Culture Vulture: Crank It Up – “The Great Rock n’ Roll Picture Show” @ Clement Art Gallery

February 7th, 2012, 4:00 pm by Greg
Martin Benjamin: Tom -Petty 1980 and 2010

Martin Benjamin's Tom Petty, 1980 and 2010

By J Hunter
Photograph by Martin Benjamin

The Troy PD cruiser sat in the middle of Broadway, its light bar blinking with metronome-like regularity, as it blocked traffic from accessing River Street. I looked out at it from the currently-cozy confines of Clement Art Gallery and resisted the urge to shout at them, “It’s a Rock and Roll PICTURE Show, you goons! They’re not blowing out eardrums in here!” As it turned out, the cops were assisting Troy Fire Department on an entirely different matter – although their overall blockage forced some opening-nighters to drive the wrong way down a one-way street in order to escape a River St. parking lot. But hey, driving the wrong way down a one-way street? “That’s rock and roll,” as Bowtie Blotto would say‚Ķ and did say as he assessed the photographic works of Joe Putrock, Martin Benjamin and John Whipple along with the rest of people who packed the exhibit’s opening reception on Friday, January 27.

This wasn’t the first exhibition of concert photography to flash before our eyes: “Impasse & Motion” set the standard firmly in gold last June at Saratoga Arts Gallery; Putrock was part of the 10 photographers on display at Saratoga, and we saw some of the shots from that exhibition here (including my personal favorite, a blown-up contact sheet of Sara MacLachlan). Both this show and “Impasse” displayed solid examples of the art of concert photography, which I previously described as “catching lightning in a bottle while handcuffed and blindfolded.” There is, however, one BIG difference between “Impasse” and “The Great Rock n’ Roll Picture Show”: Volume.

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