Taschen Gallery’s Got The Moves Like Jagger

Driving down Beverly Boulevard in LA, it’s impossible to miss Taschen Books new gallery, its’ crisp white facade beaming in California’s signature January sun and giant neon pink block letters advertising their latest (and first!) rocking show, It’s Just a Shot Away: The Rolling Stones in Photographs. 

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Interior Taschen Gallery

The other outside wall of the space reads “David Bailey” in the same unmissable colour, so needless to say, there was no way I was missing this show.

The exhibition, mounted in conjunction with the release of Taschen’s sumo-sized new book The Rolling Stones, seemed to transport me into a world of decadence, drugs, music and soul, a delicious world where Mick Jagger‘s beautiful lips reign supreme. (Did I mention I want to move there?)

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Mick Jagger, David Bailey (1964)

Anyway, describing the powerhouse publisher’s new book, Keith Richards said “This book isn’t just rock ‘n’ roll, it’s a roller coaster through 50 years of memory lane,” and I must say the gallery show can be described in quite the same way. It really does take you on a journey through those bygone glory days of rock ‘n’ roll.

In my view, the David Bailey portraits do steal the show, although there are also fantastic works by the likes of Anton Corbijn, Gered Mankowitz, Terry Richardson, Dominique Tarlé, and Albert Watson, among others.

But speaking of the Baileys, and touching back on Mick Jagger’s utterly kissable mouth (sorry to my boyfriend but I just can’t help it), I don’t think I will ever get over ‘Mick Jagger Fur Hood’.

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Mick Jagger Fur Hood, David Bailey (1964)

Of course I had seen — let’s be honest here…stared adoringly at — the photo before, but experiencing it so big and in museum quality reminded me why I love photography. You can almost feel the fur tickling your skin, Mick’s eyes enticing you to dive in, the slightly droopy lids perhaps sharing the fact he could’ve used a few extra hours sleep. A great photo can truly draw you within it.

Another brilliant piece was Michael Joseph‘s ‘Stones into Camera, Beggars Banquet’.

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Stones into Camera, Beggars Banquet, Michael Joseph (1968)

What a historical photo this is! Seeing it in person evoked yet another one of those out-of-body moments where I could almost feel myself living in the band’s crazy world, and of course wishing I had.

I suppose the greatest thing about this exhibition was it somehow made one of the most recognizable and famous bands of all time feel totally accessible, like friends. So if you’re in LA, definitely make your way to Taschen to experience it for yourself. I went with a group of six, and as much as I hate (read love) to be this cheesy, satisfaction was definitely had by all.

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Goats Head Soup, David Bailey (1973)

– India Irving

‘It’s Just A Shot Away: The Rolling Stones in Photographs’ is on view at Taschen Gallery until 31st January 2015; 8070 Beverly Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90048; Open Daily 10AM – 7PM; Admission: FREE

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