Share this event:
Joining them will be some of Drew Carolan’s subjects to share stories and insight into the early days of hardcore punk on the Bowery in New York City and how these photographs resonate today.
Drew Carolan has enjoyed a career in the visual arts with an emphasis on music and fashion. His early fashion videos and photographs for designers Stephen Sprouse, Peter Kea and David Cameron in the 1980’s gained recognition around the world. His love of music inspired him to create memorable award winning music videos for up and coming bands like the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Living Colour, the B-52’s and Ziggy Marley. His photographs have appeared in countless books and magazines around the world.
Matinee: All Ages On The Bowery was created during the early 1980’s when New York City was embroiled in debt and crime, and as the middle class continued to evaporate, the city confronted one of the most trying periods in its history.
Paradoxically, its underground music scene was teeming with vitality like never before. Still staggering from the violent outset and eventual deterioration of punk rock, hundreds of disenfranchised kids living in the city and outlying boroughs began forming their own groups to rail against the everyday trials and prejudices of urban existence. As a result, New York City became a hub for a flourishing hardcore scene; a cultural phenomena that used punk rock as a platform for a politically charged, inherently regional catharsis.
Between 1983 and 1985, local photographer Drew Carolan began photographing the patrons of the now infamous hardcore matinees that were going on at the seminal underground music club, CBGB. During the week, Carolan was working as an assistant to legendary portrait photographer Richard Avedon, and on weekends he set up a
makeshift studio across the street from CBGB and intercepted kids on their way to the all-ages afternoon shows. The result is a collection of photographs capturing the beauty, vulnerability, and the unbridled energy of youth during the height of the Reagan years.
The Bowery at that time was a true melting pot of downtrodden adults, underage hardcore punk kids, and people living on the fringes of society. Now, more that thirty years later, all of that has disappeared and a copacetic, prosperous, and gentrified element has taken its place. While the hardcore punk scene still thrives today, these photographs capture a time and place in history that no longer exists.