Where: 59 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 – 0161 832 3435 map
When: 4 February – 5 March 2011
The Mason’s Yard Sessions 1967 – Remastered
Photographs by Gered Mankowitz
An exhibition of exclusive prints of Jimi Hendrix by prolific photographer Gered Mankowitz is to run at Manchester’s Richard Goodall Gallery from 4th February 2011.
Gered’s photos were taken at a pivotal point in Jimi Hendrix’s short career. These iconic portraits capture the mystery and otherworldliness defining his public image, just as Gered’s 1965-67 portraits of the Rolling Stones defined them as the antithesis of the Beatles. This Hendrix exhibition gives a clear insight into the real Jimi relaxing upbeat, smiling and happy.
“Jimi was so positive and excited about what was happening to him. He was easy to work with and a pleasure to be around. Jimi was very shy and retiring, humble and modest. Not starry or assertive and that pretty well remained the case during the time that I knew him. There was a complete contrast between the man on stage and the man in person.” – Gered Mankowitz
The shots were taken at Gered’s Mason’s Yard studio in 1967. Mason’s Yard is a real piece of hidden London tucked away behind Fortnum & Mason on Jermyn Street between Duke Street St. James and Duke of York Street. Its colorful history goes back to the Great Fire of London of 1666. A couple of centuries later it became the epicentre of Swinging London.
The infamous 60s rock star hang out the Scotch of St James was two doors away from Gered’s studio. The Indica Gallery, the avant-garde art gallery and bookshop run by Barry Miles and John Dunbar was a few doors along on the other side and was where Yoko Ono had her first UK show and met John Lennon.
Gered comments: “Jimi Hendrix played The Scotch the first night he was in London when he sat in with the house band. Most evenings the Yard would be crammed with rock stars’ cars – Astons, Jags and at least one Facel Vega belonging to Ringo Starr for whom it was a major hang out. It was a happening place but not the only groovy discotheque in the area because a few doors along Jermyn Street was the Crazy Elephant – a wild basement club that was very popular with a lot of models and actresses.
Gered is fantastically eloquent on Hendrix, the Swinging 60s and beyond yet has been a rarely tapped into source. Unlike many, he’s got clear memories of that time too! “In November 1966 Jimi played several press/ music industry showcase gigs at a little club called the Bag O’ Nails in Kingly Street, Soho, and I went to see, hear, and meet him. He was wearing a purple velvet coat and a frilly shirt which he’d just bought when Brian Jones took him shopping in Granny Takes A Trip. Jimi blew us all away. It was obvious he was a great talent.”
One of the new pieces in this Hendrix show will be a 6ft x 4ft Lenticular print where the image appears to move. These impressive prints are made by placing an “interlaced” image, (digitally cut and reassembled in vertical strips), behind a sheet of plastic with a series of parallel lenses or lenticules embossed into one surface. When the lens is aligned with the image, the viewer sees only one frame at a time. As the viewing angle changes, each of the images are seen in the planned sequence, creating the illusion of movement, depth and animation.
“I have always been intrigued by Lenticular printing and saw my first example in New York’s Times Square in 1965 when I was touring with the Stones – it was a “saucy” postcard of a women revealing her breast as you tilted the card and changed the viewing angle. The Stones went on to use the same technique for the cover to their Satanic Majesties album.”
Gallery owner Richard Goodall comments: “This is Gered’s 3rd solo exhibition at the Gallery in a relationship than spans ten years. The shots, originally taken in black and white as was fashionable at the time, have been creatively remastered to create exciting new works. We’re really looking forward to welcoming Gered back to Manchester.”
The prints will be for sale as will be the exclusive book of the sessions, called ‘The Experience’.