[navigates/choose.htm]
@ The Half King
 

SOHO BLUES

As part of its ongoing commitment to showcase the fine art of photography and promote the work of photojournalists worldwide, a21 partnered with The Half King. Previously on display was SoHo Blues, a sampling of work by Allan Tannenbaum documenting New York in the 1970s.


about the photographer

Allan Tannenbaum's first real break into the photography business was a five-dollar assignment for the SoHo Weekly News, a downtown New York City weekly paper. At the time, Tannenbaum was one year shy of a personal deadline: find photo work or quit the profession. Until that day in 1973, the self-taught photographer had done freelance work in San Francisco, taught photography and filmmaking at Rutgers University in New Jersey, and schlepped around the city with a portfolio, trying (in vain) to pick up assignments from major news magazines.

While the SoHo News’ weekly $40 salary was hardly enough to live on, the paper did provide Tannenbaum with the legitimacy and training he needed. "Initially I was very shy," says Tannenbaum. "At the SoHo News I learned how to be better at telling people how to pose, at getting into places, and pushing and shoving if necessary." Tannenbaum quickly made a name for himself with his shots of New York nightlife, celebrities, and political events. He earned the respect of prominent New Yorkers and eventually landed an exclusive photo session with John Lennon and Yoko Ono, ten days before the Beatle was killed. Those photos drew worldwide attention for Tannenbaum, who, according to an early agreement with the Soho News, maintained complete copyright on all his photos.

Upon the demise of the SoHo News in 1982, Tannenbaum joined Sygma Photo News as a staff photographer and is currently working with Gamma Presse US. In the last 20 years, he has covered many international news events, including unrest in South Africa, volcanic disaster in Columbia, revolution in the Philippines, the Palestinian Intifada, the Gulf War, Rwanda’s refugee crisis, and the terror attacks on the World Trade Center. His work has appeared in many books and magazines, as well as regularly in publications such as Newsweek, Time, Life, Paris Match, and Stern. Despite the excitement and significance of his recent work, Tannenbaum still credits his decade at the Soho News as being a crucial period in his career.


about the exhibit

SoHo Blues is a selection from Allan Tannenbaum’s extensive archive and forthcoming book documenting an exciting but bygone era in New York City. In 1973 when Tannenbaum began shooting for the SoHo News, the area was nothing like the high-end shopping mecca it is today. Bounded by Houston Street on the north – which is where the acronym “SoHo” for south of Houston comes from – the neighborhood was outwardly a quiet run-down industrial section of Manhattan. But SoHo of the early 1970s was bursting with creative energy behind the cast-iron façades and would expand in terms of geography and cultural influence.

Many trends and themes are reflected in this sampling of images. In the art world, Pop gave way to Performance. In music, rock ‘n’ roll succumbed to disco, then surged back as punk. Hanging out in bars like Max’s Kansas City was different from seeing and being seen in glamorous discos like Le Jardin. Public nudity and sex were accepted, commercialized and even glorified. As certain places and trends were popular, so were certain people – many becoming pop icons like Andy Warhol and John Lennon.

The images in SoHo Blues remind us of a freer time, before AIDS, Reagan, and Yuppies shaped the cultural landscape of the 1980s. According to Tannenbaum, “it is wonderful to watch people seeing this collection for the first time. They laugh, or shake their heads in disbelief, or give a knowing smile at a lost memory triggered by an image.”

For more information on Allan Tannenbaum and to view more of his work, please go to http://www.sohoblues.com.

previously @ The Half King

ALLEGIANCE BY STEVE SIMON
ABOVE AND BELOW THE PAVEMENT BY SERGE J-F LEVY
SOHO BLUES BY ALLAN TANNENBAUM
THE FEDERATION OF BLACK COWBOYS BY TOBIN RUSSELL
AFGHANISTAN 2001 BY TEUN VOETEN
FAMILY, FRIENDS AND NEIGHBOURS BY OISTIN MAC BRIDE
THE EGYPT PROJECT BY DAVID KATZENSTEIN
MYANMAR BY JOEL RUBIN
INDIA AND THE MAHA KUMBH MELA BY MIKE TAUBER
AFGHANISTAN BY REZA DEGHATI

For further information on these exhibits, please contact exhibits@thehalfking.com.

The exhibit is part of an ongoing series sponsored by a21 in their commitment to preserve, support and guarantee the continuation of the craft and fine art of photography. For additional information, please contact a21 at: www.a21group.com