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Capturing today's East Coast music scene through a lens

Friday - 12/20/2013, 7:41am  ET

'4 x 6 East Coast Rock & Roll Photography 2013' goes backstage and into the lives of local musicians. (Vivienne Foster/Courtesy Govinda Gallery)
  • Gallery: (7 images)

Bands and photographers: A long-standing relationship

WTOP's Rachel Nania reports


WASHINGTON - Swinging mics, mid-song strums and tattooed arms. A new collection of photographs is doing more than documenting the area's modern rock scene, it's illustrating the fading relationship between musicians and photographers.

"4" x 6" East Coast Rock & Roll Photography 2013" is a pop-up exhibition at the new K Street music venue Gypsy Sally's, organized by the Govinda Gallery and curated by local photographer Vivienne Foster.

The exhibit features photographs of East Coast rock-and-roll bands, through the lenses of six young photographers.

"Govinda Gallery is known for having shown the greatest music photographs, from Elvis right up through punk rock. But what this exhibit highlights are photographers who are shooting bands today," says Chris Murray, director of Govinda Gallery.

But the exhibit goes beyond snapshots and portraits, it shows the audience what is often no longer available to photographers: access.

"Rarely do photographers get the kind of access that they did in the old days, when, for instance, Al Wertheimer could follow Elvis Presley or Astrid Kirchherr could be with the Beatles … but this show is wonderful because the bands are young, many of them are just signed to labels," Murray says.

"This show reminds me a little bit of the wonderful link that photography and music had from the ‘60s and ‘70s and ‘80s and ‘90s, when the ‘golden age,' if you will, of photography and rock-and-roll took place … I love that this show sort of demonstrates the access and the availability that the bands allowed these young photographers to have and it really captures that energy."

The exhibit also captures each band's story -- and what happens once the curtain closes.

"It sort of tells the story about the journey that a young band takes, in getting gigs, performing, developing a following and that effort and that journey for a young rock band," says Murray, who adds his favorite part is the energy and spontaneity both the musicians and the photographers bring to their art.

"For me it's exciting, after working for a long time with legendary photographers, photographing legendary bands, here we get a chance to see photographers photographing bands, some of which may become legendary."

"4" x 6" East Coast Rock & Roll Photography 2013" continues through Jan. 4, 2014.

WTOP's Neal Augenstein contributed to this report. Follow @WTOP and @WTOPliving on Twitter.

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