On a daily basis, we’re flooded with images of music performers: pictures of the bands we love (and hate) in an endless barrage of live photos on both professional and amateur blogs, Instagrams and Facebook posts from friends of their grainy, iPhone-filtered concerts shots, and countless magazine spreads. Honestly though, how many images of someone wailing into a mic or ripping through a guitar riff actually have an effect on you anymore?
While it seems increasingly harder to encounter unique shots of your favorite band’s stage performance, Somerville’s Nave Gallery is opening their newest exhibit, “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man,” an intimate portrayal and alternative perspective on a musician’s life on the road.
“The image of a booze-ridden musician hell bent on getting laid is tired, irresponsible, and not representative of how the field of music really works as a whole,” says co-curator Jenn Harrington. “But there’s a world of intimacy we do not see that can only be caught by those who are in its confidence. The photographs in ‘I’ve Been Everywhere, Man’ are strong, tells a story, and garners some sort of reflection on a musician’s experiences off stage.”
Harrington originally came up with the idea for the rock and roll centered show after becoming fed up with the unrealistic view most people had of people following a music career, and seeing, first hand, the rather unglamorous and strenuous path most of her musician friends were really encountering.
“I’d been following a number of musicians who were really starting to get their boots worn,” says Harrington. “Anyone with a little empathy can see when someone’s got it rough and quite a few did. And the more I looked, it wasn’t musicians who were failing, it was collectors who’ve grown to expect music for free. It seemed like it could be a good thing to give a different perspective of a musician’s life—to show how they spend their time while touring when they’re not under stage lights, to emphasize the human side.”
The show will run from November 6-22 and will include works from over 20 artists including Peaches Goodrich of Boston’s own The Faggettes, Charles Daniels and Kelly Burgess. The Gallery will also host a special event on November 12, called “On the Road: Stories”, which will be a panel of musicians that will tell the touring tale.
“We hope that visitors agree that the collection says something new about how we generally envision those that follow a career in music,” says Harrington. “And most importantly, we hope that the exhibit and special event extend some gravity to this trade.”
For more information on “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man”, which opens next Thursday, November 6, check out the Nave Gallery website.