"This shot was from my first ‘official’ photo shoot with the Beastie Boys.
We went out by the schoolyard on Charles Street and Greenwich Avenue.
That was kind of a focal meeting place for everybody who grew up in the Village.
We thought, whatever, we’ll shoot at the yard. Rick Rubin was there.
Cey Adams was there. So we just did shots off the cuff.
At that point I was shooting pictures for about a year. I got transfigurationed
from Joe Schmuck into The Rickster - Downtown Club Photographer.
This was just as I was discovering what my whole steez was with photography.
It’s this. It’s easy, breezy. Natural. Relaxed. I just see what I like and I push the
button. I think my personality chemically worked with them. I had them laughing
all the time. We made an image together that’s dope. That’s the way I like
to look at it. That’s it. It was good times.” - Ricky Powell
Born and raised in New York City, Ricky Powell is a legendary photographer who specializes in the environmental portrait. He graduated with an AA in Liberal Arts from LaGuardia Community College and a B.S. in Physical Education from Hunter College. Though Powell initially rose to fame because of his relationship with the Beastie Boys, he is well-known for his intimate photographs that have been featured in The New York Times, The New York Post, The Daily News, The Village Voice, TIME, Newsweek, VIBE, The Source, Rolling Stone, and more.
Born in 1961, Powell’s photographs focus on the organic New Yorker. His photographs simultaneously convey intimacy and detachment, as they provide a unique lens through which the viewer can analyze the mundane. Powell considers the relationship between the photographer and the photograph to be “a chemical connection of some sort”. The connection between Powell and his camera is only further stimulated by Greenwich Village, where he currently resides. As the intrinsic qualities of the photograph have changed since Powell began capturing his moments, so have the subjects; he is now more likely to “photograph strangers in his Greenwich Village neighborhood than multi-platinum hip-hop acts and Downtown art stars.”
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