On a hot summer day in Manhattan, I had a chance to kick it with Janette Beckman for a few hours.
In this episode we talk about thinking on your feet, the skeleton key of politeness, giving back and the wonderful stories behind Janette’s documentary portrait photography.
As music enthusiasts, we are always in awe of the art and creativity that goes into producing some of our favorite songs. But how often do we stop and think about the people behind the camera, capturing the essence and energy of our beloved musicians? One such photographer that stands out among the rest is Janette Beckman.
If you’re a fan of hip hop and punk rock, chances are you’ve come across the iconic photographs of Janette Beckman. Her work has graced album covers, magazines, and galleries around the world, capturing the raw energy and spirit of these two revolutionary music genres.
Janette Beckman started her career in London in the late 1970s, at the height of the punk rock movement. She quickly became a part of the scene, photographing bands like The Clash and The Sex Pistols, as well as other influential figures like Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren.
As the punk rock scene faded away in the early 1980s, Janette Beckman shifted her focus to hip hop, another genre that was just starting to gain popularity. She moved to New York City in 1983 and quickly immersed herself in the burgeoning hip hop scene, capturing the essence of iconic artists like Run-DMC, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy.
Janette Beckman’s Impact on Hip Hop and Punk Rock Culture
Janette Beckman’s photographs of hip hop and punk rock artists have had a profound impact on both music genres, helping to shape the visual identities of these movements.
Her photographs of punk rock bands like The Clash and The Sex Pistols captured the raw energy and rebellious spirit of the movement. In contrast to the glossy, airbrushed images of mainstream pop stars, Beckman’s photographs showed the real, gritty world of punk rock, with its ripped jeans, safety pins, and DIY aesthetic.
Similarly, her photographs of hip hop artists like Run-DMC, LL Cool J, and Public Enemy helped to define the visual style of the genre. Beckman’s photographs of these artists showed the world a different side of hip hop, one that was raw, unfiltered, and authentic.
Janette Beckman’s Legacy
Janette Beckman’s impact on hip hop and punk rock culture cannot be overstated. Her photographs have become iconic images of these movements, and have helped to define the visual style of two of the most revolutionary music genres of the 20th century.
But Janette Beckman’s legacy extends far beyond just hip hop and punk rock. Her work has also explored themes like youth culture, social justice, and political activism, and has been exhibited in galleries around the world.
Today, Janette Beckman continues to inspire a new generation of photographers and artists, and her photographs continue to capture the spirit of rebellion and innovation that has defined hip hop and punk rock for decades.
Janette Beckman is a true pioneer in the world of photography, whose work has had a profound impact on hip hop and punk rock culture. Her photographs have captured the raw energy and rebellious spirit of these two revolutionary music genres, and have helped to define their visual style.
The Police, London, 1978 © Janette Beckman
RIivera Bad Girls 1983 © Janette Beckman
Boy George, London, 1981 © Janette Beckman
Share This Conversation with a Friend