Laura Levine
MoMA - Looking at Music 3.0
posted: February 16, 2011
I'm very pleased to announce that my photographs are featured in Looking at Music 3.0, which opens today and runs through June 6 at the Museum of Modern Art. I am also releasing a special print edition of one of my images in the show.

Looking at Music 3.0 explores the influence of music on contemporary art practices in New York in the 1980s and 1990s.

The show includes works by Laurie Anderson, the Beastie Boys, Keith Haring, Laura Levine, Christian Marclay, Brian Eno, David Byrne, John Zorn, Steven Parrino, Kathleen Hanna and Le Tigre, Run DMC, Lee Quinones, Miranda July, Run-DMC, Kraftwerk, Sonic Youth, Tony Oursler, the Residents, Spike Jonze, Afrika Bambaataa, Spike Lee, Karen Finley, Diamanda Galas, John Kelly, et. al., as well as a related film series. The Museum of Modern Art, 11 West 53rd Street, The Yoshiko and Akio Morita Media Gallery, second floor. The exhibition is organized by Barbara London, Associate Curator, Department of Media and Performance Art.   In conjunction with the show I'll be releasing a limited edition archival pigment ink print of my 1981 portrait of Tina Weymouth & Grandmaster Flash, one of the images in the show. The photo was originally shot for the cover of the New York Rocker back in 1981.

For the run of the show, a special edition of Tina Weymouth & Grandmaster Flash, NYC, 1981 is available at a special price, starting at $95. Each archival pigment print in this limited edition is printed on Cansone Platine Fibre Rag paper, numbered, titled and hand-signed by the artist. Print purchasing info here and here.

The image is also available as a signed limited edition silver gelatin photographic print - please contact Laura Levine at for more info.
Tina Weymouth and Grandmaster Flash, NYC, 1981. Photo © Laura Levine

(Shown Actual Size)
posted: February 14, 2011

Since this seems to be Dog Day, here's a repost of a mini-series I did of a series of mini-dogs for a Blab! show a while back. This grouping of life-size paintings of real-life tiny dogs is entitled (Shown Actual Size).

Red-Winged Blackbirds
posted: January 3, 2011
Red-Winged Blackbird by Laura Levine 2006

Sad and mysterious to hear about the thousands of Red-Winged Blackbirds falling from the sky in Arkansas on New Year's Eve. They are beautiful creatures. I hope they figure out why this happened and that it never happens again.
CPW Photography Auction
posted: September 29, 2010
Sinead O'Connor, 1988, NYC - silver gelatin print, 16" x 20" © Laura Levine

The Center for Photography at Woodstock's Benefit Auction is a great cause, and always manages to attract stunning work by an array of legendary photographers. My 1988 photograph of Sinead O'Connor is humbly up for bids along with images by Berenice Abbott, Bruce Davidson,  Alfred Eisenstadt, Robert Mapplethorpe, Mary Ellen Mark, Susan Meiselas, Lisette Model, Martin Munkacsi, Arnold Newman, Ruth Orkin, Gorson Parks, Alfred Steiglitz, Josef Sudek, Joseph Vishniac, Edward Weston, Gary Winogrand,  et. al. The auction gala takes place on Sunday Oct. 10 in Bearsville, NY, but you can place bids for the photographs online. The grouping was just shown at the DUMBO Arts Festival and will be hanging at the CPW galleries in Woodstock, NY up until the 10th. More info here: Here's the full list of participating photographers: Berenice Abbott
Craig J. Barber
Joan Barker
Matthew Baum
Jesse Burke
Dan Burkholder
Debbie Fleming Caffery
Bruce Davidson
Alfredo De Stefano
Mike Disfarmer
Doug Dubois
John Dugdale
Natan Dvir
Beth Yarnelle Edwards
Alfred Eisenstaedt
Wendy Ewald
Susan E. Evans
Louis Faurer
Ben Fink
Randal Ford
Martine Fougeron
LaToya Ruby Frazier
Elijah Gowin
David Graham
Cornelia Hediger
Henry Horenstein
Eikoh Hosoe
Joe Hume
Allison Hunter
Charise Isis
Ed Kashi
Jessica M. Kaufman
Daniel Kramer
Andrea Land
Elliott Landy
Karine Laval
Saul Leiter  
Laura Levine
Eric Lindbloom
Mark Lyon
Robert Mapplethorpe
Tanya Marcuse
Mary Ellen Mark
Judith K. McMillan
Susan Meiselas
Lisette Model
Yva Momatiuk & John Eastcott
Emily Hanako Momohara
Stacy Renee Morrison
Martin Munkacsi
Arnold Newman
Simon Norfolk
Ruth Orkin
Lothar Osterburg
Bill Owens
Gordon Parks
Toni Pepe
Matthew Pillsbury
Tim Portlock
Marc Riboud
Roger Ricco
Angelika Rinnhofer
Josephine Sacabo
Horacio Salinas
Lynn Saville
Helen Sear
Christina Seely
Stephen Shore
Gerald Slota
Amy Stevens
Alfred Stieglitz
Dennis Stock
Kate Stone
Josef Sudek
Mayumi Terada  
Phillip Toledano
Roman Vishniac
Donna Wan
Edward Weston
Gary Winogrand
Ion Zupcu
My "Other" Blog
posted: September 10, 2010

