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Theresa Kereakes: Unguarded Moments: Backstage and Beyond

Juxtapoz // Wednesday, 03 Dec 2008

Luminary rock photographer and legend in her own right Theresa Kereakes comes to Metropolis Gallery with her touring solo exhibition, Unguarded Moments: Backstage and Beyond. This remarkable retrospective and the foremost collection of rare and exclusive photographic moments honors the boisterous heroes and anti-heroes of punk rock.

The show will be on view December 5, 2008 through January 31, 2009 with an opening reception with the artist on Friday, December 5 from 6 - 8 pm.

Unguarded Moments: Backstage And Beyond is Theresa Kereakes’ monumental collection of rare and classic images from the punk rock heyday of the late 1970s.

Her candid photos draw the audience beyond the nihilistic, yet exhilarating, essence of the era. “I believe that anyone can capture a rock ‘n’ roll photo of an artist on stage,” says Kereakes. “What makes an image special to me, both as a photographer and a viewer, is being able to see a private moment. I like to see- and by extension, to show- a well-known individual in his or her own world, surrounded by personal totems, or that same person in a non-performance situation.”

With her photos, she offers punk fans, both past and present, that coveted VIP pass for the after-show party. When the grit and gloss of the performances are wiped away backstage, the only thing left to see is the emotional truth of an unguarded moment. Theresa Kereakes' work embodies the fundamentals of an era. It rejects the mainstream rock photography, striving to set itself apart from the status quo by reveling in the bare, stripped-down essentials. Simply put, Unguarded Moments are the essence of punk rock.

Ramones & Stiv Bators

Stiv Bators doing Joan Jet's hair

Belinda Carlisle, Pleasant Gehman & Rosemarie Patronette - Punk Rock "It Girls." Pre- Go Go's days
Backstage at the Whisky a Go Go

About the Artist

The charmed life of photographer Theresa Kereakes took a fabled turn when she did the first photo shoot for a friend's new band. That band was The Germs, and the rest is history.

Working through her teens behind the ticket booth at the infamous Whisky A-Go-Go, Theresa climbed the ladder all the way to talent buyer for the club, and then later ended up in Island Records’ publishing department, working with U2, Tom Waits, John Cale and Richard Thompson for film soundtracks.

Theresa’s photographs show the fabulous world she shared with some of the most influential and legendary performers of the final quarter of the 20th Century: raw and candid images of Debbie Harry, Chrissie Hynde, Joan Jett, Billy Idol, Belinda Carlisle and The Go Go's, The Cramps, The Germs, The Sex Pistols, The Ramones, The Dead Boys, The Avengers, Iggy Pop, along with cameos by Rock legends David Bowie, Bob Dylan and Keith Richards.

Theresa’s candids have been seen in Playboy, Rolling Stone, Trouser Press and Creem. Her album credits include The Germs "Forming" 7-inch, Stiv Bators, The Children of Nuggets box set, The Dead Boys, Mary Weiss of The Shangri-Las, and The Pandoras. Theresa Kereakes later produced/supervised television programs on VH1 including “Legends and Storytellers,” as well as programs on PBS and the Food Network.

She also was the executive producer of “VH1 To One,” featuring the final George Harrison performance. Most recently, Theresa was part of the production team behind Sirius Satellite Radio's landmark “Little Steven's Underground Garage” featuring Steven Van Zandt. She has also done videography for Sting's Rainforest Foundation. Theresa's many book credits reflect the significance of her star-studded 70s and 80s Punk photos, and include the voluminous Punk Turns 30, as well as many pieces in Punk 365, Bomp Records, The Official Punk Rock Book Of Lists, the Debbie Harry biography Platinum Blonde, and Heebie Jeebies At CBGB's. A refugee of the NYC-LA bicoastal executive hustle, Theresa Kereakes currently resides in Nashville, Tennessee.


Unguarded Moments runs December 5th 2008 through January 31st, 2009.
More on Theresa Kereakes at Metropolis at

More on Theresa Kereakes at

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