Tag Archive: Punk

Sue Rynski is a cult photographer with roots in the punk rock era.

She grew up immersed in the high-energy music and underground rock scene of her hometown, Detroit. This loud, physical, emotional music took hold and became a part of her. From 1977, fine arts diploma in hand, she began hanging out and doing her own art in the company of her friends Destroy All Monsters.

During this period she honed her personal vision: provocative, shocking, beautiful, erotic and joyful.

The essence of rock and roll continues to be her inspiration: “Taking photographs is very physical for me. I thrive on feeling the music, the passion, the movement and in being in motion myself, and also the experience of joy and freedom that rock inspires in all of us.”

Sue goes to “get” her fine art photos in intimate, edgy rock scenes. Her limited edition works are exhibited internationally, notably at the prestigious Rencontres d’Arles photography festival in 2010, as well as in Tokyo, and as part of the travelling exhibition “Destroy All Monsters: Hungry For Death” and more.

She also accepts commissioned work.

Agency for licensing of stock photos: www.dalle.fr  bertrand.alary@dalle.fr

From 1978-1983 Bookie’s Club 870, a former art deco supper club in decline became the epicenter for our very own creative community of pre- and punk rock bands, artists and enthusiasts in Detroit. Formerly know as Frank Gagen’s (see the façade photo), it became known as Bookie’s when taken over by a bookmaker nicknamed “Bookie.” The club soon became a venue for local underground concerts every night of the week…

Bookie’s Club 870 façade, Detroit, circa 1980. Signed numbered edition of 15 + 2 artist's proofs

“End of the Night, Bookie’s Club 870” is probably the most emblematic of my photographs. It says much about how we enjoyed the time and the place. Beer bottles broken and cigarette butts on the floor under the bar – not from violence but from sheer ecstatic fun and release… The photo is a double exposure (directly on the film) of a girl with an angelic face… Trashy and beautiful, dirty and innocent.


End of the Night, Bookie’s Club 870, 1978. Signed numbered edition of 15 + 2 artist’s proofs

Reminds me of a song from that time by Detroit’s legendary Sonic’s Rendezvous Band, “Detroit Tango.” “Oh my lady on the floor, I’m watching you dance…” That’s Fred Sonic Smith singing about his girlfriend and future wife, Patti Smith…

Hear the song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=642ct0ikfBQ

What’s The Buzz ?

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

by student organizers at Paris School of Business and l’Institut d’Études Supérieures des Arts (IESA) for the Sue Rynski Photography Exhibition 11 July 2012, 7th July – 31st August 2012, Café Artistique l’Apostrophe

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

The chaotic, frenetic scene of the punk rock musicians, young spectators along with their fresh anger, distant dreams and “raw power”, are all freeze-framed in Sue’s black-and-white camera. The legendary godfather and godmother of the punk rock music Iggy Pop and the Stooges and Patti Smith appear under Rynski’s lens as subversive members among the crowds instead of rock n’ roll superstars . Rynski tends to capture people without including their heads in the photographs. In this way, by neglecting their identities, she successfully records the cultural background vividly without being overshined by those
notorious figures.

The distorted composition created by Sue Rynski embodies Movements are involved in the static, two-dimensional images with the suffusing cigarette smoke, jumping up-and down musicians and howling spectators. Furthermore, the black-and-white photographs now demonstrate a certain quality of “retrospect” which coordinates perfectly with the status quo of punk rock music — the “vintage come-back”. Comparing Rynski’s art works with others from that period of time, people identify her art works from the specific content focusing on underground rock n’ roll performances and revelry of the youth. Moreover, the black-and-white feature as well as the “no-head” shoot also brings immediate recognition to Rynski’s works. Finally, certain “coolness” conveyed from Rynski’s photographs could be another measurement.

The first institution that Rynski attended could be identified as the city of Detroit. Immersing in the “high energy, physical, emotional” music, Rynski

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

took in this type of music so that the energy from the music will later poured out onto her photography. Later, she moved to Paris and learned photography at the American Center for students and artists in Paris. This was the footstone for her to clearly realize her passion towards photography and to hone the multifarious skills to become a professional photographer. After moving back to the U.S. and continuing her education at University of Michigan School of Art, Rynski graduated not only as an energetic photographer, but also as a sensitive, creative artist. These educational “institutions” molded and inspired the photographer to march forward to the images that she longed to make.

On the other hand, on the other side of the business, a group of cultural “institutions” also contributed to her career by promoting her as a productive witness of the 70s and the chaotic music or political movement in America. In 2004, the Patti Smith Archive at Mills College published a collection including Rynski’s photographic works with Patti Smith and her husband Fred Sonic Smith featured in it. In 2005, the exhibition “Sue Rynski, Rock and Roll Ecstasy” was held in her hometown of Detroit.

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

Photo © Sue Rynski All Rights Reserved

In 2006, the Zamiang Gallery in Tokyo held an exhibition for the release of Sue’s first monography “hysteric fifteen” and the launch of her photo t shirts collection by Hysteric Glamour. Paris Université VII Jussieu invited her for lectures and the exhibition “Detroit Rock & Roll Haute Enérgie” in 2007. She also participated in the Art Basel Miami in 2008, and in 2009, she had works included in the “Destroy All Monsters – Hungry For Death” exhibition which traveled to New York, Minneapolis, London and Oslo. In 2010, her work was consecrated at the Rencontres d’Arles Photography Festival, the most prestigious art photography festival in the world, as part of the exhibition “I Am a Cliché – Echoes of the Punk Aesthetic.” Prestigious cultural media such as France Culture and Arte have interviewed her.

Although Rynski intends to blur the identifications of her objects in the photographs, important figures from the punk rock movement also make her works known by the world. These significant musicians include Patti Smith, MC5, Iggy Pop and the Stooges, Destroy All Monsters and so on and so forth. Due to her well-known subjects or “objects” (in this case, the people in Rynski’s photos) no matter the location of where her works are being exhibited, her photographs are decontextualized.

Sue Rynski’s photos are on exhibit through 31 August at Café Artistique l’Apostrophe, 23 rue de La Grange Aux Belles 75010 Paris, France.

Visit Sue Rynski Photography at http://www.suerynski.com/

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