Charles Gatewood

Charles Gatewood



Charles Gatewood was a legendary American photographer and filmmaker known for his controversial and intimate portraits of American counterculture. He was born in 1941 in Galveston, Texas and raised in San Francisco.

Gatewood was heavily influenced by the Beat Generation of the 1950s. He studied at the California School of Fine Arts in San Francisco, where he was exposed to the city's artistic culture. After working as a photojournalist for several years, Gatewood began experimenting with film and video. His early experimental films were shown at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the Whitney Museum of American Art.

Gatewood's most famous works are his intimate black and white photographs of the punk and S&M scenes in San Francisco during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He photographed the members of the Bay Area punk scene, including the Sex Pistols, Patti Smith, and the Dead Kennedys. His photographs have been described as "raw, honest, and often disturbing". Gatewood also captured the lives of San Francisco's leather and BDSM subcultures. His work was controversial, and he was criticized for exploiting his subjects.

Gatewood also explored the world of alternative lifestyles and spiritual practices, photographing hippies and New Age spiritualists. His work was featured in the documentary film, The Source, and he published several books about his work, including The Silver Cord, Flesh and Stone, and Lustmord.

Gatewood was an innovator in the field of photography and a pioneer of documentary filmmaking. His work has been widely exhibited around the world and is included in the permanent collections of many museums, including the Whitney Museum of American Art and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art. He passed away in 2017 at the age of 76.

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