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Iconic Steve Schapiro Photographs and some Previously Unexhibited Works on Show

  • Steve Schapiro, David Bowie, the Thin White Duke, the shining star with Buster Keaton Book
June 9, 2016
Gordana Sretenović. Teaching English and writing for a living. Obsessed with Jack Kerouac and Allen Ginsberg. Desires to travel the world and not have a permanent address. Occasionally writes poetry.

The new exhibition of Steve Schapiro photographs is happening at the Atlas Gallery! Over twenty previously unseen pictures of key figures from the worlds of politics, art, film, sport, and music are featured in the display which also includes a series of rarely exhibited portraits of the legendary, recently deceased musician, the Thin White Duke, David Bowie, captured in Los Angeles in 1974. These portraits are the main subject of a new book entitled Bowie, published by Powerhouse Books. Steve Schapiro photographs are as iconic as their subjects, showcasing the true vibe of the pop-culture scene of the 1960s and the 1970s.

Steve Schapiro march new york books people selma
Left: Steve Schapiro – Martin Luther King & Flag / Right: Steve Schapiro – Muhammad Ali, Monopoly both via

Steve Shapiro Photographs Through the Ages: The 1960s

The period of the 1960s is often regarded as “the golden age of photojournalism,” a statement directly reflected in the work of Steve Schapiro during that decade. A selection of images taken during the “golden age” is on display at the Heroes exhibition. Shapiro has captured the key moments of the Civil Rights Movement, especially the Selma to Montgomery Marches in 1965, the effects of which still resonate in the world today. Steve Schapiro spent a considerable amount of time with the Pop Art star Andy Warhol and took photos of him and his entourage meeting with the Velvet Underground in 1965, who would later become a part of Andy Warhol’s Silver Factory scene. Steve Schapiro was skilled ad capturing his models at ease, which is best seen in the candid shot of Muhammad Ali playing monopoly, as well as in his portraits of Robert Kennedy during his campaign trail in 1968.

Steve Schapiro march new york books people selma book
Steve Schapiro – Robert De Niro, Taxi Driver, New York, 1975, © Steve Schapiro via

The Glorious 1970s

In the 1970s, Shapiro focused more on film. After capturing amazing pictures on the set of Midnight Cowboy, he worked as a photographer for The Godfather (1972), and for Taxi Driver (1976). The result of this are the iconic photographs of the heroes of American cinema such as Marlon Brando and Robert de Niro. In 1974, Steve Schapiro was invited by David Bowie’s manager to a private photo session with the music legend in Los Angeles. This resulted in the collaboration between the photographer and the musician who produced the most iconic album art of the 1970s, such as Station to Station and Low. A number of never exhibited pictures from this photo shoot are featured in the Schapiro exhibition Heroes which coincides with the newly published book Bowie: Photographs by Steve Schapiro, released in April of 2016 and published by Powerhouse Books.“From the moment Bowie arrived, we seemed to hit it off. Incredibly intelligent, calm, and filled with ideas. He talked a lot about Aleister Crowley, whose esoteric writings he was heavily into at the time. When David heard that I had photographed Buster Keaton, one of his greatest heroes, we instantly became friends.” – Steve Schapiro.

Steve Schapiro march new york books people selma
Steve Schapiro – Marlon Brando, Makeup Session for The Godfather, New York, 1971, © Steve Schapiro via

Steve Schapiro Photographs at Atlas Gallery

The exhibition of Steve Schapiro works, Heroes, is on display at the Atlas Gallery in London from June 9th to August 20th, 2016. Steve Schapiro became a freelance photographer in 1961, and he managed to capture the iconic historical moments of the decade, and work for Vanity Fair, Life, Sports Illustrated, Newsweek, Time, and Paris Match, to name a few. His work has been exhibited all over the world and included in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s exhibition Harlem On My Mind in 1968. His works are in the collections of the Smithsonian, the National Portrait Gallery, and The High Museum, among others.

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Featured image: Steve Schapiro – David Bowie with Buster Keaton Book, Los Angeles, 1975, © Steve Schapiro via