Dennis Morris (photographer)

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Morris

Dennis Morris is a British photographer, best known for his images of Bob Marley and the Sex Pistols.[1][2]

Life and work[edit]

In 1974 Morris, then at school in London, heard that Bob Marley was playing at the Speakeasy Club in Great Marlborough Street, London. He went to the club during the day, met Marley and asked to take his picture. Marley agreed, and after hearing that Morris wanted to be a photographer told him “You are a photographer”. The following day Morris left with the band in their Transit van. He went on to photograph the musician until Marley's death in 1981.[3]

In 1977 Morris spent a year with the Sex Pistols, documenting them in depth.[4][5] In 1978 Morris went with Virgin boss Richard Branson on a talent-spotting trip to Jamaica. Morris persuaded Virgin that John Lydon should accompany them.[6]

Morris describes his style as "reportage", citing as influences Robert Capa and Don McCullin. He used a Leica camera, finding that its small size meant that "you can take it anywhere, and no one takes it seriously. So you get them to open up."[7]

In 1979 Morris created the logo for the band Public Image Limited and the innovative Metal Box album packaging.[8] He then became art director of Island Records[9] and designed album covers for Linton Kwesi Johnson, Marianne Faithfull (Broken English) and Bob Marley.

In mid-1979 Morris replaced Don Letts as vocalist of Basement 5, a reggae punk fusion band. He created their logo, image, photography and graphics and gained a recording contract with Island Records. Their albums, Basement 5 – 1965 to 1980 and Basement in Dub, were produced by Martin Hannett in 1980[10] and re-released by the PIAS label in 2017.[11]

In 2000 Morris travelled to the Philippines to photograph the crucifixion of artist Sebastian Horsley.[12] In 2002, to mark the 40th anniversary of Jamaican independence, Morris was commissioned by BBC 2 to document reggae superstars, Jamaican street culture and the energy of the dancehall for the award-winning TV series and accompanying book Reggae: The Story of Jamaican Music. [13] [14]

In June 2005 the Spectrum London gallery had a show of photographs by Morris documenting the daily lives, ceremonies and rituals of the Mowanjum Community of Indigenous Australians.[15] The gallery was blessed by tribe leader Francis Firebrace, wearing body paint and tribal dress.[15]

Morris was commissioned to show a new body of work at the Today Art Museum in Beijing in 2008 to coincide with the Olympic Cultural programme.[16]

A large installation of his punk images (part of the I am a cliché, Echoes of the Punk Aesthetic exhibition curated by Emma Lavigne) was shown at the 41st Rencontres d'Arles (France) during the summer of 2010.[17]

In 2013 Morris collaborated with Shepard Fairey on a body of work titled S.I.D (Superman Is Dead), culminating in an exhibition at Subliminal Projects (LA- USA).[18][19]

In April 2014 he exhibited a large collection of his Bob Marley photographs at the Known Gallery in Los Angeles.[20][21]

In early 2016 BBC 4 made a documentary on his work as part of their ongoing series What do artists do all day?[22]

In 2016 the Institute of Contemporary Arts presented an exhibition of his design, marketing, art direction and photography of Public Image Ltd.[23]

In 2018, nowness made a short film of Dennis Morris in Tokyo for their "Photographers in Focus" series [24]

Some of his photos from his Growing Up Black collection are part of the Tate Britain collection and were displayed in an exhibition titled Stan Firm inna Inglan from November 2016 to November 2017 [25] [26]

His photographs have appeared in publications including Rolling Stone, Time, People, V, GQ, I-D, Vogue, "Frieze magazine"[27] and the Sunday Times.[citation needed]

He has held exhibitions worldwide (Sydney Opera House,[citation needed] Laforet Museum, Tokyo,[28] Contact Toronto and in galleries in London, New York, Paris,[citation needed] San Francisco,[citation needed] and Stuttgart).[citation needed]

His photographs have become highly collectable,[citation needed]; one body of work, Southall – a home from home, was bought by English Heritage,[29] and is on permanent display at Gunnersbury Park Museum in London.[30] "Growing Up Black", a collection of his photographs of the black community in Hackney is part of the permanent collection of the Hackney Museum.[31] The Victoria and Albert Museum has also acquired some photographs from this series.[32][32]

Morris' work has been used in books such as Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century by Greil Marcus Century by Bruce Bernard, Punk by Steven Colgrave and Chris Sullivan, and Rolling Stone: The Complete Covers 1967–1997. He has been the subject of documentaries and television programmes in the UK and America.[citation needed]

