BOB MARLEY. SOUL REBEL. INTIMATE PORTRAITS BY DAVID BURNETT



BOB MARLEY. SOUL REBEL. INTIMATE PORTRAITS BY DAVID BURNETT

date February 22 > April 19, 2015
place Wall Of Sound Gallery

As the celebration for Bob Marley’s 70th birthday draws closer, we are proud to present for the first time in Italy Bob Marley. Soul Rebel, an exhibition of David Burnett’s historic photographs of the reggae icon taken in Kingston, Jamaica, in 1976 and during the 1977 Exodus tour of Europe. Most images in this exhibition have remained unseen for over 30 years until they were exhibited for the first time in 2009 at the Govinda Gallery in Washington, DC, and published in the book Soul Rebel. An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley.

David Burnett is one of the most important photojoumalists of our time. His awards include “Magazine Photographer of the Year” from the “Pictures of the Year Competition”, the “World Press Photo of the Year” and the “Robert Capa Gold Medal” from the Overseas Press Club. He’s also been recently named one of the “100 Most Important People in Photography” by “American Photo” magazine. Co-founder of Contact Press Images, Burnett has photographed the American war in Vietnam, the military coup in Chile, the Iranian revolution and the return of ayatollah Khomeini, the fall of the Berlin Wall and every American Presidents from JFK to Obama.

In 1976 David Burnett is a young photographer working for “Time” magazine. When “Time” calls for a story on reggae music, he flies to Jamaica with reporter David DeVoss. After documenting various aspects of the island life and shooting such artists as Lee Scratch Perry, Burning Spear and Peter Tosh, the two head straight to Tuff Gong, Marley’s headquarters in Kingston, to meet one of the newest and most powerful icons not only of reggae music, but of the whole modern popular culture. Burnett had no idea who Marley and what reggae was. “David and I spent an afternoon talking politics and music and what life was like growing up in Kingston”, Burnett reminisces. “Marley seemed really interesting, very warm and welcoming. He seemed to be a man who at a very young age understood what life is about in ways that I even in my far advanced years didn’t feel I had that kind of wisdom. I really thought I was sitting with somebody who really had figured things out, not just another rock n roll musician. He was someone who understood that his message, the message in his music, was really one that people would listen to. When we left he said in a rather humble way: ‘My music will live forever’."

A year later Burnett is in Paris, this time on assignment from “Rolling Stone” to join the European leg of Marley’s Exodus tour. It’s a total experience: the impact of the loud music on the audiences and on Burnett is huge. Only a few images will be published by the magazine, but most of the material will remain unseen in Burnett’s archives for over 30 years until the 2009 show at Govinda Gallery and the publication of the book Soul Rebel. An Intimate Portrait of Bob Marley (Insight Editions). A remarkable testament to the legacy of a legend.

Guido Harari, Wall Of Sound Gallery

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