A Look Back Through Chris Stein’s Lens
The Blondie 40th anniversary celebrations continue with a photo exhibit curated by Jeffrey Deitch on display from September 23-29 at Hotel Chelsea’s Storefront Gallery ((222 West 23rd Street) from 1-8 PM. They’ll be showing photos, like the one above (via Gothamist), from photographers such as Bob Gruen, Annie Leibovitz, Roberta Bayley, Mick Rock, Robert Mapplethorpe, Bobby Grossman, David Godlis, and Blondie’s Chris Stein.
Since Blondie formed 40 years ago, one thing has remained constant: if the band’s co-founder Chris Stein isn’t onstage with a guitar slung around his neck, chances are he’s off somewhere with a camera, taking pictures. Now, the results of his four-decade-long hobby have been compiled in a new book, “Chris Stein/Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk” (out tomorrow from Rizzoli), and will appear in an exhibition curated by Jeffrey Deitch at the Chelsea Hotel’s Storefront Gallery alongside band memorabilia and images by the likes of Annie Leibovitz and Robert Mapplethorpe. “I was just in the middle of this milieu and I took pictures,” Stein says matter-of-factly on the phone from Vienna, a recent stop on Blondie’s anniversary tour.
The pictures — in which such punk icons as Richard Hell (“after Debbie, probably my favorite person to photograph”), the Ramones and Iggy Pop also make appearances — capture the essence of a lost, romantic moment in New York history. “I do miss that communal feeling of CBGB,” Stein says. “In the beginning, it was very familial, it was like people you went to school with, it was very workshoppy,” he says. “But as nostalgic as people get for that period, at the time I don’t know anyone who didn’t at some point say, ‘I gotta get out of here, it’s so dirty.’”
The Blondie 40th-anniversary exhibition will be on view Sept. 23 — Sept. 29 at the Chelsea Storefront Gallery, 222 West 23rd Street.