Gallery features 'Front Row' photos
Up-close-and-personal images capture unique moments, raw emotions
Published: Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Updated: Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Situated in the heart of downtown Austin, The Fifth Gallery delivers appropriately themed art to the “live music capital of the world.”
Its latest exhibit, “Front Row,” is a collection of photographs from various concerts and music festivals; many are from local events.
“If you get a good photo, chances are you were in the front row,” said gallery owner Marc Zuazua about the exhibit theme.
The photographs that make up “Front Row” feature close and personal images of performing artists like David Banner, Chamillionaire, Lil Wayne and Flavor Flav.
Each photograph in the collection portrays a different sense of energy than its subject.
Most of the performers are shown swinging their hair and dripping with sweat mid-scream into their microphones. But one particular picture of Janelle Monae from a South by Southwest Music Festival concert captures a moment right after she has fallen to her knees on stage, staring straight up at the camera and not speaking at all.
Many of the photos are also unique in that they show the energy of the crowd at the concert. A picture from Austin-based photographer OG shows Chamillionaire on stage in front of 20,000 people, just after he told the entire crowd to look at OG while he took the photo.
“That’s even better than front row,” Zuazua said. “Photographers have to fight their way to the front. You meet other photographers in the front row; it’s a camaraderie.”
Many of the featured artists are, in fact, friends; Zuazua, his girlfriend and two other Austin natives are among the six artists featured in the exhibit. For many of the artists, this is also their first time being shown in a gallery. Kris Krug, a festival photographer from Canada, is one of the few who have had their work featured before.
Every Friday night The Fifth Gallery hosts Open Jams, when musicians can stop by and play, and Zuazua agrees that this particular exhibit creates a great atmosphere for musicians.
“Art feeds them,” he said. “They catch vibes. There is inspiration in what’s around you.”
Zuazua hopes that people who see the exhibit leave looking at photographers a little differently.
“It takes so much to do this,” he said. “They spend 1 1/2 to two hours in the front, waiting [and] fighting dehydration. That’s what they go out for. They want to leave knowing, ‘That’s the shot.’”
“Front Row” will be on display through October 15 at The Fifth Gallery. Admission is free.