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Contacts: Laurie Steelink 310.264.4678

The Beautiful & The Damned:
Punk Photographs by Ann Summa

Curated by Kristine McKenna


Opening reception September 11, 6:00 - 9:00 P.M.

Book signing with artist Ann Summa and Exene Cervenka at 7 P.M.
Live acoustic performance by Exene Cervenka at 8:15 P.M.


Links to the Los Angeles Times:
Finding beauty in the punk movement &
Beauty and the beasts: On the edge on two coasts

When photographer Ann Summa arrived in Los Angeles in 1978, the city’s punk scene was still fresh and utterly original. It was fertile territory for a young photographer, and Summa dove into the fray; The Beautiful & the Damned is a collection of her portraits of the musicians, artists and fans who made Los Angeles such a crucial part of the history of punk. Drawn from Summa's new book, The Beautiful & the Damned, recently published by Foggy Notion Books and Smart Art Press, the exhibition will feature a selection of images from the book, along with alternate shots and outtakes. Including sixty images taken between 1978 and 1984, the show focuses for the most part on L.A.’s first punk generation, and includes portraits of the Germs, the Screamers, X, the Cramps and the Gun Club, among many others. The show expands its scope from there to highlight the cross- pollination that took place between L.A.’s punk scene and the fine art community: at the time, the audience for avant-garde artists such as the Kipper Kids, Johanna Went and Laurie Anderson was primarily drawn from the underground music scene.

Completing the story are photographs of musicians from the two other cities—London and New York—that played a central role in the birthing of punk. Photographed in L.A. during their first U.S. tours are U.K. groups the Clash, Magazine, the Fall, the Slits, Bow Wow Wow and the Pretenders, among others. Visiting dignitaries from New York include Television, James Chance, Lydia Lunch and Talking Heads. Also included are portraits of artists who served as an inspiration to L.A. punks—Captain Beefheart, Iggy Pop and David Bowie, among others— and candid shots of unidentified audience members. The photographs are, for the most part, previously un-exhibited silver gelatin prints, many of them vintage photographs printed by the artist.

Ann Summa studied photography in Japan. Her work has been regularly published for the past 30 years in publications including Artnews, Rolling Stone, the New York TImes, and The Los Angeles Times. Summa is currently at work on her second book, Sacred Faces, which is slated for publication in 2011.