Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Lynn Goldsmith: Show of a Different Sort

Quick note about a show of a different sort – not music, but photographs of musicians at the Jenkins Johnson Gallery in New York running through November 25. The show is a solo exhibition of the work of Lynn Goldsmith, and while I’ve tried to come up with a better way to describe her, “the rock and roll photographer” sums it up adequately, though not originally. I won’t attempt to regurgitate Goldsmith’s extensive bio here – suffice to say she enjoyed seemingly unfettered access to many of the biggest musical names of the 60s, 70s and 80s – her work has appeared on the covers of numerous magazines you’ve heard of, and did I mention, she dated Bruce Springsteen?

The gallery features work from Goldsmith’s 2007 book, Rock and Roll, but the images are worth seeing blown up and up close – especially the “rock mosaics,” which meticulously recreate a central image of an icon using thousands of smaller images. Goldsmith’s photography is arresting because it’s unscripted – the kind you don’t see any more in this age of publicists and other gate keepers. The faces are all familiar – among them Sting, Sid Vicious, Bob Marley, Bob Dylan, Mick Jagger and the Beastie Boys – but the intimacy conveyed by many of the photographs was novel to me, as though they were taken by a friend rather than a photographer on assignment. This impression is reinforced when you consider that Goldsmith hand selects each of the micro images that comprise her mosaics. They are painstaking labors of love of which she is justifiably proud and one could spend hours looking at the individual thumbnails. These images show the rock and roll stories without explicit telling, and they alone merit a trip.

Visit the gallery at: 521 W 26th Street (betw. 10th and 11th Ave) Floor 5, NY, NY 10001 and see more of Goldsmith’s work at

~Stark Contributing Writer Ashley Herriman

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