When I need a break from the illustration/photography/film/painting world, I buy and sell old stuff that catches my eye. Most of you probably know about my weekend shop, Homer & Langley's Mystery Spot Antiques, in Phoenicia, NY. Well, I finally got the blog up and running, with lots of credit due to fellow Drawger Laura Tallardy. Please stop by and check out the blog:
Old mandolin.

Dean Wareham checks out the vinyl at the Mystery Spot.

1920s Speed Graphic camera.

Happy Death Metal Mystery Spot customers.

Homemade baseball game.

Free front porch show by Mercury Rev, Dean & Britta.

The back yard.

Music for Front Porches 2010
posted: July 28, 2010
Tommy Ramone and Claudia Tienan -- aka Uncle Monk -- will be visiting the Mystery Spot porch again on August 22nd.

It’s time once again for the Mystery Spot’s Annual Music for Front Porches series! (As always, FREE, and everyone’s invited.) All season long my vintage shop - Homer & Langley's Mystery Spot Antiques - is hosting FREE special musical performances by some of our favorite musicians and bands on Sunday afternoons on our front porch on Main Street in beautiful downtown Phoenicia, NY (about 2 1/2 hours from NYC).

coming this 2010 season:

Ida (Elizabeth Mitchell & Daniel Littleton) and The Naysayer - Sun. August 1 @ 1 PM
Holly Miranda – Sun. August 8 @ 1 PM Mercury Rev (Grasshopper and Jonathan) AND Dean & Britta - Sun. August 15 @ 1 PM
Uncle Monk (Tommy Ramone & Claudia Tienan) – Sun. August 22 @ 2 PM Ambrosia Parsley (Shivaree) & Chris Maxwell – coming Columbus Day Weekend!
….and more! (p.s. click on the names above to link to their websites). We also have a brand new blog: *please call the shop or check the blog just in case there are any last-minute scheduling changes.

Mystery Spot Antiques occupies seven packed-to-the-ceilings rooms in a former 1800's Main Street hotel and is home (until you buy it) to an amazing array of hand-picked vintage clothing, housewares, antiquarian art books, rusticalia, mid-century lighting and found objects. Every week we bring in fresh stacks of vintage vinyl dug out of a recently purchased estate collection of over 15,000 used records, and armfuls of killer estate-fresh vintage clothing. For nine seasons this "shrine to clutter" has been the "must-see" destination for treasure hunters, thrifters, crate diggers, tourists, musicians, curiosity seekers, fashion designers, prop stylists, and even a famous face or two. Even when the shop is not open, customers are welcome to dig through the dollar record bins and famous Yard Sale in a Box on the front porch, with an honor box/money drop at your service.
Memphis Brooks Museum of Art
posted: June 24, 2010
The photography exhibition "Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955 to the Present" which originated at the Brooklyn Museum last year, is coming to the Memphis Brooks Museum of Art for the summer. If you find yourself in Memphis this summer, check it out. Curated by photo historian Gail Buckland, and featuring approximately 175 works by 105 photographers, "Who Shot Rock & Roll" is the first major museum exhibition on rock and roll to put photographers in the foreground, acknowledging their creative and collaborative role in the history of rock music. Although I won't be attending the opening in Memphis, I saw the show in Brooklyn and it's fantastic.

