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Explosive music photography from Hendrix to Katy Perry

A Fellow of the RPS has curated a documentary series celebrating the people and stories behind the greatest music images ever made.

Gered Mankowitz FRPS has realised a long-term project illuminating the world in which he has carved his own reputation over nearly six decades. ICON: Music Through the Lens, to be broadcast this autumn on Sky Arts, gives a voice to photographers, artists, editors, experts and fans in the UK, Europe and America, showcasing images of artists from the Beatles to Katy Perry.

Here, Mankowitz shares what motivated him to curate the series of six hour-long episodes.

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“For most of my nearly 60 years as a working photographer I have devoted myself to collaborating with musicians, by shooting concerts, album covers, posters and publicity shots with them.

“Since the early 80s and my first exhibition at The Photographers’ Gallery in London I have worked continuously to get this genre of photography accepted and taken seriously, by bringing the work to an ever-increasing audience through exhibitions and books all over the globe. And for the past decade, together with the director Dick Carruthers and executive producer Andy Saunders, we have been trying to make the definitive documentary series about this extraordinary art form.

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“Finally, at the end of 2018, we got the green light and for the past two years have been making ICON: Music Through the Lens, a six-part series that will air in the autumn on Sky Arts. Having now participated with interviewing more than 70 marvellous and inspiring photographers I appreciate I am not alone in thinking that this is the best job in the world.”

ICON: Music Through the Lens will be broadcast on Sky Arts during autumn 2020. Goin’ Home with The Rolling Stones ’66 by Gered Mankowitz FRPS is published by Reel Art Press at £19.95.

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Image credits:

‘Katy Perry, Fireworks’, 2014, by Christie Goodwin
‘Oasis, Maine Road’, 1994, by Chris Floyd
'Jimi Hendrix at the Fillmore West’, 1968, by Baron Wolman
‘Leonard Cohen and Suzanne Vega’, 1989, by Deborah Feingold
‘Dizzee Rascal, Boy in da Corner’, 2003, by Ben Drury, Dean Chalkley
‘The Rolling Stones, Caged’, 1965, by Gered Mankowitz FRPS


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