This month’s featured artist is photographer/director Chris Cuffaro. We had a chance to ask him some questions and get his thoughts on his work and life. Chris has been a great friend to Mr Musichead Gallery for a while now and we couldn’t be happier to have him as our Featured Artist and we are so excited about this upcoming exhibition ‘Greatest Hits’! Thanks Chris!
Who are you?
I am me, Chris Cuffaro. I’m a photographer, director, producer and creator. I’m a very lucky man because I’ve done what I love for over 40 years now. As I think about it now, I love it more now than when I started.
What is this exhibition all about?
This exhibit is what I’ve dreamed about for over 34 years. It’s a celebration, validation and a BIG “thank you” for my entire life. I don’t generally like to look back, but was talked into doing this exhibit by a close friend. Once I started reviewing my work, I could not believe how time flies and how much I’ve done over my career. I’ve had the best experiences and even have the photos to prove it. This exhibition is me sharing all of it with you.
How did you choose your Greatest Hits and why only B&W?
This was NOT easy! Seriously very difficult. I have more images than you can imagine, and far more than even I remembered. I started by choosing my favorite images and then began chipping away. From more than five hundred photographs, I narrowed it down to these favorites. I left out countless truly striking images, and maybe someday I’ll get to share those with you as well. Why B&W? Because it’s my first love and I felt starting with B&W was the right way to go. I promise, my next exhibition will be in color!
Did you really shoot music photography for 30 years?
Honestly a lot longer than that. I shot my first concerts when I was 16. I do not count the years before I moved to Los Angeles (back in 1981), but that’s because at the time I did NOT think about shooting music as a career. I had this silly dream of being a fashion photographer.
Who was your favorite to shoot?
I hate this question! I’ve been asked this question a million times and the standard answer is they all were great. For this website I will give you a list of some of my favorites in no particular order: Jane’s Addiction, Iggy Pop, George Michael, Maurice White, Stanley Clarke, Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Willie Nelson, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Josh Todd and Greg Dulli. I could list so many more, but I will spare you.
Who was your worst shoot with?
Really? You wanna know that? There was NO worst shoot, but I would say the most annoying was New Kids On The Block. Just completely out of control and annoying. Kids…
Is this all there is?
Like I said, there is SO much more. Too much to show here or there, but just go to my website CuffaroPhoto.com and you will see a whole lot more. Who didn’t you shoot that you would love to shoot? When I started this journey I created a hit list or what you would call a wish list. It had so many names and every time I crossed one off, I added two more. I wish I could have shot Freddie Mercury, John Lennon, Elvis and The Clash the most! Some of the names still on this list: David Bowie, U2, Prince, Eric Clapton, Chrissie Hynde, and the list goes on… There’s even new artist like… Die Antword, Cherri Bomb and Lady Gaga.
What was your favorite music moment?
This is the MOST difficult question I have been asked for many years. Simple answer is too many to count. A few highlights: directing my first video with Pearl Jam, seeing Jane’s Addiction “last show” in 1991, having dinner with Iggy Pop, touring Australia with George Michael, seeing Fugazi in the middle of the desert with Eddie Vedder, seeing the great Nirvana/Mudhoney show in Vancouver on October 30th 1991, touring with the Chili Peppers/Smashing Pumpkins/Pearl Jam tour in 1991, shooting a cover for Stanley Clarke (one of my all time favs), shooting Maurice White (worshiped EWF when I was in high school), seeing Soundgarden at The Whiskey, seeing U2 at The Sports Arena during The Joshua Tree Tour, seeing Prince at The Country Club in Reseda after the MTV awards, all the Rock For Choice shows in LA, seeing Mudhoney for the first time (they were so drunk they could barely play), the recording sessions for the Back Beat Soundtrack, my first concert Return To Forever at The Berkley Community Theatre in 1976 and SO MANY MORE!
I hope much more. I honestly feel like this work was great, but I feel like I’m doing the best work of my life right now. I hope to keep creating and most of all have fun doing it. I’m beyond grateful to everyone who helped me create ALL of these great photos and get me where I am today. Could NOT have done this without them. I owe a HUGE thank you to everyone I have ever met or worked with. :-)