Thursday, February 19, 2015
New York, February 19, 2015, The Museum of the City of New York presents HIP-HOP REVOLUTION: Photographs by Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, and Martha Cooper
Photographs by Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, and Martha Cooper
Joe Conzo Janette Beckman
Major Global Pop Culture Movement Born in New York, Documented by Three Leading Photographers at the Museum of the City of New York
HIP-HOP REVOLUTION: Photographs by Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, and Martha Cooper, an exhibition that shows the historic early days of hip-hop culture and music, with its roots firmly in New York, and how it evolved towards the worldwide phenomenon it is today.
Bringing together for the first time the work of three of the most dynamic and renowned photographers of the hip-hop scene, the exhibition shows the birth of a new cultural movement—with its accompanying music, dance, fashion and style—as it quickly and dramatically swept from its grassroots origins into an expansive commercial industry. The exhibition is a follow-up to the City Museum’s highly acclaimed 2014 City as Canvas exhibition on graffiti art, which brought critical praise and a large audience.
“In New York’s long history, the creativity born of the city’s density and diversity has brought enormous riches to the world,” said Susan Henshaw Jones, Ronay Menschel Director of the Museum of the City of New York. “Hip-hop is yet another incredibly vibrant example of how the world has been shaped by what started in New York. You can see this dynamic and influential music and culture come to life in this exhibition through the powerful photographs of three wonderful photographers.”
Hip-Hop Revolution presents more than 100 photographs taken between 1977 and 1990 by the three preeminent New York-based photographers—Janette Beckman, Joe Conzo, and Martha Cooper—who documented hip-hop from its pioneering days in the boroughs of New York through its emergence into mainstream popular culture worldwide.
Hip-hop culture, incorporating such elements as DJ-ing, MC-ing (rapping), and breaking (dancing), was born on the streets of New York City in the 1970s, largely in the Bronx and Manhattan, and grew to have a global impact on popular culture that continues to the present day. The exhibition showcases the experiences of each photographer during these seminal years, as DJs, MCs, and b-boys and b-girls (breakdancers) were innovating, and developing new forms of self-expression. The work of these photographers—featuring early figures such as Afrika Bambaata, Kool Herc, and Cold Crush Brothers, breakers such as Rock Steady Crew and the Dynamic Rockers, and acts such as Run DMC and the Beastie Boys—form a broad survey of a movement that is indelibly linked to New York City and still has a resounding influence today.