S potify Wrapped or Apple Music: Whichever platform you use, there’s no denying that, come December, social media feeds are flooded with users sharing their favorite music. Or, perhaps the intimate experience of showing off your vinyl or CD collection to visitors is your preferred method of aural conveyance. Whatever the choice, browse a curated photographic selection of the world’s most celebrated musicians.
A moody pop of color illuminates Jarvis Cocker, frontman of Pulp and a figurehead of the Britpop genre that dominated the 1990s. Pulp’s disco-influenced pop-rock is captured in Andrew Cotterill’s retro-inspired photograph of Pulp’s founder.
A dramatic blue-black portrait of Nina Simone captures the power and beauty of the musician and civil rights activist. During the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Simone released songs such as “Mississippi Goddam” and “Four Women,” both of which addressed racial injustices and sexism. A musical storyteller, Nina Simone takes on an ethereal quality in this portrait by Russell Young.
David Bowie as Ziggy Stardust is one of the most iconic performances of the 20th century, with Bowie’s larger-than-life on-stage persona represented in Russell Young’s oversize 62 x 48 inch portrait of the musician. The glam rock era of the 1970s catapulted Bowie—and with him, Ziggy—to stardom. Though notorious for his theatrical on-stage antics, Bowie is captured in this screen print in a moment of elation mid-set.
The lead singer and frontman of Nirvana, Kurt Cobain was known for his angst-fueled songwriting and anti-establishment persona. Though he suffered an untimely death at age 27, Cobain’s legacy has left an indelible mark on society, effectively dragging the underground into the mainstream. Karen Mason Blair’s 1991 photograph of Kurt Cobain echoes the grunge ethos of Nirvana and offers a glimpse into the band’s early days.
Kendrick Lamar, shown here in an intimate portrait by Russell Young, is known for his progressive musical styles and socially conscious songwriting. He is often considered one of the most influential hip hop artists of his generation. Embellished with diamond dust, this black-and-white portrait of Lamar is a strikingly oversized addition to any contemporary music fan’s collection.
From disco pop-rock, grunge and glam rock to contemporary hip hop, these portraits capture the individual ethos and style of five iconic musicians. Tastemakers of their generation and beyond, these musicians are renowned for their groundbreaking performances which continue to shape the music industry today.