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This book spans fifty years of "underground / counter-cultural" photography by Charles Gatewood. American-born Charles Gatewood's career has emphasized rebelliousness against the status quo, and documentation of "underground," "underclass" and "bigger-than-life" individuals who live lives that challenge middle-class morals and value systems.
In the sixties, escaping to Sweden to avoid being drafted into the Vietnam War campaign, Charles Gatewood early on (1966) seized an opportunity to photograph Bob Dylan, taking his first iconic black-and-white portraits (which became heavily syndicated). After moving back to America (Manhattan), he developed his technical skills, photographic eye and timing by documenting celebrities such as Red Stewart, Sly Stone, Martin Luther King and others in less-than-ideal circumstances. Later he participated in the post-sixties gender wars campaigns, documenting Mardi Gras, biker rallies, nudist conventions, and other outre social gatherings in private clubs, the Folsom Street fairs, as well as worldwide. In this book, Charles Gatewood sums up his long career and offers advice to budding young photographers and social-activist artists and performers.
Perhaps the most legendary "unknown" underground photographer in America (he should be as famous as Larry Clark, Nan Goldin, Diane Arbus), Charles Gatewood has documented all kinds of counter-cultural and underground "celebrities" and movements for the past fifty years. He lives in San Francisco.
In 1977 V. Vale published "Search & Destroy" magazine, originally funded by Allen Ginsberg and Lawrence Ferlinghetti, at City Lights Bookstore. In 1980 he founded RE/Search, which published the influential "Modern Primitives" issue, plus other cultural jump-starters. He lives in San Francisco.