This month, electronic/hip-hop/house superstar producer/artist, Moby, released his ninth album, Destroyed, as well as an extensive book of photography that takes readers behind the scenes of his international tour. The book, published by Damiani/D.A.P, features 128 pages of text and five dozen photographs taken by the artist.
Recently, Moby hosted a VIP preview to launch his latest project at Manhattan’s Clic Gallery. The Destroyed exhibit, on display through June 26, introduces visitors to an intimate, behind-the-scenes visual experience of before, during, and after photography from Moby’s tour stops. Through his œuvres, Moby presents a juxtaposition of crowded venues, enthusiastic fans, and busy spaces, with empty and mundane hotel rooms, airports, and backstage waiting areas, to communicate the bizarrely bewildering aspect of touring that is not often exposed. “That’s what touring is. I’m almost not even trying to show the reality of touring, but document the strangeness of the world I live in and get other people’s reactions,” explained Moby during his Clic vernissage.
Moby (born Richard Melville Hall), a Grammy-nominated, 20 million record-selling electronic musician, outspoken vegan, and downtown intellectual, isn’t necessarily widely recognized for his photography. But perhaps that is soon to change.
Moby is no stranger to taking pictures, he’s been making them since he discovered his talents as a musician: “I’ve been a photographer since I was ten years old. My uncle had worked at the New York Times and he started giving me these cameras—sort of on permanent loan…As time progressed, I became more of a musician and less of a photographer…On the last tour, I gave myself this project, which was to write music and take pictures–while on tour.”
On show at Clic Gallery is a selection of prints from Destroyed that have been enlarged, framed and signed by Moby. “Most of these pictures were shot very spontaneously with a Canon PowerShot… I use my 5D Mark II [also Canon] for more serious pictures…These were shot very quickly… so trying to get them to a point where I can actually blow them up to be seen—[and] get the resolution right is very hard.”
Nonetheless, the images powerfully communicate Moby’s viewpoint on tour and his contrasting atmospheres and environments.
Special events highlighting both the Destroyed album and book are underway as Moby continues his lengthy global tour and the artist’s anticipation is buoyant for the reception of his commendable endeavor: “Selfishly, my hope—when people look at the pictures—they think they’re OK and simply don’t think that I’m just another musician with a digital camera.” Moby does highlight that Destroyed’s prospective can’t be fully realized hanging on the wall, “When they’re framed and on the wall, they’re taken out of context. I actually prefer them in the book. In the book they’re supposed to be like a serious of juxtapositions between the assuredly crowded with absurdly empty.” The Destroyed assemblage is available for purchase at Clic and on the artist’s website.
Moby concluded, chuckling lightheartedly, “I get to do any of these interesting things… I’m not sure if I do any of them well,” before popping back into his Clic Gallery opening to greet more adoring notables and friends. Truth be told: He does it very well indeed.
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