Meet Rock Images Champion Neal Preston

meet an artist mondayThroughout a mythic 40-year occupation in rock images and photojournalism, Neal Preston has labored carefully with a pantheon of musical greats, each within the symbol studio and continue to exist degree witnessing excursions, triumphs, adventures and personal moments. His paintings with publications, report labels and significantly the VH-1 vintage In the back of the Song collection at all times stood out from the traditional, as his knack for infusing impressive scenes and portrayals of superstars with nuance, inside lifestyles and a high quality of human realness amid the fabulous fray solidified him as a novel voice in his box.

Now Preston is taking every other distinctive view of the subject… Since perhaps the one query photographers get requested greater than, “what sort of digicam do you employ?” is, “what’s on the remainder of the roll?” Preston and a cohort of his estimable rock images friends introduced Outtake Gallery to reply to that query, providing a web based archive of interesting and never-before-seen pictures that correlate and contextualize their maximum iconic photographs.

Neal Preston: Freddy Mercury, 1981

L.A. WEEKLY: When did you first know you have been an artist?

NEAL PRESTON: I’d say across the age of 17 or so. I used to be nonetheless in highschool. I spotted that the pictures I used to be taking pictures at quite a lot of rock displays appeared other from different photographers’ pictures. Mine perceived to have a modicum of emotion and presence.


What’s your quick solution to those who ask what your paintings is ready?

Smartly in conventional photographic phrases I’d say that I’m a photojournalist who has specialised in tune images, however I’ve additionally labored broadly taking pictures film stills, exhausting information, sports activities, and famous person portraiture. I delight myself in with the ability to settle for any project and ship the products.


What would you be doing for those who weren’t an artist?

I’d most certainly have ended up being in a rock band — or probably managing one. When I used to be a teen I assumed I’d most certainly finally end up running as a Nikon salesman in a big Big apple digicam retailer. Accept as true with me, I by no means deliberate the occupation I finished up having. It was once the results of many small coincidences, and following my middle and my intestine.

Neal Preston: Stevie Nicks, 1981

Did you cross to artwork college? Why/Why no longer?

I used to be permitted to the Philadelphia Faculty of Artwork in 1970 however on the closing minute I bailed on school. I had already been a broadcast photographer whilst in highschool so as a substitute of faculty I finished up shifting to Los Angeles in 1971 to pursue my occupation. Within the early Seventies, Los Angeles was once no longer simplest the brand new epicenter of the tune industry, it had the magnetic pull of a real-life fantasyland. I used to be on no account proof against L.A.’s charms.


When was once your first display?

That was once more or less in 2009 I imagine. It was once a small display on the Morrison Lodge Gallery in L. a. Jolla, California. It was once a luck so we adopted it up with a far larger display on the Morrison Gallery in New York Town. Anytime I mount an exhibition I’m amazed that anybody in any respect would display up, but they do. I like my enthusiasts…they’re wonderful.


When is/was once your present/most up-to-date/subsequent display or venture?

I’ve a characteristic movie to paintings on in 2022 and a couple of different issues I’m no longer at liberty to speak about but. My industry spouse and I simply introduced Outtake Gallery, a web based selection of by no means earlier than considered rock and roll images, all in strictly restricted editions. We’re excited to supply this paintings to creditors for the primary time. The opposite taking part photographers are Joel Bernstein, Michael Grecco, Ken Regan and Andrew Kent. We can invite extra photographers going ahead.

Neal Preston: Jimmy Web page, 1975

What artist dwelling or lifeless would you maximum like to turn or paintings with?

That’s simple: Ethan Russell, who in my thoughts is the best tune photographer of all time. Bar none. He was once at the rooftop with the Beatles, which no different photographer can say…additionally he’s the one photographer to have shot album covers for the Beatles, the Rolling Stones and The Who.


Do you pay attention to tune when you paintings? If this is the case, what?

Will depend on what I’m running on however my default musical tastes run to vintage rock; The Who, the Beatles, a number of 60’s and 70’s stuff. However I’ve somewhat eclectic tastes! I jump round from The Who, to classical, to nation, to instantly pop. Anything else however hip-hop, which to these days I in reality don’t perceive.


Site & social, please!

IG @nealprestonphoto

Neal Preston: Jimmy Web page, 1977

Alternatives from Preston’s fellow Outtake Gallery artists:

Joel Bernstein: Joni Mitchell, smiling, Part Moon Bay, BC, Canada, Sept. 1972, taken simply after the picture she selected for her “For The Roses” album duvet, 1972.

Joel Bernstein: Bruce Springsteen & the E Boulevard Band, having a look tricky, on a sidewalk in Hell’s Kitchen, NYC, Sept. 1979

Andrew Kent: David Bowie, 1976

Andrew Kent: The Who, 1976

Michael Grecco: Billy Idol, 1972

Michael Grecco: Wendy O. Williams, 1980

Ken Regan: Keith Richards, 1989

Ken Regan: Johnny Money, 1970

Updated: January 6, 2022 — 5:27 pm