For the duration of the 1970s-from his days as a student at the School of Visual Arts to founding member of the era-defining band Blondie and the architect of its success with lead singer Debbie Harry, to his subsequent reign at the epicenter of punk’s golden age-Chris Stein kept an unrivaled photographic record of the downtown New York City scene. Following in the footsteps of the successful Negative: Me, Blondie, and the Advent of Punk, POINT OF VIEW: ME, NEW YORK CITY, AND THE PUNK SCENE, set for release in November 2018,is a highly personal and visually arresting collection of Stein’s photographs which captures an important, but fading chapter in Manhattan’s history through his insider lens. Focusing mainly on a single decade in Stein‘s own world, the images presented here take us from self-portraits in his run-down East-Village apartment to candid photographs of pop-cultural icons of the time and evocative shots of New York City streetscapes in all their most longed-for romance and dereliction.
An eclectic cast of cultural characters-from William Burroughs and Lydia Lunch to Debbie Harry and Andy Warhol to Basquiat and Shepard Fairey-is captured during this moment in time, juxtaposed with children sitting on stoops, torn-down blocks, the graffiti-ridden subway, and the burgeoning club scene of the Bowery.
At once a chronicle of one music icon’s life among his punk and New-Wave heroes and peers, and a love letter to the city that was the backdrop and inspiration for those scenes, POINT OF VIEW captures the cultural and social ethos of the 1970s. While Stein is credited with helping to shape the sound and the look of pop culture for more than four decades, POINT OF VIEW is a thrilling reminder of Stein’s brilliance as a photographer and documentarian of the New York City music scene and beyond.
On July 20th, Blondie will headline The House of Vans Brooklyn summer music and art series. RSVP at www.houseofvans.com. This year, the Vans House Parties Series’ headlining artists are acting as curators, hand-picking all supporting talent (including one unsigned musician in order to support and elevate emerging talent) and will be creating a personalized visual art experience for fans. For their show, Blondie has asked indie-rock goddess Liz Phairto open and former Cherry Glazerr keyboardist SASAMI as the unsigned support act. The visual art experience will feature Stein’s photography, showcasing works from POINT OF VIEW.