Steven Tyler soulfully playing the piano, Joe Perry busking in front of Red Square in Moscow, a vibrant young monk in Bhutan, horses galloping gracefully in sunlight and a soot-smeared girl holding up a Turkish sign in protest. All of these images compose the artistic vision of emerging photographer Zack Whitford.
Official photographer for Aerosmith and son of rhythm guitarist, Brad Whitford, 32-year old Zack Whitford had his debut exhibition at Hilton | Asmus FOTO on May 29th. Documenting photographs of people, animals and cities in their natural state, sometimes with irony and humor, and at other times he surprises us with the contrast of the experiences he shares, his photographs are a telling commentary on our times.
Upon her return from Istanbul, Maria suggested Arica take a look at a budding new photographer’s works. Upon seeing Zack’s imagery, Arica knew he was more than just a rock n’ roll stage photographer. Capturing the spirit of musicians playing on stage and behind-the-scenes, to national and international street scenes and wildlife, Hilton was inspired to curate CONTRAST.
The collection features photographs taken on the road with Aerosmith in the United States and various countries, including Russia, Turkey, Lebanon, Peru and Bhutan. One portrait of Steven Tyler, lead singer for Aerosmith, shows him surrounded by young fans taking “selfies” with their iPhones. Titled, “These Are Our Times,” the photo a commentary on the digital obsessed culture of today.
From the stage to the streets, Whitford navigates his way seamlessly into the lives of his subjects. The exhibition will feature images of Johnny Depp on stage with Aerosmith, Steven Tyler, Joe Perry, Brad Whitford, Tom Hamilton and Joey Kramer. In contrast, Whitford presents us with a man playing a guitar who is missing a hand. He presents us with the cycle of life, a little girl and an aging woman from the Quechua tribe in Peru, and Syrian children in refugee camps in the Bekaa Valley in Lebanon. He travels the back roads of America and rivers in Africa, allowing us a lens into worlds we may or may not know.
Coincidentally, the Aerosmith concert in Istanbul was cancelled due to protests for the mining disaster that killed hundreds of people. Instead of photographing Aerosmith on stage, Zack photographed the protesters in the streets of Istanbul which have become an integral part of our show.
Writer for New City, Michael Weinstein states in his review of the exhibit, “Sometimes it can be playful and sometimes mordant or sardonic, but it always defies the myths of promotional culture. Whitford makes one wish that more street photographers would invade the entertainment landscape.”
Beyond just traveling with the band, Whitford submerges himself in various cultures. While at a monastery Bhutan, a young monk wearing a vivid red robe, bounced around corner. Like many young boys, he playfully leapt down the hallway and sprung up and down the wood planked floor, showing off his impressive athleticism. With a captivating smile on his face, he jumped up, sandal-clad feet against one wall and palms outstretched on the other. Whitford beautifully captures the young monk’s playful and uninhibited spirit. He aptly titled the piece “Nonconformist.”
Hilton Asmus Foto is proud to introduce this fine young artist's works to art loving public. We are excited to continue working with Zack and share the powerful images he has and will produce.
~ Erin Benator
Hilton | Asmus Contemporary