Gallery[edit]

Books[edit]

  • Destroy: Sex Pistols 1977. Creation Books, 1998. ISBN 1-84068-058-X.
  • Bob Marley: A Rebel Life: A Photobiography 1973–1980. Plexus Publishing, 1999. ISBN 0-85965-268-8.
  • Southall – a Home from Home. Olympus, 1999. ISBN 1-84068-054-7.
  • A Bitta PIL. Parco Publishing, 2011. ISBN 978-4-89194-890-0.
  • Growing Up Black. Autograph ABP, 2012. ISBN 978-1-899282-14-2.
  • This is the one: a photo essay on the rise of the Stone Roses. WSI, 2012. ISBN 978-0-9572471-0-9.
  • "Resurrection." Space Shower Books, 2013. ISBN 978-4906700912.
  • The Bollocks: a photo essay of the Sex Pistols. Zero + Publishing, 2014. ISBN 978-1-937222-40-6.

Album sleeves photography and design[edit]

Exhibitions[edit]

  • 2008: Timeless, Mori Tower Gallery, Tokyo, Japan.[46]
  • 2008: 8 Visions, one Dream, Today Art Museum, Beijing, China.[47]
  • 2009: Growing Up Black, Hackney Museum, London, UK.[48]
  • 2009: Marianne Faithfull: unseen images from the Broken English session, Snap Galleries, London, UK.[38]
  • 2010: Rencontres d'Arles festival, Arles, France.[49]
  • 2011: A Bitta PIL, PARCO Factory, Tokyo, Japan.[50]
  • 2012: No, collaboration with Tim Noble and Sue Webster, Vinyl Factory, London, UK.[51]
  • 2013: SID (Superman Is Dead), collaboration with Shepard Fairey, Subliminal Projects, Los Angeles, USA.[52]
  • 2014: Bob Marley: Giant, Known Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.[53]
  • 2014: The Bollocks, Known Gallery, Los Angeles, USA.[54]
  • 2015: Staying Power, V&A Museum, London, UK (group show)[55]
  • 2016: PiL first issue to Metal Box, ICA, London, UK[23]
  • 2016: "Punk in Britain", Galleria Carla Sozzani, Milan, Italy (group show)[56]
  • 2018: "Liam Gallagher, Rock'n'Roll Star", BookMarc, Tokyo, Japan [57]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Marley snapper captures Jamaica's jukebox of music". BBC News. 7 July 2002. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  2. ^ "Shooting the Sex Pistols". BBC News. 28 September 1998. Retrieved 25 July 2008.
  3. ^ "Photographer Dennis Morris on capturing Bob Marley at his peak". Independent.co.uk. 24 April 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  4. ^ "Legendary Photographer Dennis Morris on Bob Marley, Johnny Rotten, and Getting Shot". Vice.com. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  5. ^ Woode, David (19 March 2016). "Rare pictures of Sex Pistols and Bob Marley revealed by legendary snapper". Mirror.co.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  6. ^ "BBC Arts - Marley, Lydon & me: Shooting the punky reggae party - BBC Arts". BBC. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  7. ^ "Legendary Photographer Dennis Morris on Bob Marley, Johnny Rotten, and Getting Shot". Vice.com. 4 March 2016. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  8. ^ metal box stories from John Lydon's public image limited book by Phil Strongman published by Helter Skelter – ISBN 978-1-900924-66-5
  9. ^ Destroy: Sex Pistols 1977 The Guardian London 7 June 2002 retrieved 2010-04-21
  10. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 1 January 2011. Retrieved 21 April 2010.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  11. ^ "Basement 5". Rough Trade. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  12. ^ Berens, Jessica (25 May 2002). "Interview: Sebastian Horsley". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  13. ^ "BBC - Worldwide Press Office - Reggae Book". Bbc.co.uk. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  14. ^ "lloyd-bradley". Lloyd-bradley.net. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  15. ^ a b "Gallery is blessed by Aborigine", BBC, 6 June 2005. Retrieved 18 January 2010.
  16. ^ "8 Visions One Dream - British Contemporary Art Exhibition - artron.net". En.artron.net. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  17. ^ "Les Rencontres d'Arles expositions, stages photo / exhibitions, photo workshops". Rencontres d'Arles. Retrieved 1 June 2016.[permanent dead link]
  18. ^ Brown, August (23 December 2013). "Sid Vicious and the aesthetics of punk rock". Los Angeles Times.
  19. ^ Leahey, Andrew (16 December 2013). "15 Photos of Shepard Fairey's 'Superman Is Dead' Exhibit Opening Pictures". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  20. ^ Leahey, Andrew (25 March 2014). "Bob Marley: The Stories Behind 17 Rare and Unseen Images Pictures". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  21. ^ "Bob Marley: Giant – Documentary". YouTube. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  22. ^ "Dennis talks about photographing the Sex Pistols, Dennis Morris, What Do Artists Do All Day? - BBC Four". BBC. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  23. ^ a b "Dennis Morris: PiL – First Issue to Metal Box | Institute of Contemporary Arts". Institute of Contemporary Arts. Archived from the original on 3 March 2016. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  24. ^ https://www.nowness.com/series/photographers-in-focus/photographers-in-focus-dennis-morris
  25. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 5 March 2017. Retrieved 4 March 2017.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  26. ^ Beaumont-Thomas, Interview by Ben (9 February 2017). "Dennis Morris's best photograph: a boy with a gun at Michael X's HQ". Theguardian.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  27. ^ "Music". Frieze.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  28. ^ "TAB イベント – 「DESTROY」セックス・ピストルズ写真展" (in Japanese). Tokyoartbeat.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 15 September 2015. Retrieved 12 July 2016.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  30. ^ "Collections - Hounslow.info". Hounslow.info. Archived from the original on 27 February 2015. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  31. ^ [1]
  32. ^ a b "Staying Power – Dennis Morris – Victoria and Albert Museum". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  33. ^ "Bob Marley's photographer Dennis Morris shares some iconic images". Itv.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  34. ^ "The Mighty Diamonds - Right Time". Discogs.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  35. ^ "XTC – White Music (CD, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. 11 June 2001. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  36. ^ "Public Image* – Public Image (First Issue) (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  37. ^ "Judy Mowatt - Black Woman". Discogs. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  38. ^ a b Maev Kennedy. "Photographer attributes booze and banter to memorable image of Marianne Faithfull | Art and design". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  39. ^ "Pablo Moses - A Song". Discogs. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  40. ^ "Linton Kwesi Johnson – LKJ in Dub (Vinyl, LP, Album) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  41. ^ "Linton Kwesi Johnson - Bass Culture". Discogs.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  42. ^ "Basement 5 - 1965 - 1980". Discogs.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  43. ^ "Simply Red – Money's Too Tight (To Mention) (Vinyl) at Discogs". Discogs.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  44. ^ "Dillinja And Lemon D - The Killa-Hertz". Discogs.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  45. ^ "The Return of Sound System Scratch: More Lee Perry (CD)". Amoeba.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  46. ^ [2][dead link]
  47. ^ "Visions, one Dream | exhibition | ARTLINKART | Chinese contemporary art database". Artlinkart. 16 July 2008. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  48. ^ "Hackney Museum presents Growing Up Black – a photographic exhibition by Dennis Morris". News.hackney.gov.uk. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  49. ^ "Dennis Morris -". Theroamingeye.wordpress.com. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  50. ^ "TAB Event – Dennis Morris "A Bitta PIL"". Tokyoartbeat.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  51. ^ "Tim Noble & Sue Webster – Dennis Morris Portraits". Timnobleandsuewebster.com. 11 November 2012. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  52. ^ "SID: Superman Is Dead | Art in Los Angeles". Time Out. 9 December 2013. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  53. ^ "Juxtapoz Magazine – Dennis Morris "BOB MARLEY: GIANT" @ Known Gallery, LA". Juxtapoz.com. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  54. ^ Greene, Andy (21 August 2014). "The Sex Pistols: Rarely Seen Photos Pictures". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  55. ^ "Staying Power: Photographs of Black British Experience – in pictures | Art and design". The Guardian. Retrieved 1 June 2016.
  56. ^ "Punk in Britain: mostra alla Galleria Carla Sozzani – di Maria Zizza per Milano Arte Expo – Milano Arte Expo". Milanoartexpo.com. Archived from the original on 11 January 2018. Retrieved 10 January 2018.
  57. ^ "デニス・モリスによるリアム・ギャラガー写真展「ROCK 'N' ROLL STAR」". 16 April 2018.

External links[edit]