Collection: Janette Beckman
London native Janette Beckman has made her fame photographing not only a wide array of performers in several musical genres but also the youth subcultures that have cropped up around their music. Whether it’s capturing images of young punks and mods in ’70s London or the b-boys and -girls of New York’s hip-hop scene of the ’80s, her documentarian’s eye has captured the culture and the style of these groups. Among her best-known photographs are the iconic front covers for the first two albums by the Police, along with portraits of artists from the Sex Pistols to Run-DMC and from Blondie to Lily Allen, among others. Janette Beckman began her career at the dawn of Punk Rock working for The Face and Melody Maker, when British music pushed every boundary. She soon had extraordinary access to the musicians topping the U.K. charts– icons of an era when music had an agenda with such acts including The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Undertones, The Specials, The Beat, The Ramones, The Rockats, Raincoats, Billy Idol and Echo and the Bunnymen. Radically, this generation thought that the punks on the street were just as important as the bands, which fitted Beckman’s aesthetic. Her sharp eye for street style and pop culture led her to document two decades of youthful tribes: Punks, Mods, Skinheads, Rockabillies, B-boys and girls. Beckman’s powerful portraits celebrating this music and the attitude are collected for the first time in ‘Made in the U.K.: The Music and Attitude, 1977-1982’ PowerHouse Books 2005. Moving to New York in 1982, she was instantly drawn to the underground Hip Hop scene. Her photographs of pioneers Africa Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Salt’n'Pepa, Run-DMC, Slick Rick, Beastie Boys and countless others, as well as the DJs, MCs, b-boys and fly girls are collected in ‘The Breaks: Stylin’ and Profilin’ 1982–1990′, PowerHouse Books 2007. Since moving to New York she has shot everyone from Kevin Bacon to Lily Allen – Clients include: Hello, People, Interview, Mojo, Glamour, Esquire, Rolling Stone, London Sunday Times Magazine. Warner Brothers Music, Universal Music, Sony, Doc Marten, Converse etc. Her photographs have recently been exhibited galleries and museums around the world including Paul Smith London, Isetan Tokyo, Collette Paris, Flair Los Angeles, Morrison Hotel NYC, Kong Gallery Shanghai, Rockarchive London and now Blender Gallery in Sydney. Her work is collected by patrons including: Kate Moss, Paul Smith, Susan Sarandon, Adrian Brody, Carson Daly, Craig McDean, Leonard Cohen. Beckman’s work has appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone, the Observer and Glamour, to name a few. She lives and works in New York. “Her portraits prove that attitude never dies.” Vivien Goldman, Punk Professor BBC America.