Hotter Than July
The Bruce W. Talamon R&B Photographs
Bruno Mars on Bruce Talamon
Bruno Mars on Bruce Talamon
Named after Stevie Wonder’s 19th studio album - a key role player in civil rights legislation, pivotal moments from the culture shifting television series Soul Train, and groundbreaking concerts including Watts Stax Festival. Bruce Talamon’s work provides a meaningful counterpoint to the voyeurism of those who have marginalized black culture as his photographs share an insider’s view. From the smoke-filled clubs on the Crenshaw Strip in South Los Angeles, to the largest arenas around the world, Talamon was there, recording the frenzy and beauty of the music.
“This is a project about Soul, R&B, and Funk music as seen through the lends of a young African American photographer at the start of his career. It is a ten-year study, a visual record. Evidence. I consider myself a visual documentarian, a keeper of black folks’ culture and, our music. I’ve always had this sensibility about documenting and storytelling, and when I figured out the power of a camera and its gift, a whole world opened up,” said Talamon.
Bruce W. Talamon (b. July 31, 1949) is a photographer who grew up in the South Central neighborhood of Los Angeles, California. His photographs catalog the journeys that have taken him around the world. In 1971 while on foreign study, he bought an Asahi Pentax camera. It changed his life.
From 1972 – 1982, he photographed the music scene in Los Angeles, Chicago, New York, Europe, Egypt, Japan and South America documenting Soul, R&B, Funk and Jazz. In the eighties, he was a contract photographer for Time magazine. Bruce likes to say that for the last fifty years, he has had adventures…
He has shot music, worked in the motion picture industry as a Stills Photographer, shooting action photography, movie posters and publicity campaigns for feature films. In 1994, W.W. Norton (NYC) published Bob Marley: Spirit Dancer, a collection of photographs from his travels with Bob Marley.
In 2018, TASCHEN Books published BRUCE W. TALAMON SOUL R&B FUNK PHOTOGRAPHS 1972 – 1982, a collection of his music photography. His work has been collected and exhibited in museums nationwide, including the Brooklyn Museum, the Recording Academy Grammy Museum, Duke University, the Corcoran gallery at George Washington University, the Hammer Museum and the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles.
In 2019, the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery selected his portrait of Earth, Wind & Fire to represent one of six inductees for its “Portrait of a Nation” Celebration. His most recent adventure was shooting Stills and creating the poster and publicity photographs for the 2020 Universal Picture film NEWS OF THE WORLD, directed by Paul Greengrass and starring Tom Hanks.
He is currently working on two additional book projects for TASCHEN.
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