Syd Barrett tuning his guitar in London, 1969 by Mick Rock
David Bowie, 1972 by Mick Rock
Lou Reed and Mick Rock in the mirror, London, 1974 by Mick Rock
“People often ask me how I got all these images,” says photographer Mick Rock, who is known for his intimate images of ‘70s rock and roll legends like Lou Reed, Debbie Harry, and David Bowie. “And I tell them, it was because I was the only one there. If I hadn’t taken these pictures, they wouldn’t exist.” But, while Rock argues that his career rests on a stroke of luck, his rare, intimate photographs speak for themselves about his talent. A new exhibition—“Exposed” at the Sumo gallery in New York, which runs through October 19th—highlights his decades-old work (Andy Warhol rubbing shoulders with Bowie, a young Madonna sticking out her tongue) as well as his more recent shots (portraits of Janelle Monae, Lady Gaga, and Pharrell Williams). Scattered amongst the musicians, one finds evidence of Rock’s other projects: off-the-cuff shoots with Kate Moss, goofy images of his old cat Spike, and his latest experiments with digital collage. The real star subject though, is the un-pictured photographer, whose deft eye is present throughout.