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Unseen photographs of Bruce Springsteen - Snap Galleries

Exhibition preview

SNAP Galleries will host an exhibition of unseen Bruce Springsteen photographs by Eric Meola – from August 3 to September 4, 2010.

Entitled Darkness Visible: Photographs of Bruce Springsteen, 1975 – 1978, the images that will be on display were taken during the Darkness on the Edge of Town and Born To Run sessions.

Renowned photographer Eric Meola is best known for the photograph of Bruce Springsteen and Clarence Clemons which appeared on the cover of Bruce Springsteen’s breakthrough album, Born to Run. It is not so well known that he also worked with Springsteen a few years later creating images for the follow-up album, 1978’s Darkness on the Edge of Town.

With Darkness on the Edge of Town rumoured to be set for a deluxe re-release later this year, Meola has been going through his archives, reviewing his original photographs from that period, and, in the process, seeing many things for the first time in 30 years.

Meola recalls the Darkness period:

“Sometime in the middle of 1977, I became aware that a new album was being recorded, and I heard a few lyrics from it, including a song called Darkness on the Edge of Town. When I first heard the words, I knew that “Wendy” was gone. During that summer and into the fall, Bruce was holed up at the Navarro Hotel on Central Park South. I had been lucky with the cover shot for Born to Run. Lucky in terms of being at the right place at the right time. Yes, I had nailed it, but now there was a new album, and the sense that Bruce had to prove it again was palpable.

“When we got together to discuss ideas, I brought along three books. One was Robert Frank’s The Americans. Two others were David Plowden’s Commonplace, and also Desert and Plain, the Mountains and the River. Although I knew that Bruce would be drawn to Frank’s book, Plowden’s work is an acquired taste for most people, yet one which resonated with me at the time, and which, in retrospect, is echoed in much of Bruce’s lyrics since then.

“The very title, Commonplace, speaks to “My Hometown.” The photographs of barns, gas stations, fields, doorways, churches and interiors, in places like Red Cloud, Nebraska, are the kinds of places we pass by every day, yet seldom notice. After the grandiose, operatic Born to Run, I sensed it was time for bringing it all back home.”

This exhibition, hosted in central London by Snap Galleries, a gallery specializing in iconic rock ‘n’ roll photography, will present large format unseen photographs (some up to seven feet wide) from both the Darkness sessions, and from Meola’s 1975 Born To Run shoot.

Eric Meola opened his own studio in Manhattan in 1971. A self-taught photographer, he has won numerous awards including the 1986 “Advertising Photographer of the Year” award from the American Society of Media Photographers. His photographs are included in the National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D.C., the International Center of Photography in New York, and the George Eastman House.

In 2004, his first book of photographs, Last Places on Earth, was published. In 2006, a book of his photographs from the 1975 Born to Run sessions was published by Insight Editions, and in 2008 his photographs of India were published by Welcome Books in INDIA: In Word & Image.

Opening hours: Monday to Saturday from 11am to 6pm.

Snap Galleries Limited, 8 Piccadilly Arcade, London, SW1Y 6NH