The Hendrix Experience

Fri, Jul 20, 2012, 01:00

The ebow gallery, 1 Castle St, Christchurch, Dublin Until Aug 12 01-4789090

Photographer Gered Mankowitz chronicled the rock music scene for several decades, with notable work on The Rolling Stones and Jimi Hendrix. He was hardly into his 20s when he was asked to photograph Hendrix in 1967. “I decided that it would be more dignified and would give him greater gravitas if I only shot the portraits in black white and everyone involved at the time agreed.”

With the rash, offhand confidence of youth, Mankowitz only shot a single roll of film. But he clearly knew what he was doing, and the series of portraits is outstanding. Hendrix himself was only in his mid-20s and had made a major breakthrough on the London music scene. Just a few years later he was dead.

Mankowitz’s sympathetic studies show a man who is intensely alive. In some images Hendrix’s vulnerability comes through. While originally everything was in black white, Mankowitz has used digital technology to customise-colour some of the individual pieces.