The exhibition and companion book include two of my favorite portraits, of Bjork (1981) and R.E.M. (1984). The show opens to the public on Saturday, June 26 and runs through September 26. The show will then travel to six other museums through 2013, including the Akron Museum of Art, Columbia Museum of Art, Tucson Museum of Art, The Annenberg Space for Photography, and others to be announced. more of my photos can be seen here.  
Featured photographers in the exhibition include:

Amy Arbus, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Ray Avery, David Bailey, Roberta Bayley, Peter Beste, Adrian Boot, Justin Borucki, Patti Boyd, Ed Caraeff, Stephanie Chernikowski, Danny Clinch, Anton Corbijn, David Corio, Kevin Cummins, Henry Diltz, Alain Dister, George DuBose, Andy Earl, Barry Feinstein, Danny Fields, Nat Finkelstein, Glen E. Friedman, Jill Furmanovsky, David Gahr, Godlis, Lynn Goldsmith, Harry Goodwin, Julia Gorton, Jean-Paul Goude, Bob Gruen, Andreas Gursky, Ross Halfin, Hipgnosis, Dennis Hopper, Don Hunstein, Marvin Israel, Art Kane, Richard Kern, Daniel Kramer, David LaChapelle, Elliott Landy, Michael Lavine, Lisa Law, Annie Leibowitz, Jean-Pierre Leloir, Laura Levine, Ari Marcopoulos, Maripol, Jim Marshall, Elaine Mayes, Linda McCartney, Ryan McGinley, Dennis Morris, Shawn Mortensen, Terry O’Neill, Jean-Marie Perier, Charles Peterson, Ricky Powell, Michael Putland, William “Popsie” Randolph, Marcia Resnick, Ebet Roberts, Mick Rock, Ethan Russell, Jerry Schatzberg, Hannes Schmid, Stephane Sednaoui, Bob Seidemann, Mark Seliger, Stephen Shames, Lloyd Shearer, Kate Simon, Hedi Slimane, Pennie Smith, Gloria Stavers, Chris Stein, Ray Stevenson, Mayayoshi Sukita, Allan Tannenbaum, Edmund Teske, Storm Thorgerson, Ian Tilton, Philip Townsend, Albert Watson, Guy Webster, Barrie Wentzell, Alfred Wertheimer, Kevin Westenberg, Robert Whitaker, Timothy White, Ernest C. Withers, and Baron Wolman.

Featured subjects include:

The B-52s, The Beatles, Chuck Berry, Bjork, Blondie, David Bowie, Bow Wow Wow, James Brown, Johnny Cash, Nick Cave, Exene Cervenka, Eric Clapton, The Clash, Kurt Cobain, Elvis Costello, The Cramps, The Dead Boys, P. Diddy, The Doors, Bob Dylan, Marianne Faithful, Aretha Franklin, Alan Freed, Fugazi, Jerry Garcia, Bill Haley, Debbie Harry, Richard Hell, Jimi Hendrix, Buddy Holly, Michael Jackson, Mick Jagger, Jay-Z, Brian Jones, Grace Jones, Janis Joplin, Joy Division, KISS, Gladys Knight, Led Zep, John Lennon, Little Richard, LL Cool J, Madonna, The Mamas and the Papas, Marilyn Manson, Bob Marley, Paul McCartney, Freddy Mercury, Metallica, Method Man, Morrissey, Jim Morrison, New York Dolls, Notorious B.I.G., Oasis, Wilson Pickett, Pink Floyd, The Police, Iggy Pop, Elvis Presley, The Pretenders, Prince, The Prodigy, Radiohead, The Ramones, Red Hot Chili Peppers, R.E.M., Keith Richards, The Ronettes, Rolling Stones, Henry Rollins, Axl Rose, Run-DMC, Salt n Pepa, Sex Pistols, Tupac Shakur, Sid & Nancy, Patti Smith, Sonic Youth, The Specials, Buffalo Springfield, Bruce Springsteen, Sly Stone, Joe Strummer, Talking Heads, Pete Townsend, Ike & Tina Turner, U2, Velvet Underground, Bunny Wailer, The White Stripes, The Who, Amy Winehouse, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, and Frank Zappa.
Warhol: Dylan to Duchamp
posted: June 4, 2010
Keith Haring in his studio, NYC, 1983 © Laura Levine

Opening this weekend in East Hampton - I'm pleased to be included in the photo exhibition Warhol: Dylan to Duchamp, at the Eric Firestone Gallery.

The show is a major survey of photographs of Andy Warhol, his cohorts, collaborators and visitors, many from the Factory days. Represented are the Velvet Underground, Edie Sedgwick and the Factory crowd, as well as Bob Dylan, Debbie Harry, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and Keith Haring, among others.

