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Janette Beckman

Rebels: From Punk to Dior

A photograph of a man in a bright blue t-shirt against a colorful wall mural

Rebels: From Punk to Dior is an installation of photography featuring the work of artist Janette Beckman that has been curated by Amanda Hajjar, Director of Exhibitions at Fotografiska New York. In collaboration with artist Cey Adams, Rebels will celebrate the launch of Beckman’s monograph of the same title, published by Drago.

The installation will spotlight 11 key photographs from her book, including portraits of cultural legends such as Andre 3000, Salt-n-Pepa, Keith Haring, Sade, and more. Iconic visual artist and NYC native, Cey Adams, will create a live “Mash Up” inside the exhibition space – a combination of Janette’s portrait of Run-DMC, layered with Adams’ paintings.

A photograph of a woman with short hair and bangs wearing a checkerboard-patterned shirt
Mod Girl, Streatham, London 1977
A photograph of the Salt-n-Pepa trio dressed in yellow and red outfits
Salt-n-Pepa, New York City 1987

Janette Beckman began her career at the dawn of punk rock in London, working for titles like The Face & Melody Maker. She shot bands from The Clash to Boy George as well as documenting the rebellious youth culture fans and emblematic moments for iconoclasts like Blondie and the Police. Relocating to New York in 1983, Beckman was immediately drawn to the burgeoning hip-hop scene where she photographed trailblazers of the movement like Salt-N-Pepa, Run DMC, Grand Master Flash, Slick Rick, and LL Cool J.

Covering four decades of photography, Rebels: From Punk to Dior and corresponding installation serve as a stunning snapshot of Beckman’s significance in the world of art, photojournalism, music, fashion, and popular culture – but most prevalently, it’s a testament of her unique ability to extract beauty from the outliers of society.

“I have always been attracted to documenting cultures and people who are passionate about doing things their own way regardless of society rules,” says the artist, Janette Beckman. “My journey has taught me there are no road maps, being an artist is just about following your passion no matter what happens.”

In addition to publishing five books, Janette Beckman’s work has been exhibited in galleries worldwide and is included in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Museum of the City of New York, and the British National Portrait Gallery. She is represented by the Fahey Klein Gallery.