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An eye on music, from 1980 to 2016: a book

Thirty-five years of photo archives by Richard Bellia

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About the project


Richard Bellia is a rock music photographer based in Lyon. He plans to create a book out of his photo archives. ‘An eye on music, from 1980 to 2016’ will contain more than a thousand photos of musical artists, for a total weight of five kilos.

750 pages recount thirty-five years of rock music, pop, electro, chanson française. We encounter some of the biggest icons of these genres (from top to bottom and from left to right):

AC/DC, Alain Bashung, Joe Strummer, Ben Harper, Keziah Jones, Allan Mc Gee, Alt-J, Anton Newcombe, A Tribe Called Quest, Billy Corgan, David Bowie, The Chemical Brothers, Daniel Johnston, Elliott Smith, Dominique A, Erykah Badu, Gonzales, Happy Mondays, Nuits Sonores 2008, Frank Black, Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, Galaxie 500, Laurent Garnier, Kylie Minogue, Klub des Loosers, Léo Ferré, Bertrand Cantat, Chet Baker, Lewis Durham, Linton Kwesi Johnson, Lana Del Rey, Zombierella bass player for Messer Chups, Metronomy, Marilyn Manson, Mika, Nasser, Nirvana, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Paul McCartney, Peter Van Pooele, Radiohead, Robert Smith, Placebo, Tricky, Donnington 1996, Nuits Sonores 2012.


What are the funds for?

What will the funding be used for?

Creating such a book represents a big investment: more than eighty-thousand euros, exc. VAT, to print three thousand copies. You can contribute to this investment by pre-ordering your copy of ‘An eye on music, from 1980 to 2016’ and/or by ordering original, signed prints (see reciprocations).

The book will be produced in a 32x24 cm format, à l’italienne, a format which will allow for panoramic shots and triptychs. ‘Just the width, once open, of two pairs of thighs side by side on a settee,’ specifies the photographer. It will be produced by the Deux Ponts factory (near Grenoble), which offers the entirety of the services required for its production.

Richard Bellia’s photos have all been taken using silver film, mostly in black and white, often in a medium format with a Hasselblad, in Europe and in the US, on the road or in studios, for the benefit of newspapers, of the photographer or of the artists themselves.

All of the prints offered as hand made wet prints using an enlarger. In other words, they are actual photos, not digital prints. They will be sent in December.

About the project owner


Richard Bellia started working as a photographer around the age of 18, after failing to make the grade as a chef. “I’ve always liked music and thought that shooting musicians was a good way of getting to talk to them,” he explains of his original motivation. “Also, it seems to me that you don’t look like an idiot hanging around at concerts when you have a camera.”

In the mid 1980s, he moved to London, and by 1987 he was working as a staff photographer for Melody Maker, alongside regular assignments for French media such as Liberation and Les Inrockuptibles. Former colleague Simon Reynolds – author of Retromania and the forthcoming Shock And Awe: Glam Rock And Its Legacy – recalls their work together fondly: "Bellia has an original eye - gritty and quirky. His archive is a vital visual document of the last three decades of alternative music. He also cooks a marvellous coq au champignons et lard fumé."

Wyndham Wallace - The Quietus 2016



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