Photographers: Bob Adelman, Cecil Beaton, Peter Beard, Bob Broder, Ronnie Cutrone, Nat Finkelstein, Carl Fischer, Michael Halsband, Dennis Hopper, Eric Kroll, Annie Leibovitz, Laura Levine, Charles Littler, Christopher Makos, Gerard Malanga, Robert Mapplethorpe, Fred W. McDarrah, Patrick McMullan, Ugo Mulas, Billy Name, Helmut Newton, Anton Perich, Kate Rudin, Francesco Scavullo, Editta Sherman, Ronn Spencer, Chris Stein, Charles Steiner, Michael Tighe, Santi Visalli.
Lou Reed and John Cale, NYC, 1989 © Laura Levine

I've got two photographs in the show:

Keith Haring in his studio, NYC, 1983 (an original vintage print). Back in 1983 I spent a couple of days with Keith, photographing him for a feature for People Magazine, of all places. I shot thirteen rolls altogether - Keith in his studio, in his apartment, drawing in the subway, even creating a large piece from beginning to end. We had a great time, and in fact he asked me to shoot some portraits of him and his boyfriend, Juan Dubose, to trade for a painting which he later made for me. (Keith is actually one of the main reasons I picked up a paintbrush for the first time and started to paint, but that's another story for another time.)

Lou Reed and John Cale, NYC, 1989. After many years of estrangement, it took Warhol's death to bring Reed and Cale back together to record Songs for Drella, a concept album in honor of/about Warhol. I was hired to shoot their portrait for the publicity session for the album's release. It took us a while to get going, but once they saw (and approved of) a Polaroid of the "flashlight under the chin" lighting effect, it was all systems go. They were so pleased, they even signed my Velvet Underground banana album after the shoot was over!

This is the debut exhibition in Firestone's new East Hampton gallery space. (They're also based in Tucson, Arizona).

Warhol: Dylan to Duchamp
June 5 - July 7, 2010
Eric Firestone Gallery
4 Newtown Lane
East Hampton, NY 11937
(631) 604-2386
  You can see more of my photographs on my website,
Mystery Spot Opens!
posted: May 27, 2010

Hey kids, it's that time of year again! This Memorial Day Weekend the Catskills' shrine to clutter - Homer & Langley's Mystery Spot Antiques - will be opening for our ninth season. We've spent the winter hibernating and hoarding all sorts of delectable vintage acorns which we've brought into the shop for your vintage delight! Hand-picked vintage clothing, thousands of records (LPs and yes, finally, we dug out the 45's!), unusual art & antiquarian books, mid-century lamps, 40's kitchenware, 50's pottery, Rusticalia, etc. As always, great prices and friendly service in our new, expanded, seven rooms-packed-to-the-ceiling Vintage Wonderland right on Phoenicia's Main Street.

We'll be open Memorial Day Weekend, Fri., May 28 - Mon., May 31, 11 AM - 5 PM.
Opening Weekend Hours:
 Friday, May 28, 11 - 5
 Saturday May 29, 11 - 5
 Sunday May 30, 11 - 5
 Monday May 31, 11 - 4

 (After that, we plan to be open every Friday through Monday (and maybe even more) from 11 AM - 4 PM all summer through Labor Day, but please contact us first if you're coming from a distance, just to make sure).

Laura Cantrell tunes up on the porch.

Mystery Spot Antiques
 72 Main Street
 Phoenicia, NY 12464
 (845) 688-7868
And yes, we'll be hosting another free Music For Front Porches concert series starting Sundays in July. This season's lineup includes Jonathan and Grasshopper (from Mercury Rev), Ida, Ambrosia Parsley & Chris Maxwell, Uncle Monk (Tommy Ramone & Claudia Tienan), Dean & Britta, and surprise guests. Exact dates to be announced soon, so stay posted!
Rodney Crowell checks out the vinyl room and hey...! What's that cool book he's holding?

Why not sign up for our Facebook page too?
The record room.

The back forty.


Everett H. Pert's lunchbox from Sedgwick High School, Sedgwick, Maine, 1921.

UK freelancers under attack
posted: April 12, 2010
My music photographer and writer colleagues over in the UK in the midst of fighting a battle with Bauer Publishing, the new owners of such respected magazines as Mojo and Q (both of which I've contributed to in the past). They've been presented a "take it or leave it" contract which basically grabs their copyrights as well as indeminifying Bauer should any legal actions result from Bauer's future use of their images.

