Exclusive: Mick Rock, ‘The Man Who Shot the Seventies,’ on David Bowie, Syd Barrett and More
By Colleen Nika
Between 1972 and 1979, Mick Rock shot the faces that, for many, define a pop cultural decade: David Bowie. Queen. Blondie. Iggy Pop. Syd Barrett. Through his photo and video work, he created various forms of iconic imagery: some of the famous album covers in history – Queen II, Raw Power, Transformer, to name a handful – as well powerful portraits firmly in the modern canon of rock visuals. Known by many as the “Man Who Shot the Seventies,” Rock also developed a special kinship with Bowie, serving as his official photographer – and videographer not long after, as they experimented on some of the proto-MTV era’s first music videos.
One of those clips, “Life On Mars,” recently underwent dramatic underworking by British film director Barney Clay and Rock himself as part of The Creator’s Project. Using raw footage and outtakes from the original clip, the result gives a dusty classic a striking new manifestation. As that exhibition travels the globe, Rock is keeping busy with a deluge of editorial work and personal projects; he’ll also be celebrating the December 8th opening of his new exhibit at W New York Downtown, which features both his iconic work and previously unseen candids of stars like Lady Gaga.
Rolling Stone caught up with Rock for a multi-ranging two-part interview.
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