Rock music photo gems and jewelry art on display

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Photographer Mick Rock, who was instrumental in creating some of the most iconic images in rock music history, will be the focus of a retrospective that will be held on Saturday, Oct. 20, from 6 to 10 p.m., and Sunday, Oct. 21, from 1 to 6 p.m., at The Jewelry Studio, located at 1107 Old Country Road in Plainview.

This unique gallery experience will include a collection of limited edition photographic pieces that will be on sale to the public, along with wearable jewelry art designed by The Jewelry Studio founder, Robert Pepkin.

The artworks that will be on display range from classic portrait pieces of Long Island natives like Joan Jett and Lou Reed, to Rock’s quintessential album covers from the late ’60s through today, including Lou Reed’s Transformer, Iggy Pop’s Raw Power, The Ramones’ End of the Century, and works from his creative partnership with David Bowie.

With the upcoming release of Queen’s biopic, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” arriving in theaters this November, the collection will include some of Rock’s timeless works with the band including their Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack album covers.

Rock is often referred to as “the man who shot the ’70s,” for his images of Syd Barrett (Pink Floyd), David Bowie, Lou Reed, Iggy Pop, Queen, the Sex Pistols, the Ramones, Blondie and many more.

London born, he has resided in New York for the past 35 years, and has shot more than 100 album covers. His recent subjects include Snoop Dogg, Lenny Kravitz, Janelle Monáe, Alicia Keys, Daft Punk, Rufus Wainwright, Kings of Leon.

Rock recently shot special stills for the new TV version of “The Rocky Horror Picture Show,” featuring the transgender actress Laverne Cox as Frank N. Furter. He also produced and directed seminal music videos for Bowie, including “John, I’m Only Dancing,” “Jean Genie,” “Space Oddity,” and “Life On Mars.”

At the event, Rock will autograph the new trade edition of his publication, “Mick Rock: The Rise of David Bowie, 1972-1973,” a limited-edition book that sold out just before Bowie’s death. A documentary about Rock’s career, entitled “SHOT!,” launched at the Tribeca Film Festival in April 2016 and released theatrically in 2017.

“I’ve never felt like a voyeur, although I’ve certainly done plenty of looking,” Rock was quoted as saying in the London Times.  “I work from the inside out. Like a cook, I gather all the ingredients and keep mixing and stirring and tasting until the kind of effluvia starts to rise, then I’m off to the races. It’s an addictive kind of a feeling that I need a regular shot of otherwise I don’t feel right.”

A Long Island native, Pepkin attended the Pratt Institute for Fine Art before working with fine jewelry artist Marla Mencher. He found inspiration in a new kind of art that people could wear. After a chance meeting with Francis Ford Coppola’s father Carmine, he was hired to work on the set design of their production of “Opera on the Sound.” 

Pepkin continued to get more involved in the design and creation of jewelry and eventually opened The Jewelry Studio. During his 40 year career as an artist and jeweler, he has been inspired by countless artists both inside and outside his field.  

Pepkin first met Rock more than 30 years ago and is excited to collaborate with him in their upcoming gallery exhibit.

“The attraction to Mick’s work for me comes from the many theatrical undertones, from the drama behind the legendary black and white Queen II album cover to capturing the dramatic poses of Iggy Pop on stage,” Pepkin says. “All of his shots capture the spirit of the artist or band he works with. The same has gone for me when trying to create something that someone will wear. You have to capture their spirit because the pieces become part of them and part of their own history.”

Through David Glicker, a mutual friend and promoter, the two artists have reconnected to collaborate on this special gallery show that runs through January.

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