Wednesday, 28 October 2009
photographer janette beckman
One of the other exhibitions I visited this weekend was at Blender Gallery, also in Sydney's Paddington. On display were the photographs of London photographer Janette Beckman. The work is mainly from early in her career when she captured the rising music stars of the late 70s and early 80s. Although stars is probably the wrong word because the portraits capture a raw quality that seems to be lost today. Yep, I think it's fair to say that Janette managed to capture the innocence of youth - quite an achievement given it was an era of punk and hip hop. If you want to check out the exhibition, hurry because it's only on until the end of October.
Which five words best describe you? Curious, arty, friendly, visual, little crazy.
What was your first job and what path have you taken since then? Painting the eyes on the baby Jesus nativity dolls for my school friend's mum who made wooden toys - I was 13 and I bought my first 'trendy' bright orange shetland wool sweater with my wages. Since then I went to art school in London and became a photographer, lived in London and New York.
What’s your proudest achievement? Managing to make a living from doing what I love - taking photographs of people from punks, mods, rock 'n' roll and hip hop bands to boxers, politicians and sport people and capturing them as they really are. And most of them said they actually enjoyed the experience.
What’s been your best decision? Follow your heart.
What was the starting point for this exhibition? A photograph I took of two mod twins in London in 1977. I was teaching photography in a college and saw them hanging out in the yard at lunchtime - they were to me the epitome of style and attitude - and a photo I took of Siouxee Sioux at the Roundhouse in London.
Who inspires you? Painters from Frances Bacon to Matisse - photographers from Irving Penn to William Klein - and watching people on the street, in the subway, everywhere.
What are you passionate about? Friends, family, photography, art, nature.
What’s the best lesson you’ve learnt? Do what you love, treat people with respect.
Which person, living or dead, would you most like to meet? Prince, President Obama, Aretha Franklin, Grace Coddington, Picasso and many many more.
What dream do you still want to fulfil? To document the next music and street style movement.
What are you reading? Ross MacDonald The Barbarous Coast
images the blender gallery and janette beckman