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Tuesday, May 27, 2008

David Gahr 1922-2008


You might not recognize the name, but you know the work. As Henry Sapoznik notes in his tribute below, "It is impossible to think about America's popular and folk music of the last half century without having a Dave Gahr picture in your mind." via Club 47: The Richard & Mimi Farina Discussion Group...

"Pioneering folk music photographer, irascible wag, and all around mentsh, David Gahr died yesterday in his Brooklyn, New York home after several months of steadily deteriorating health. He was 86. Gahr was one of the first photographers to document the burgeoning folk music scene in the 1960s with work regularly appearing on album covers, in music magazines, documentary films and books. (His 1968 anthology "The Face of Folk Music" -- with essays by Robert Shelton -- is a stunning panorama of over 500 photos of the who's who of American folk music still unmatched in its scope.) His photo sessions -- a seamless stream of high voltage shouted profanity with teeth clenched around his ubiquitous cigar -- consistently produced lyrical and insightfully breathtaking portraits. David's fearless disdain of the physical distance between himself and his many, many subjects -- Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin, Mississippi John Hurt, the New Lost City Ramblers, Bruce Springsteen, Roscoe Halcomb, Miles Davis, John Lennon, Eck Robertson, Pete Seeger, Bill Monroe, (oh, yes: and me, too) just to name a very few -- coupled with his brilliant use of natural light produced pictures of powerful nuance and intimacy whether posed or candid. It is impossible to think about America's popular and folk music of the last half century without having a Dave Gahr picture in your mind." --Henry Sapoznik

2 comments:

kerry dexter said...

His imgages were among the first which got me interested in exploring the range of what you are able to say about music through the silent means of photography. Rest in peace, David.

Anonymous said...

I never met the man, but I know his work well. He was a classic, documenting the rock and roll iconic heroes of our time. Always remembered, greatly missed. Lawrence Kirsch