This is horrfying contract, and a slippery slope. I feel all freelance content creators - whether photographers, writers, illustrators....whether in Europe or the US - should pay close attention to this situation and do what we can to support our sisters and brothers in this fight. Here's the press release. I've highlighted some of the parts I find especially relevant.
Bauer music magazines declare war on freelances

The following statement has been agreed by representatives of 200 freelance music journalists.
Bauer music magazines Kerrang!, MOJO and Q are in a stand-off with 200 freelance writers and photographers over the company's attempt to impose a copyright-grabbing contract. This comes just eight weeks after MOJO became the UK's best-selling music magazine in ABCs which, according to Bauer UK chief executive Paul Keenan, proved that "investing in editorial content is a winning strategy".

Bauer, a German-owned publisher which bought the music magazines and other consumer titles from Emap in December 2007, is seeking to impose new, draconian contracts on all contributors to Kerrang!, MOJO and Q. These contracts remove copyright and all financial, legal and moral rights from freelance writers and photographers while simultaneously requiring that the freelances provide Bauer with an unlimited lifetime financial indemnity in the event of legal action arising from their work. Among various other restrictive impositions, the contract further grants Bauer the right to sell stories or photos to whomever they wish without reference to the writers, photographers or the subjects of the work - and it even presses freelances to acquire licenses from their subjects for the company to use their image for its own profit as and when it wishes. In a covering letter delivered with the contracts, Bauer issues an ultimatum: after April 16, if the contributors do not sign, they will no longer be commissioned.

The three music magazines, which are heavily dependent on freelance contributions, are believed to be the first former Emap titles on which Bauer seek to impose the new contract. Stuart Williams, the managing director of Bauer's music titles, has confirmed the company's intent to roll out this policy across all the magazines Bauer purchased from Emap, which include Empire, Heat, Closer, Grazia, Max Power, MCN, Match!, FHM and Zoo.

Over 200 contributors to the three music magazines have refused to sign the new contract, which has been described by contributors as "foolish", "malicious", and "an unprovoked and pointless declaration of war on freelancers". Since contributors sent an initial letter of objection to the contract in late February, Bauer have withdrawn the rights-grab from a revised version offered to a few contributors. However, the open-ended legal liabilities remain, and it is unclear whether these improvements for a few contributors will apply for long: Williams wrote to freelances that "Bauer is committed to its stated aim to seek copyright transfer."

The company has told freelances that there will be no further amendment to the contracts and that the April 16 deadline is final. Bauer now faces losing most of its best-known music writers and photographers, including Q contributing editors Billy Bragg, Miranda Sawyer and John Harris, former Kerrang! editor Paul Brannigan, former MOJO editors Mat Snow and Paul Trynka and former features editor Jim Irvin, celebrated writers including Nick Kent, Jon Savage, Sylvie Simmons, Dave Marsh and Greil Marcus, and acclaimed photographers including Jill Furmanovsky, Kevin Westenberg, Kevin Cummins and Val Wilmer.

Westenberg speaks for many when he points out: "You'll either have to sign the contract - signing copyright away; sign and be a slave - or not work for them again. I already decided not to sign a long time ago. Never give your rights away. This is your pension and legacy."

A committee of the freelances affected has been attempting to enter into dialogue with Bauer since the first draft was issued late in February, but the company has rebuffed every overture. "Their behaviour is bizarre and counter-productive," says Iggy Pop's biographer Trynka, who was previously responsible for overseeing MOJO and Q syndication and contracts. "As contributors, we share Bauer's need for their titles to remain profitable, and are offering Bauer permission to use some material on the iPad and similar digital platforms for no extra payment."

Attempted rights grabs like Bauer's are far more than an assault on a specific group of music writers and photographers - they undermine the viability of freelance journalism as a whole. Freelances bear a significant proportion of the risk in most media businesses because, behind their commission-by-commission availability, they pay for their own equipment, office space and training. Without any of the statutory sickness, holiday, maternity and paternity pay rights of staff, the only asset their work produces is their stock-in-trade: copyright ownership, as acknowledged by UK law. Will Bauer's magazines sell more copies if they push these contracts through, so losing the services of many of their most expert, reliable and popular contributors? Will musicians and other showbusiness talent stand idly by and see their quotes and photographic likenesses commoditized and put on sale by a publishing company? In business terms, it doesn't make sense.

Contacts: Phil Sutcliffe (, Paul Trynka (, Mat Snow ( and Kevin Westenberg (