Keith Richards, 1971 - photo by Norman Seeff
For the past 36 years The Association of International Photography Art Dealers, AIPAD, has been presenting its annual exhibition in the historic Park Avenue Armory in New York City. Featuring more than 85 prominent photography galleries from throughout the country, this is a major show indeed. A variety of genres are on display, including contemporary, modern, nineteenth-century and photo-based media. I always have a great time strolling up and down the labyrinth like set up in this very charming and classic venue. There’s a bar on hand as well.
I’m honing in here on the work of photographer Norman Seef. Specifically, his stellar portrait of Keith Richards in ‘71 as the Rolling Stones were recording Exile On Main Street in the South of France. The Fahey/Klein Gallery, based in the La Brea section of Los Angeles, nicely featured this image, along with a portrait of Mick Jagger from the same time. Seeff was born in Johannesburg, South Africa in 1939 and became serious about photography in the late 1960’s after serving as a doctor for a short time in his homeland. He moved to NYC in 1968 and then to Los Angeles in 1971 to pursue photography in earnest. While Seeff was living in NYC, Bob Cato, formerly vice president of Creative Services at Columbia Records, discovered Seeff’s street photography work and assigned him to photograph The Band for their Stage Fright record. This started Seeff’s career as a go to music photographer. Much success and recognition followed, and Seeff’s work can be seen in many ways and contexts. This includes many well known album covers but also many actors and various personalities.
Seeff is a part of the pantheon of major cultural photographers, and these large sized, vivid photos of his at AIPAD underscore why. Check him and the AIPAD out for yourself.