(October '94)

"The Downtown New York City Arts magazine"

exhibit review:

It's called "Fuck You Heroes" and it's twenty years of Glen Friedman's photos documenting subjects that invoke a big "FUCK YOU!" to mainstream values: skating, hardcore, and rap. Tony Alva skates a pool. Henry Rollins fronts Black Flag before his extensive needlework, and the Beastie Boys look like they're about 15 and high on Lysol. Many of the photos are immediately recognizable as album covers or posters. Perhaps the best of these better known photos is the cover for "Yo! Bum Rush the Show". Depicting the members gathered around a turntable with their hands reaching toward the center and a small overhead light source that creates a sense of chariscuro that even Rembrant would get off on. Another shot features the Bad Brains' H.R. back in 1981 at CBGB's. He looks possessed and his dreds are merely the size of a baby octopus' tentacles. It makes me wish I'd been there . . . .

Accompanying each photo is an information card explaining the circumstances in which the photo was taken or somthing about the subject, a quote from a song if they're a musician. In most cases the photo and quote match up pertfectly. There's a humble feeling about these pictures, as if Friedman's saying to his audience "Hey check out these pictures I took at the Fugazi show last week, they're pretty cool!" And they are cool, because he doesn't seperate himself from his audience. It ain't like "Yeah I was chillin wit my boys P.E. and I took a couple pictures and here they are, but it's no big deal cause that shit happens all the time." There's a refreshingly human quality involved, especially when the front of his shoe is caught in the frame.

The opening, which also celebrated the unveiling of Friedman's book of the same title, was a social event. There were alot of big "Low-Profile" folks like Ian Mackaye, Russell Simmons with his cellular strapped to his head, and I heard Rollins was there. It was enjoyable . . . . "