Pub­lic Enemy in Hyde Park in 1987 Photo by Dav­id Corio/Getty Images

Beat Pos­it­ive at Getty Images Gal­lery, Lon­don, 1 June to 4 August 2018

Exhib­i­tion explores hip hop cul­ture between 1982–1993, from its begin­nings to the glob­al phe­nomen­on it is today

Fea­tur­ing rare pho­to­graphs from two of the first Lon­don hip hop events at The Ven­ue in 1982 and 1984’s Hip Hop Jam on the South­bank

 Getty Images Gal­lery announces Beat Pos­it­ive, a new exhib­i­tion which will bring to life the dawn of hip hop cul­ture in a series of vibrant pho­to­graphs avail­able as fine art prints.  On view from 1 June to 4 August, the exhib­i­tion will show­case icon­ic images from Brit­ish pho­to­graph­ers Janette Beck­man and Dav­id Corio along­side nev­er before seen mater­i­al from the Michael Ochs, Right On! and Red­ferns archives.

Now one of the biggest selling music­al genres glob­ally, hip hop began with a much sim­pler goal: to get people mov­ing.  On the even­ing of August 11, 1973, Clive Camp­bell, bet­ter known as DJ Kool Herc, set up two turntables in the recre­ation room at 1520 Sedgewick Ave in the Bronx in order to enter­tain the crowd gathered for his sis­ter Cindy’s birth­day party.  In a com­pletely new tech­nique he called the Merry Go-Round, Herc exten­ded short drum breaks, now known as break beats, using two cop­ies of the same records.  The crowd went wild, the party went late, and though no one at the time was aware, a new genre was born.

Lon­don­ers Janette Beck­man and Dav­id Corio first dis­covered hip hop in 1982 while on assign­ment for music magazines such as NMEMelody Maker and The Face.  Their por­traits of Run DMC, Slick Rick, Salt ‘n’ Pepa, Whodini, Grand­mas­ter Flash, LL Cool J, Queen Lati­fah and the Beast­ie Boys, along with many oth­ers, are con­sidered clas­sics of the genre.  Their work has been shown inter­na­tion­ally at museums and gal­ler­ies such as the Vic­tor­ia and Albert Museum, The Museum of the City of New York and Power­house Gal­lery.

 Stetsasonic, Brooklyn in 1988 Photo by Janette Beckman/Getty Images

Stet­sason­ic, Brook­lyn in 1988 Photo by Janette Beckman/Getty Images

Using the four main ele­ments of hip-hop – turn­tab­lism, MC’ing, graf­fiti writ­ing and break dan­cing – as a jump­ing off point, Getty Images Gal­lery cur­at­or Shawn Waldron worked with the two pho­to­graph­ers to cre­ate a unique offer­ing of lim­ited edi­tion prints.  The show also fea­tures nev­er-before-seen his­tor­ic pho­to­graphs sourced from Getty Images’ extens­ive archive, includ­ing images of a young LL Cool J, a trip­tych of The Fat Boys film­ing their ‘Jail House Rap’ video and the 1984 Hip Hop Jam at London’s South­bank, taken from the Michael Ochs, Right On! and Red­ferns archives respect­ively.

Shawn Waldron, Cur­at­or, Getty Images Gal­lery said: “The oppor­tun­ity to work with Janette Beck­man and Dav­id Corio is a dream come true.  Their authen­t­ic por­traits, includ­ing scenes from the earli­est hip hop related events in the UK, are a time cap­sule to the genre’s golden age.  Com­ple­ment­ing the por­traits, Beat Pos­it­ive also fea­tures a selec­tion of archiv­al pho­to­graphs from the era newly dis­covered in the Getty Image Archives and offered exclus­ively through the Gal­lery through­out the exhib­i­tion.  For music fans and hip hop heads, it is not to be missed.”

Images from the exhib­i­tion are avail­able for pur­chase as prints, start­ing at £75, with glob­al deliv­ery options. The Getty Images Gal­lery will also be pro­du­cing a 1980s style fan­zine also called Beat Pos­it­ive that will be avail­able for pur­chase exclus­ively through the Gal­lery.

All prints are avail­able to pur­chase online  http://www.gettyimagesgallery.com

  Beat Pos­it­ive is on now until 4 August At Getty Images Gal­lery. 

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.