Taking Aim: Rock and Roll Photography Exhibit

Taking Aim: Unforgettable Rock 'n' Roll Photographs Selected by Graham Nash showed at the Museum of Photographic Arts from June 12 - September 26, 2010. Taking Aim spans more than fifty years of music-making as seen through the eyes of 40 legendary photographers.

Photography collage


Taking Aim: Rock and Roll Photography at the Museum of Photographic Arts in San Diego, CA


The best thing about art is that there are no specifications, and no boundaries, and photography exemplifies that without question. Photography was essentially created to compete against the strong hold of painting and eventually evolved into a technological atom bomb that both aptly expressed and manipulated reality. Photography would eventually become a force to be reckoned with and a bonafide artistic medium.

In capturing the everyday and not so everyday moments of legends, these photographers not only established an artistic genre, but they captured history allowing it to forever unfold before us. With that being said – I’ve never been so excited about an exhibit before – I feel like I say that a lot but if you haven’t figured it out yet, art exhibits get me really excited. And I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again – anything that combines my favorite things is awesome in my book and deserves the highest praise and accolades galore. And low and behold I am major lover of music. I don’t function properly without it. Although they may be someone else’s words and melodies, music also serves as an extension of the individual listening to it. So who wouldn’t be excited about seeing their favorite musician if not in a live setting but from a completely different angle that exposes a more human component coupled with artsy-ish stylings?

Most of the musicians on display fall under the dubious label of “classic rock” – a label that I think inaccurately describes them because their music transcends generational boundaries and is still listened to today. For lack of a better term these classic rock musicians still produce the same emotional effect they had when their music was fresh and new. There is something magical about seeing aging rockers in their mid – to late twenties not realizing the depth of their influence and its subsequent impact on later generations.

The best part of this exhibit was the sheer vulnerability captured on film. The relaxed attitude toward the photographer that many of the musicians displayed allowed a level of sincerity to peek through, giving fans a glimpse at the real person behind the persona. But more importantly, I got to see Elvis in all his glory, doing Elvis type things like shaking his hips and eating strange and delicious concoctions… now who wouldn’t be excited about that?

–          Anna

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*Photos in the Tour are credited to: Lynn Goldsmith, Annie Leibovitz, Barry Feinstein, Bob Gruen, Joel Bernstein, Jim Marshall, Daniel Kramer, Alfred Wertheimer, Chris Walter, Roger Marshutz, Jim Marshall

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