Claude Gassian : It's only rock'n roll
Charlie Watts, Paris 1990 © Claude Gassian
Ron Wood et Keith Richards © Claude Gassian
Keith Richards © Claude Gassian
Keith Richards, Anvers 1973 © Claude Gassian
Keith Richards, Prague 1990 © Claude Gassian
Mick Jagger NY 1975 © Claude Gassian, A Galerie
Mick Jagger, Stockholm 1995 © Claude Gassian
Mick Jagger, Paris 1976 © Claude Gassian,A galerie
Mick Jagger, Berlin 1990 © Claude Gassian
Keith Richards, NY 1992 © Claude Gassian, A galerie
This is how our group of veteran rockers, who came out almost unscathed from all the drama and drugs, is celebrating its fiftieth year. And they’re not closing the door yet—they’re still doped up on the music that’s been running through their veins for half a century. Photography arrives at the grand ball of nostalgia to share that “Stones attitude” that continues to fascinate. In France one of the great witness is named Claude Gassian, whose path as a photographer crossed many times with the Stones’.
Claude Gassian, for those who knew him in the beginning, was much like the way he described himself: “The rock fan with his dad’s camera.” A few decades later, Gassian is without a doubt one of the best photographers of his kind, having seemingly photographed nearly the entire rock-blues scene. The proof is in Anonymous, the catalogue for the 2007 retrospective at the Govinda Gallery in Washington, with some images on display at Arles in 2012, and another book published by La Martinière covering the 1970–2001 period.
At the invitation of the Galerie A., the fan in the motorcycle jacket has brought out a small selection of his photos of the Stones, including many that have never been published. The images are divided into sequences and presented in diptychs and triptychs: on-stage, off-stage, and those moments when the feverish beasts slowly let their energy subside and give themselves over to the photographer’s lens. Invited on their tours in 1990 and 1995, he shared the road with them: the endless trips, the hotels, and of course, every night, the sweat and tears on stage. He still marvels at how he had the Stones, “all to himself... the fan.”
These images tell the story of a passion. They show the fan shooting away at Prince and Led Zeppelin, discovering Jimi Hendrix, making the trip to the Isle of Wight to take his first photos, developing a style that rock stars would often call upon, especially for his color photography. If a frustrated rocker doesn’t necessarily make a great photographer, it made Claude Gassian into a marvelous stylist with a knack for situations and stars. The photos of a rock photographer became, little by little, the photos of a rock artist.
"Séquences" (The Rolling Stones) - Claude Gassian
through June 30, 2012
12 rue Léonce Reynaud
T :+33 6 20 85 85 85
Through May 26, Claude Gassian is also exhibiting Forever Young, a selection of his photos with the visual artists Abetz & Drescher at the Galerie Suzanne Tarasieve Paris/Loft 19 (www.suzanne-tarasieve.com)