Days of Punk | Fashion


From Stages to Galleries: How Punk Rock Photography Transcends Time

From stages to galleries, the punk rock photography of Michael Grecco transcends time. Through the eye of a 35 mm camera imprinted on black and white film and on rare occasions color Michael Grecco memorialized a historic cultural revolution.

Billy Idol said, “I don’t think punk ever really dies, because punk rock attitude can never die. If your world doesn’t allow you to dream, move to one where you can.” Michael Grecco lived this punk creed and explored the darkness and light of black and white photography in capturing the spirit, emotions, thoughts, sounds and explosions of the grit and grime of the days of punk.

Billy Idol photographed by Michael Grecco.

On and Off the Stages of Punk

The right place at the right time describes the relationship between punk and Michael Grecco. Working as a freelancer selling news photos to the Associated Press, his style and youthful

exuberance caught the eyes of editors looking to cover the latest rock scene. Opportunity called on the young photographer who was anxious to embrace and experiment with black and white film beyond the stoic news photo. Punk was an excellent subject on and off the stage.

It was called new wave, it was called hard rock, and even called metal gone astray, it was not just a new incarnation of rock, it was a lifestyle. It was framed in the abandoned industrial urban neighborhoods. It was lived by a generation diving into the existentialism of self-exploration. To all involved, it was insulting to call it anything but PUNK.

Aimee Mann of Til Tuesday photographed by Michael Grecco.

An Attitude Transformed to a Lifestyle

David Byrne of the Talking Heads put it this way,” Punk was defined by an attitude rather than a musical style”. By this definition, it is easy to see how so many nuances of punk developed so

rapidly. From the UK to Michigan punk was exploding in all forms of art, Michael Grecco latched on to front row standing room only and captured punk on and off the stage.

The freedom that punk espoused was exactly what Michael Grecco was exploring at the time with his photography. While guitars were being smashed on stage and organs sledgehammered, morals challenged and society dusted off, Michael Grecco was breaking the bounds of traditional photography.

David Byrne of Talking Heads photographed by Michael Grecco.

He felt the freedom of the punk subjects breaking the accepted protocols of framing a photo. He challenged the concept of focus, using backgrounds and foregrounds interchangeably and equally to challenge the purity of light and dark. Michael Grecco broke the chains of documentary photography with black and white 35 mm film. He framed his photos with the hallowed haunts of where punk lived, off stage, and center stage.

Time After Time

Over time Michael Grecco narrated an explosive time in art. His photos brought punk to life in the newspapers and rock magazines of the day during the 1970s and 1980s during the birth of Punk. Every photo tells the stark black and white gritty, no-holds-bar story of punk.

Glenn Tilbrook of Squeeze photographed by Michael Grecco.

The iconic photography of Michael Grecco that captured the explosive light of the early days of Punk are now available in fine art prints at galleries around the world. Michael Grecco continues to curate, catalog and offer fine art prints to the generations that have and continue to embrace punk as a music, fashion, art or lifestyle. Those that sat in the hallowed bars of punk’s beginnings can experience the feeling again through of the Days of Punk Collection by Michael Grecco.