Steve Joester’s journey as an award winning photographer
and artist is a reflection of our time.
As an art student in Hull, England, Joester was influenced by “pop” art and the impact of photography on a generation that grew up with David Bailey and “Blow Up”. In the 70’s, his work with the Rolling Stones, Bob Marley, Sting, AC/DC, Pink Floyd, Neil Young, Queen, The Clash, and The Sex Pistols, to name a few, established Joester as a leading photographer of rock artists and their live performances.
For more than a decade Joester documented the raw energy that galvanized a generation of music fans and the impact music had on our culture. Some of his personal favorites were the most unexpected.
“Marvin Gaye asked me to accompany him on a tour of the streets of Notting Hill Gate and photograph him after seeing my photos of the police-fueled race riots on the front pages of the London newspapers.” recalls Joester. “Both Gaye and his fans desperately wanted to connect but he was no longer a man of the streets and his addiction was evident. The pictures told the story.”
Likewise, Joester had unique access to the Sex Pistols at the symbolic signing of their record contract in front of Buckingham Palace just as their single, “God Save the Queen”, was banned.
“I was invited to photograph Malcolm McLaren’s brilliant PR stunt and statement of youth revolt,” says Joester. “Sitting in the car with the band, none of us understood the lasting influence of punk, or how quickly the band would fall apart.”
Joester documented the best of punk, and years later, his artwork of Blondie was used in Vogue to illustrate the influence of punk in fashion and culture.
Joester’s commissions and travels resulted in other defining works including his tongue in cheek photos of Mikhail Baryshnivov in the mean streets of New York and his extensive portfolio documenting the “Special Period” of Cuba in the early 90’s.
His multi-media style emerged as he revisited his photographs of rocks greatest performances, capturing the glitter glory and religious experience that is rock ‘n’ roll.
Joester’s unique mixed media works are an explosive interpretation the raw energy of rock ‘n’ roll, with layer upon layer of unconventional materials that capture the emotion and power of the live performance.
“It’s a perfect blend of chaos and control” says Steve Joester “These images capture the greatest artists captured in the prime of their creativity and self invention.’
Over time, Joester began to deconstruct his rock pieces, honing in on the raw emotion of the shapes and colors, and found himself returning to his roots in pop art.
He was particularly struck by ‘Einsteins Dreams’ narrative of space and time being circular, and began to further strip down his images to the basic black and white and the simple shape of the circle.
“I found that these stark works were reminiscent of my early black and white photographs, simple, bold, and using only light and shade,” says Joester. “Full circle