‘Drifter’ – a unique exhibition of works by Lenny Kravitz
He is a man of many talents: a legendary musician for decades; and a successful actor and designer. Photography has also been a part of his creative personality for a long time. On 24 May 2019, the Leica Galerie Wetzlar will be opening ‘Drifter’, an exhibition of previously unpublished photographs by Lenny Kravitz.
Lenny Kravitz’ first experiences with photography began in his early childhood, as his parental home not only founded his future career in music, but also introduced him to his father’s Leicaflex, which he had used in his work as a photojournalist for NBC News before making a professional career as a film and TV producer: ‘I used to play with my dad's Leica camera, but had no idea how to use it. I was attracted to the camera and the design.’ Later on, another aspect of photographic art came into play. As a famous musician, he himself was always being photographed. ‘I made friends with the photographers and I would go into their darkroom or studio and watch them work. I thought it was magical.’ It was photographers Mark Seliger and Jean-Baptiste Mondino, in particular, who were to become his most important mentors. Despite being constantly in the limelight, the artist recognised quite early on that photography also represented a challenge. As his rockstar fame grew, there was virtually no place he could go without being accosted by the paparazzi, or trigger-happy fans with cameras. Freedom came with an inspired idea: to simply photograph them. With the publication of his first photo book, titled Flash, as well as numerous complementary exhibitions, Kravitz was finally acknowledged as a serious photographer in 2015.
With the 40 works shown in the exhibition titled ‘Drifter’, Kravitz now presents the second, impressive chapter revealing his passion for photography – and once again provides clear proof that he knows exactly how to use a camera. ‘I am a drifter. I am always on the road – a free spirit and open to adventure.’ He has made the world his home, ever since he left home at the age of fifteen. In his exhibition of black-and-white photographs, he invites the viewer to join him on his journey. Alongside intimate portraits and laconic snapshots, he also shows the public precisely observed street scenes and still lifes. Just like a hotel room on tour can be a place for withdrawal, Kravitz also uses his camera as a familiar tool to reflect upon himself, his travels, and the situations he experiences with a diversity of people along the way. His spontaneity, complementing a talent for capturing the special moment, gives rise to images that seem timeless; yet they also reveal a lot about the photographic artist himself and his perceptions of the world.
Lenny Kravitz was born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1964. Since he is a singer, songwriter and producer, music demands the largest portion of his creativity; yet acting, designing and photography are also important parts of his life and his diverse range of artistic interests. As a result, in 2015, he designed his first camera for Leica in memory of his father: the model was known as the “Correspondent”. Following the Flash project, Kravitz is now presenting his second large exhibition, Drifter, which will go on tour to different locations around the world, after having its premiere at the Leica Galerie in Wetzlar. www.lennykravitz.com.
Press Release - ‘Drifter’ – a unique exhibition of works by Lenny Kravitz
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Leica Camera AG is an internationally operating, premium-segment manufacturer of cameras and sport optics products. The legendary reputation of the Leica brand is founded on a long tradition of excellent quality. In combination with innovative technologies, all Leica products fulfil a common objective: better pictures, wherever perception and visualization matter. Leica Camera AG has its headquarters in Wetzlar, in the state of Hessen in Germany, and a second production site in Vila Nova de Famalicão, Portugal and operates its own worldwide network of regional organisations, Leica Retail Stores, Leica Galleries and Leica Akademies.