New York’s stylish renaissance man, Aaron Stern has released a book filled with his original riotous photography. Everyone Must Be Announced—named for the self-explanatory signs found in New York’s doorman buildings—was actually a collaboration between Stern and designers Sam Shipley and Jeff Halmos via their pet-project S&H Publishers. In Stern’s words, “[It's] sort of a photo essay about the symbiotic relationship between a performer and their crowd.”
Though the book was initially Shipley and Halmos‘s idea, its concept was born at Coachella. A conversation with The Strokes’ Albert Hammond Jr. influenced Stern to pay closer attention a performance’s audience rather than the antics caught on-stage. ”[Albert] told me that all he saw in the first few rows was just a sea of metal devices, and he wondered if the audience was missing out on the show,” Stern said “[The audience] themselves were kind of performing, announcing themselves on social media and saying ‘look at me,’ kind of like what the performer was doing.”
From there, Stern and the Shipley & Halmos boys peeled through the photog’s extensive imagery archive, selecting photos that best represented a lively and announcing audience, with Stern filling in the holes at some of this summer’s most-buzzed-about concerts from artists like Sleigh Bells and The Kills.
The book is careful to illustrate the different stages of interactive performance art, including snaps of both an exhilarated crowd and their dirty aftermath. ”I found myself taking pics of everything but the singer without knowing it—I would take a picture of the crowd before and after, the stage before and after,” Stern said.
To celebrate the book’s release, Milk Studios is hosting an exhibit of Stern’s work at their first-floor gallery before it travels westward to LA. Starlets like Alexa Chung Zoe Kravitz and Theodora Richard’s turned up in support at last night’s opening soiree, but if you can’t make to the west side gallery, the book will be available on Shipley & Halmos’ site for $50 (and at Barnes & Noble stores nationwide!).
The Strokes, Madison Square Garden, April 2011; Aaron Stern
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