DAVID SCHEINBAUM: Hip Hop Portraits Book

 Professor Griff of Public Enemy, 2002
Photograph © David Scheinbaum

The Executioners, 2004
Photograph © David Scheinbaum

 Method Man and Redman, 2002
Photograph © David Scheinbaum

 Mos Def, 2002
Photograph © David Scheinbaum

"Since its inception in the 1970s, hip hop music and the culture surrounding it has become a hugely influential and popular musical form in America and around the world. Its popularity extends beyond the urban centers where it was born, and pervades and influences youth culture around the globe.  However, few artists have created serious and powerful photographs that explore the breadth of the phenomenon.  With this volume, David Scheinbaum has done just that.  His portraits of Erykah Badu, Chuck D., George Clinton, Common, Mos Def, Del-Tha Funkee Homosapien, Sage Francis, Professor Griff, KRS One, Mike Relm, Tajai, Wu-Tang Clan and Yelawolf (among others) approach hip hop as a positive cultural influence akin to the youth movement of the 1960s.  Scheinbaum's photographs are accompanied by essays by Gaye Theresa Johnson and Michael Eric Dyson, an artist conversation with Frank H. Goodyear III and an introduction by Brian Hardgroove of Public Enemy."

David Scheinbaum is former Director/Chair of the Photography Department at the Santa Fe University of Art and Design, and Professor Emeritus, College of Santa Fe. He is also one half of the well known fine art photography gallery, Scheinbaum and Russek LTD, the exclusive representatives for the Beaumont and Nancy Newhall Estate and for the Eliot Porter Estate.

Here is a little background. In 1978, Scheinbaum moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico with the hope of meeting and working with the pre-eminent photography scholar, Beaumont Newhall. This dream came true. Their professional relationship had many facets and a friendship quickly developed. In 1979 David began printing for Beaumont NewhallThe many people who came to work and study with Beaumont often asked to see his photographs – thus David found himself in the position of creating a “meeting place” for photographers and collectors. The idea for a gallery evolved and in 1980 when Janet Russek moved to Santa Fe they opened their doors with a retrospective of Willard Van Dyke’s work.

While David continued to work with Beaumont Newhall, Russek began assisting Eliot Porter. Their relationship also grew from the studio to the gallery and the gallery began to expand representing both local and international photographers. To date they have exhibited and worked with over 300 photographers. Scheinbaum and Russek have approached the gallery world through their roles as educators, artists, and collectors and bring to their gallery an appreciation of photographers, the fine print and the history of photography.

David Scheinbaum's other publications include, Bisti, photographs of New Mexico's Bisti Badlands (University of New Mexico Press, 1987), Miami Beach: Photographs of an American Dream (Florida International University Press, 1990), and Stone: A Substantial Witness (The Museum of New Mexico Press, 2006). He and his wife, Janet Russek, have collaborated on two projects; Ghost Ranch: Land of Light, Photographs by David Scheinbaum and Janet Russek (Balcony Press, 1997) and Images in the Heavens, Patterns on the Earth: The I Ching (The Museum of New Mexico Press, 2005). And now his most recent publication, Hip Hop: Portraits of An Urban Hymn (Damiani Editore) will be released in November 2013. This work was featured at The National Portrait Gallery of the Smithsonian Institution, entitled Recognize: Hip-Hop and Contemporary Portraiture, and at the Norton Museum of Art. His current work focused on the Lower East Side of New York.

I attribute my renewed love and appreciation for Photography to Janet Russek and David Scheinbaum. Their educational evenings, generously given in their Gallery on the fine art of printing and the history of photography, were highlighted by the most extraordinary examples of vintage original prints by Eliot Porter, Ansel Adams, Atget, Callahan, Kertesz, among so many other great photographers. Check out the Scheinbaum and Russek Gallery on your next visit to New Mexico.

No comments: