Photo © Johanna Fiore Gordon Parks prepares to capture history.
25 years ago, on September 29, 1998, Gordon Parks captured history by photographing almost 200 rap artists for the cover of XXL magazine — the largest gathering of musicians in a single image in history — recreating Art Kane’s 1958 Jazz shoot for Esquire. It was a powerful moment watching the sun trying to shut down the photoshoot as Gordon was waiting to press the shutter-release button to capture history.
Art Kane’s ‘Harlem 1958’ aka ‘A Great Day In Harlem’. The historic photograph that started it all. Photographed for Esquire Magazine’s January 1959 issue, ‘Harlem 1958’ is acknowledged as the most famous image in Jazz. My father Art Kane was an art director at the time, looking to transition his career to photography. He pitched his idea for a huge Jazz group portrait on location in Harlem, and Esquire said yes. The photograph, and his other conceptual portraits of Louis Armstrong, Duke Ellington and Lester Young created a sensation. Art Kane went on to become a major and influential photographer, creating groundbreaking images in jazz, rock, fashion and editorial photo-illustration. - Jonathan Kane
Photograph by Art Kane - Courtesy © Art Kane Archive - artkane.com
A Great Night In Hip-Hop
Wrap-around cover of “Hip-Hop’s Greatest Day” photo journal. Only 125 copies produced for Fotografiska NY