Instrumenthead: "Portraiture" Music Photography Exhibit Debuts During JazzFest
Surrealist Portrait Photographer Michael Weintrob's InstrumentHead Photo Series
Takes An Unconventional Look At 75 Iconic Faces In Music
Limited-Edition Fine Art Prints Available Exclusively During New Orleans Jazzfest;
Gallery Opens April 25th Off Frenchmen Street
NEW ORLEANS, LA -- With an eye as finely tuned as a musician's ear, New York-based photographer Michael Weintrob announces the New Orleans debut of his signature InstrumentHead portraiture series. Presented by Jakprints, the walkable photography exhibit debuts Thursday, April 25 at 2121 Chartres Street, just off Frenchmen Street, on the eve of the 2013 Jazz & Heritage Festival. This will be the first time the limited-edition fine art Giclée prints have ever been available for sale to the public.
InstrumentHead is a surrealist collection of musician portraits that captures the essence of each artist without ever showing their face. Instead, entertainers such as Bootsy Collins, Mickey Hart, Big Chief Monk Boudreaux and the late Uncle Lionel Batiste pose with their instruments in front of their heads, allowing Weintrob to create an intimate expression of each subject's artistic identity within the frame of a single, iconic image. "When I look at these photos, I can hear them playing," Weintrob explained. "This will be an exhibition like nothing I have even been a part of before."
More than 250 artists worldwide have participated in the project since Weintrob began shooting portraits in 2006. The concept evolved by chance when, during a typical portrait photo shoot, he suggested artists put their guitars down their shirts just to spice things up a bit and get creative. The idea had such a positive response with his subjects, that the series took on a life of its own. "The first thing I tell the artist is that I'd like to tell their story through the photo, and include what makes them special as a musician. I also ask, ‘How are your fans going to know that it's you without seeing your face?' So people show up with all the stuff that distinguishes them, and together we figure out how to incorporate it all into the portrait."
Weintrob's eclectic collection ranges from mainstream to cult musicians, contemporary and world, has been featured on NPR's The Checkout, Popular Photography and Luxxe Immo Fine Art Magazine, and shown at the Gathering of the Vibes Music Festival in 2010 and 2011, Mountain Jam Music Festival in 2010, and abroad at the Barcelona Voll-Damm International Jazz Festival in 2011 with the support of the United States Consulate.
His New Orleans InstrumentHead exhibit will host two celebratory gala events starting at 7pm on the eve of both Jazzfest weekends, Thursday, April 25 and Wednesday May 1, with live music and special guests that will bring the gallery to life. Located just a few steps away from Frenchmen Street and open to the public from April 25 to May 5, 2121 Chartres Street will morph into a walking spectacle of art-paneled walls covered in the signature 36 by 48-inch limited edition fine art Giclée prints, with an on-site photo studio for Weintrob to capture even more musical moments throughout the 10-day festivities.
Weintrob will donate 20 percent of the InstrumentHead proceeds to two local charities dear to his heart: the Tipitina's Foundation, a local nonprofit supporting Louisiana and New Orleans' irreplaceable music community and culture through childhood music education, the professional development of adult musicians, and the increased profile and viability of Louisiana music as a cultural, educational, and economic resource; and the New Orleans Musicians Assistance Foundation, working to sustain New Orleans musicians and tradition bearers in body, mind and spirit by providing access to health and social services through the New Orleans Musicians' Clinic, regardless of musicians' ability to pay, and by fostering cultural opportunities that advocate for and support this effort.
Shooting artist portraits and live event photography professionally since 1998, Weintrob's photos have appeared in the pages of Rolling Stone, Spin, Mojo, Billboard, Relix, Downbeat, Jazz Times and more. However, he says that InstrumentHead has had the most dramatic impact on his life and career thus far. "For a long time, I was known as just a live music photographer, and I think InstrumentHead has allowed me to re-invent myself as a portrait photographer," Weintrob said. "Through all of this I have really found my voice as an artist."
"Music is my life, music is my subject. I'm surrounded by musicians and I feed off of their creative energy. Even when I'm clicking the button of the camera, it's like I can anticipate the notes and feel how they're going to express themselves on stage," he added. "If it wasn't for music, I wouldn't be a photographer."
Click here to watch video of InstrumentHead in the making.
For more information about Michael Weintrob and an extended look at images from the InstrumentHead gallery, visit www.michaelweintrob.com/InstrumentHead.
Sharing in a mutual love for music, art and creativity, Jakprints, Inc. is an artist driven, full-service printing company specializing in full color offset printing, apparel printing, large format prints and sticker production. By investing in state of the art equipment, ecologically sustainable practices and an unfaltering commitment to customer service, Jakprints serves more than 90,000 customers worldwide -- from musicians, artists and designers to corporations or individuals -- with a wide range of projects customized to bring the best attention to any brand, company or event. For more information, visit www.jakprints.com.