks at artnet Auctions gave us a preview of the images. From 1973 to ’82, Tannenbaum was SoHo Weekly News’ chief photographer and photo editor, covering art, music, and political happenings, capturing New York City nightlife at underground clubs like the Mudd Club, CBGB, and Max’s Kansas City. All the familiar players are featured in Tannenbaum’s set, including a very sweaty Iggy Pop, Sid Vicious being dragged off by the police, and a chic Debbie… Read More
From one of the makers of the Original Video Pizza — featuring an hour-long montage of saucy, spinning pie with sizzling sound effects — comes the Glamour & Headshots series. Portland photographer Robbie Augspurger, who we first discovered on Ignant, takes a page from the Sears, yearbook, and Glamour Shots portraits of yore, styled in the best-worst of the 1970s and ‘80s. Random firewood? Check. Creepy double-exposure portraits with pets? Check. Lightsaber and brown knitwear? Check, check. “This photo series started when I purchased an old light kit. Its power settings put limits on what I could do in a studio portraiture context, having only ‘on’ and ‘off’ as my main controls,” writes Augspurger on the project website. Vintage Instagram filters are fun and all, but we can’t get enough of Augspurger’s hilarious and frequently convincing photos. See more in our gallery.
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The greatest time of the year is here: Halloween. The best way to get into the spirit of the spooky season is by watching horror films until your eyeballs bleed. Luckily, we’re here to help. You’ve probably watched A Nightmare on Elm Street, Halloween, and Friday the 13th dozens of times. The classics are classic for a reason, but we wanted to offer you a selection of fright flicks that will add a little something different to your October horror movie marathon. Take a break from the masked men and pizza-faced killers of the horror-verse, and check out these Netflix-ready… Read More
Former mayor Rudy Giuliani tried to scrub New York City clean in the 1990s, but nostalgia for notoriously gritty New York in the ‘70s and ‘80s remains at an all-time high. An exhibition at Lot 180 remembers a city that was, with a collection of photos, vinyl cover art, posters, and more. Cultural icons like Andy Warhol, Debbie Harry, and Jean-Michel Basquiat (and his graffiti tag SAMO) populate the collection. This isn’t the “Disneyfied” New York City of today. Street photography from artists such as Robert Herman and Fernando Natalici depict the city’s graffiti-filled trains, the XXX theaters of Times Square, and other relics of a bygone era. The exhibition, which you can preview in our photo gallery, runs through September 1.
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Never one for subtlety, Taylor Swift took some time out from her quest to be every young female celebrity’s BFF to launch her new album with a live-stream “event.” It ended at 5:30 ET this evening (but is now playing on repeat), and here’s what you need to know, in order of importance:
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Is it possible that Jon Hamm is even more alluring in a park ranger uniform, with a mouth full… Read More
The fine folks at Boo-Hooray and Milk Gallery have partnered for an exhibition of DIY record cover art in New York City. The focus of DIY OR DIE! is geared toward the ‘70s punk scene in the US, UK, and Australia, as well as the Jamaican Dub/Ska/Rocksteady movement. The original paste-ups of punk fanzines from the collections of John Ingham (the music journalist who first interviewed The Sex Pistols), Geoffrey Weiss (whose record collection would make a grown person weep), and Bruce Griffiths (of Aberrant Records fame) are also on display, along with hand-printed punk posters created between 1976 and 1983. As if this treasure trove weren’t enough, Milk will also feature original stencils from the Crass archive. As the gallery explains: “These stencils are the ground zero of recent urban wall art. They were hand cut and utilized to full effect for the détournement of advertising billboards on the London Underground. They were also the origin for the backs of tens of thousands of punker leather motorcycle jackets.” If handmade silkscreens, stencils, and angsty collages on 12 and 7-inch vinyl sleeves are your happy place, stop by the gallery through August 10 to check out DIY OR DIE!. Here’s a teaser — highlighting covers for The Residents, Sun Ra, and more — to whet your appetite.
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Sixteen-year-old Annalisa Hartlaub created a compelling series of self-portraits for her school photography class. “I’ve always been fascinated, and a bit infatuated, with counterculture and how it shapes society and mainstream culture as well,” she explains. “So I decided to mix that interest with my love of fashion, makeup, and photography to create something.” Her historical selfies project portrays two fashion and cultural trends from every decade over the past 100 years. Mainstream culture is shown in the photo on the left, while the counterculture is depicted on the right. The side-by-side comparison reflects the different hair, fashion, and makeup styles that flappers, hippies, mods, and other youth subcultures would have obsessed over. It’s a clever form of dress up that explores teen fantasy and identity — through a teenaged photographer.
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New York’s history is full of truly great spots where people went to dance, hook up, party, watch celebrities do all of those things, and most importantly, get photographed. Lower Manhattan club Area was that place between 1983 and 1987, during that weird post-Factory, post-disco, post-punk, pre-Giuliani, pre-Brooklyn renaissance era that, crucially, coincided with the growing AIDS crisis that changed New York nightlife forever. Sadly (not to mention predictably), the building that once housed Area has been turned into condos, but the club lives on in Area: 1983-1987, Eric and Jennifer Goode’s chronicle of its short, memorable life. Click through to preview a few of the book’s many incredible… Read More