Eating, Sleeping, Breathing Music
When you hear the phrase rock and roll, the image that appears in your mind is probably one that Richard Bellia took. Born with the gift of artistry, Bellia has used his eye for passion and talent to photograph dozens of iconic rock musicians in a groundbreaking career spanning almost 40 years. Richard Bellia’s legendary career as a photographer chronicling rock and roll musicians at their candid, acidic best form part of the exhibition organized by Muse Constant, An Eye on Music’ from October 8 to 14 at the Foyer of Pallas theatre.
He captured the rise and fall of such legendary musicians as The Cure, Nirvana, The Velvet Underground, The Rolling stones, Lana del Rae, and on and on. Born in France in 1962, Bellia dabbled in social and political photography before finding his calling at a Cure concert in London in 1980. He couldn’t have found it a better time; this was the beginning of a rock renaissance and it was happening in London. Writing for several different European music publications over the decades, the photographer developed relationships with the musicians he photographed and used these personal ties to record the vivacity and the spirit, the joy and the rage that poured out of these powerful artists. Today his own work as an artist is in the spotlight, with the photography exhibition ‘Richard Bellia: An Eye on Music’.
Bellia notes that “his first love was music, it just seemed cooler to hang a camera around one’s neck at a concert. It looked like you had something to do.” He truly did focus on the music, somehow managing to produce sound in visual form with each click of his film camera, a medium he would use throughout his career despite the advent of digital technology. The signature style and obvious love filtered through his lens and elevated him to be one of the most prominent and celebrated rock photographers of our age. The exhibition, premiering in Athens this October, focuses on Bellia’s 2016 publication, “Un Œil Sur La Musique 1980-2016 (123 ISO)”. The immense collection consists of 1000 images, 800 pages and the bliss and black and white surrealism of David Bowie mid-belt, Nirvana lingering on a London street corner, and the passive slink back to reality of a stage post-punk show, with discarded guitars lying face down and sweaty band members picking up equipment.
The organizer, Constantine Zouganellis observes, “Bellia’s photographs have a singular quality of capturing the mood with an unusual perspective, perpetuating the great story of musical legends to live on. We are chuffed that he has chosen Athens as his first stop.” The exhibition and the book serve as a testament to life on the road of a legendary photographer who not only captured the history of music and the musicians that influenced countless lives, trends, ideas and thoughts, but also illustrates what it felt like to really be there, ‘to eat, sleep and breathe music.’
Worth every gram of the 5.7 kgs his book weighs, this is a must-buy for any true devotee of music.
Photography Exhibition: Richard Bellia: An Eye on Music, Foyer, Palace Theater, 5 Voukourestiou Street from Monday, October 8 to Sunday, October 14 from noon to 8 p.m. Organised by Muse Constant with the support of Panas Group, Salon de Bricolage, Bombay Sapphire, the French Institute , the French Embassy and Athens Insider.
- Book Presentation and talk with Richard Bellia, Maria Markouli (journalist, author) & Alexandros Voutsas (photographer & Professor of Photography at School of Fine Arts) at Ianos Book Store (24 Stadiou Street), October 9th 18:00-20:00
- Lecture at School of Fine Arts (Kallon Tehnon), cinematography hall, October 11th 14:00-16:00
- Prints for sale from 150 to 2200 euros and his book An Eye on music is on sale for 130 euros and is available at IANOS bookstore.