Londoner Janette Beckman began her career at the dawn of Punk Rock working for The Face and Melody Maker, when British music pushed every boundary. She soon had extraordinary access to the musicians topping the U.K. charts, icons of an era when music had an agenda with such acts including The Clash, The Sex Pistols, The Jam, The Undertones, The Specials, The Beat, The Ramones, The Rockats, Raincoats, Billy Idol and Echo and the Bunnymen. She photographed groundbreaking covers for the Police’s first three albums.
Radically, this generation thought that the punks on the street were just as important as the bands, which fitted Beckman’s aesthetic. Her sharp eye for street style and pop culture led her to document two decades of youthful tribes: Punks, Mods, Skinheads, Rockabillies, B-boys and girls. Beckman’s powerful portraits celebrating this music and the attitude are collected for the first time in ‘Made in the U.K.: The Music and Attitude, 1977-1982’ PowerHouse Books 2005.
Moving to New York in 1982, she was instantly drawn to the underground Hip Hop scene. Her photographs of pioneers Africa Bambaataa, Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five, Salt’n’Pepa, Run-DMC, Slick Rick, Beastie Boys and countless others, as well as the DJs, MCs, b-boys and fly girls are collected in ‘The Breaks: Stylin’ and Profilin’ 1982–1990′, PowerHouse Books 2007.
Her work has been exhibited in galleries and museums around the world and is collected by patrons including: Kate Moss, Paul Smith, Susan Sarandon, Adrian Brody, Carson Daly, Craig McDean and Lyor Cohen, CEO Warner Music Group. Beckman’s work has appeared in Esquire, Rolling Stone, the Observer and Glamour, to name a few. She lives and works in New York.
“Her portraits prove that attitude never dies.” Vivien Goldman, Punk Professor BBC America.