Raj Prem - Elated to Fill In For Peter Webb and Unseen Photos for SFAE
Raj Prem, the career curator and collector of photography exhibitions showcasing rock legends from the ‘60s and ‘70s, is honored to represent Peter Webb and many unseen “Sticky Fingers” Photos at SFAE. The photos were found 40 years after being lost in the loft of Peter Webb's brother-in-law, and they have appeared in recent issues of Rolling Stone and Wall Street Journal. They were first showcased by Prem in the SFAE “Decca Years” exhibition seven years ago, which he co-produced.
The San Francisco Art Exchange, commonly known as SFAE, was the first gallery in the world to show music photography genre, and is probably the most successful outlet for celebrity photography. To date, Raj Prem and SFAE have curated over 40 exhibitions in over 18 years, working with photographers including Robert Freeman (“Beatles for Sale” exhibition in 2013), Iain MacMillan (best-selling Abbey Road Collection), Terry O'Neill, and Pattie Boyd. While collaborating with SFAE’s directors and owners Theron Kabrich and Jim Hartley, who in Prem’s opinion is the “eminence grise” of SFAE and the unsung genius of the business, Raj Prem has become the glue holding the defining photographs of the ‘60s- ‘70s era together. “Sticky Fingers: The Lost Session - Photographs by Peter Webb” is an inspiring exhibition that contains the entire surviving archive of Peter Webb’s 1971 photo session with The Rolling Stones for the “Sticky Fingers” album. Over two-thirds of the photos have never been seen by the public, which makes the exhibition a big hit among Stones fans and art lovers. In the wake of the Stones ' Sticky Fingers' US tour this year, a fuller exhibition at SFAE is being discussed, where Webb’s archive is currently on display as a permanent fixture.
“When something’s gone it’s just gone, you know. But we’re not talking missing for a year or two, we’re talking 38 years. After they’d been found I walked around with this huge smile on my face for days,” Webb told Snap Galleries. According to Webb, photographing The Stones “as they were” at that precise moment in time, free from any overriding “concept” was the best idea he had (source: http://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/art/features/not-fade-away-rolling-stones-photos-found-after-40-years-2311923.html).
The exhibition portrays a coherent collection of group and solo portraits in both black and white and color, shot against the purpose-built backdrop constructed by Webb at his North London Studio. One example includes “Stones Rollin',” which was a pre-cursor to Peter Webb's famous 'Falling Stones' image. The image was voted as one of the top 100 Rock and Roll photographs of all time by Q Magazine and will grace the front cover of the book with the same name — a limited edition volume that consists of the same photographs shown in the exhibition. Another example is “The Big Yawn,” a photo in which Mick’s huge mouth is gaping open, while Bill Wyman scratches his nose. Thanks to Prem, SFAE is an exclusive outlet for Peter Webb's work in the US.
Raj Prem started out as a music journalist, and his passion for photography of the ‘60s and ‘70s rock star celebrities had led him to curating these pictures and representing the talented photographers behind them. After a conversation with Heron Kabrich, owner of SFAE, in 1996 Prem has started to track down and exhibit some of the most epochal pictures in the rock history. This has later inspired him to unearth as many images of iconic bands such as the Rolling Stones and The Beatles as he could find. As a result, he has actively searched for many of the top photographers of that era, from Robert Freeman to Michael Joseph, Jerry Schatzberg, Peter Webb, and Dominique Tarlê. In nearly two decades, Prem has staged almost 100 exhibitions of his photography collection in many countries. More than 40 of those exhibitions have been held at SFAE, but he also curates collections at the Snap Gallery, Zebra One Gallery, Atlas Gallery, and Lou Proud Galleries. His exhibitions focus on the period of 1963 – 1972, which reflects his love for rock music and helps preserve in history the time when rock was at the forefront of counter culture.
Raj Prem - Curator of Rare Photography: http://rajpremcurator.com
Raj Prem - On Loyalty, Galleries, Photographers - YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JZB_v-Jm62Q
Raj Prem - Fine Art Photography: http://rajpremfineartphotography.com