When we’re not busy climbing over dead raccoons to get into dark, clutter-filled attics, fighting off grabby gabbys at estate sales or aspiring to be the first buyer at a 7 AM yard sale (note to self: give up, you’ll never get up early enough), when the Mystery Spot has taken its winter break to go into deep hibernation mode, we do in fact have another life.
Look, Ma! I made it! (photo by Candace Kaller)
That life has taken us to gallery openings and film festivals, and most recently and thrillingly, through the doors of The Museum of Modern Art and up one flight to the Yoshiko and Akio Morita Media Gallery (just off the atrium) where our photographs are currently on display in the exhibition Looking at Music 3.0.
Tina Weymouth and Chris Frantz in front of my 1981 photograph of Tina Weymouth and Grandmaster Flash in front of a Lee Quinones graffiti wall.
We highly recommend you check out the show. It’s an interesting, vibrant trip back to the New York City of the 80s and 90s, the days when music and art had a few drinks, did a little dance, made a little love, and created little art babies. Kraftwerk and Afrika Bambaataa. Spike Lee and Public Enemy. Spike Jonze and Beastie Boys. Sonic Youth, Brian Eno, Run DMC, The Residents, Karen Finley, Laurie Anderson, John Zorn. Christian Marclay’s vinyl assemblages, stacks of riot grrrl zines. Lee Quinones, Cey Adams. Posters, videos and audio stations. Kathleen Hanna, Miranda July. And of course, our own contribution, ten black and white portraits of some of the most interesting musicians and artists of the day.
The entry to the gallery.
Barbara London, Associate Curator at MoMA’s Department of Media and Performance chose a generous selection of my photographs to hang in the exhibition. The gallery room itself is a sight to behold – garishly colored (in a good way!) lime green, acid orange and sunburst yellow walls, music pumping, a big-ass crash pad plopped right in front of a huge video screen where you can chill while Diamanda Galas screeches her way into your heart or Keith Haring paints Grace Jones from head to toe. I can’t think of a better place to be if forced to spend time in midtown Manhattan.
The crash pad in the middle of the gallery.
I must admit I don’t make it to my city’s art museums as often as I ought to, but this reminds me what I’ve been missing. Go on Friday if you don’t have the scratch for the twenty dollar admission. The kind folks at Target have underwritten Target Free Fridays at MoMA and basically, if you arrive around 4:30 you can sweep right in, gratis. Even the coat check is free.
My photo of Keith Haring (1983), in situ at MoMA.
That's me in front of my photos of the Beastie Boys, Run DMC, Treacherous Three, and Afrika Bambaataa. (photo by Muriel Rozin).
Check out the Ab-Ex show, Picasso’s Guitars, Van Gogh’s Starry Night, and then wander over to the second floor and say hello to Tina Weymouth and Grandmaster Flash, Madonna, and the Treacherous Three. Wassup to Run DMC, the Beastie Boys, and Salt-n-Pepa. Fab Five Freddy’s in the house, as are Ann Magnuson, Afrika Bambaataa and Keith Haring. That’s the Laura Levine posse, the black and white photographs which can be seen on all four walls.
Can’t make the show? Here you go:
Laura Levine. Tina Weymouth & Grandmaster Flash, NYC, 1981. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches. © Laura Levine
Laura Levine. Beastie Boys, NYC 1987, Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches. © Laura Levine
Laura Levine. Keith Haring in his studio, NYC, 1983. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches © Laura Levine
Laura Levine. Madonna, NYC, 1982. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches © Laura Levine
Laura Levine. Treacherous Three, NYC 1981. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches © Laura Levine
Laura Levine. Afrika Bambaataa, NYC, 1983. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches. © Laura Levine
Laura Levine. Ann Magnuson, Revival Meeting, Life Cafe, NYC, 1982. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches. © Laura Levine.
Laura Levine. Run DMC, NYC, 1987. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches. © Laura Levine
Laura Levine. Fab Five Freddy, NYC, 1981. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches © Laura Levine
Laura Levine. Salt-n-Pepa, NYC, 1987. Gelatin silver print, 16 x 20 inches. © Laura Levine