August 1, 2011

Through the Distorted Lens of Dr. Feelgood

So Nikki Sixx of Motley Crue fancies himself a photographer, huh?  What are his subjects – Girls, Girls, Girls? 

It’s almost too easy to dismiss Sixx’s photographic aspirations as delusional and only worthy of being appreciated by ‘80s burn-out Motley Crue fans.  That is, until you actually see the photographs. 

Lonely Boy.  India
Put aside your preconceived notions and whatever you read in The Dirt, and pick up Sixx’s book This Is Gonna Hurt: Music, Photography and Life Through the Distorted Lens of Nikki Sixx.  If it helps, pretend you’re viewing a collection of photography taken by some random guy named Frank Feranna (Sixx’s real name).  What you will see are very stylized, at times almost gothic, and often heartbreakingly poignant photographs of the so-called “uglier” side of life – junkies, carnival performers, individuals with handicaps, homeless people, decrepit buildings, etc.  Yet through Sixx’s eyes, the ugly and downtrodden and decaying are compellingly haunting and uncomfortably beautiful.  You often want to look away, yet you can’t help but stare.

Blue Forest.  Tokyo, Japan

Mother's love. Homeless, Denver

Highgate Park.  London
Recently, Sixx began posting his photographs online, almost like a daily diary of his activities and experiences.  While there’s a good share of backstage Motley Crue photographs from their current summer tour, and beautiful shots of Sixx’s model girlfriend Courtney Bingham, the most compelling pictures are the ones of people and places from around the world taken during his travels.

If you define good photography as something that is capable of moving you emotionally, Sixx can be a master manipulator.             

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