Harold Chapman - Peter Orlovsky and Allen Ginsberg, Saint Germain des Pres,Paris 1957
OMC Gallery for Contemporary Arts presents from March 24 to April 21, 2012
‘The Beat Hotel and Other Images Made for the Future’ by Harold Chapman.
Selected Vintage and Period Photographs from 1947 - 2012.
This exclusive exhibition takes us to 9, Rue Gît-le-Cœur and a place nick-named the Beat Hotel. 55 years ago this run-down, 42 room residence in Paris’ Latin Quarter is famed for housing some of the most important writers, poets and artists of the Beat Generation during the mid-20th century.
A guest himself and meticulously documenting the scene, the life and times of his fellow residents, among them William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg, Harold Norse, Gregory Corso and Sinclair Beiles, was the much celebrated photographer Harold Chapman. Today recognized as “one of the best photographers of his generation”, Chapman managed to preserve with his images a detailed account of the day -to-day lives of some of today’s most respected minds. It was in that run-down place, as he described it, in front of Chapman’s camera, William S. Burroughs completed his famous Naked Lunch text, and here that Burroughs began what was to be a lifetime collaboration with artist Brion Gysin. It was at the Beat Hotel that Gysin first conceived the so called Dream Machine. It was here where Patrick Shelley introduced Chapman to Allen Ginsberg and his boyfriend Peter Orlovsky and the famous pictures of Ginsberg and Orlovsky are from this first visit to the hotel in December 1957.
Today a four star hotel, the site of this enormous creativity is marked merely by a plaque, dedicated to the most noted occupants. Through Chapman’s work however, the pioneering spirit of originality and artistic accomplishment lives on and can be revisited at OMC Gallery.
Harold Chapman continues working as a Photographer, taking photos and living up to his credo manifested in a pointed statement during an interview : "...there is no need for the contrived shot. Pictures are everywhere. So why set up a photograph when the natural one is infinitely better?" He added: "I am photographing for the future, not for the present... All I aim for is to record the trivial things that ordinary people use and consider unimportant."
OMC Gallery will present exclusively a selection of different work periods, from the last 65 years. Most of these images are presented for the first time in the United States.
A part of the exhibition will be shown at The Beat Museum in San Francisco JUN 1 - SEPT 30.