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Get A Double Eyeful of Punk Pix

Las Vegas' new Punk Rock Museum unveils not one but two historic photo exhibits.

Circle Jerks. Photo by Rikki Ercoli.

The newly christened Punk Rock Museum in Las Vegas just opened its doors a few weeks ago. But in true DIY punk fashion, they’ve hit the ground running. The facility just announced two new temporary exhibits feature stunning photography from respected photographers Angela Boatwright and Rikki Ercoli. Check out the details below and then book your trip to Sin City:


In The Beginning Photographs From the Dawn of New Wave, Punk Rock & Hardcore by Rikki Ercoli
Curated by Jason Hamacher

In The Beginning… represents reaction. Reaction to normalcy, apathy, sexuality, popularity, politics, fashion, and most of all reaction to music. In the late ’70s, Philadelphia’s Rikki Ercoli found himself in the midst of the burgeoning punk scene. He felt something special happening and was inspired to participate. He borrowed a friend’s Nikon and dove headfirst into photography. He taught himself how to use a camera on, off and backstage with the likes of Sid Vicious, The Clash, Killing Joke, Blondie, Siouxsie Sioux, Bauhaus and nearly every underground group that came through the Philadelphia tri-state area.

Many of the bands Rikki shot would go on to become household names. Ercoli captured the moment when their caustic expression triggered America’s disgruntled youth into cultural rebellion. The rebellion took root in small rooms, clubs and art spaces all over the country. These “alternative” spaces provided just enough leeway for ideas to take form and more importantly spread. These spaces were transient but the ideas were permanent.

In The Beginning… is a visual feast of black-and-white portraits capturing some of the most notorious rock and roll icons from the late 1970s and early 1980s: Sid Vicious, Misfits, Blondie, The Ramones, Circle Jerks, Bauhaus, Siouxsie and the Banshees, The Dead Boys, Dead Kennedys, The Exploited, GBH, X, Richard Hell, Lydia Lunch and so many more — as well as a photo of Ercoli by Andy Warhol currently on display at The Punk Rock Museum.

Rikki Ercoli.

Los Punks: The Backyard Punk Scenes in East Los Angeles and South Central, 2013-2016
Photographs by Angela Boatwright

Born and raised in Columbus, Ohio, Angela Boatwright picked up a camera at age 14 and hasn’t stopped shooting since. Cutting her teeth photographing her skater friends, she quickly began shooting live punk, metal, and hardcore bands, too-including photographing Kurt Cobain in a closet-sized venue in 1991. After high school, Angela wasted no time in splitting for New York City where she spent the next 20 years looking through the viewfinder. There, Angela continued shooting bands, now at such legendary venues as CBGB. Soon after arrivIng, her reputation growing, Angela evolved from enthusiastic amateur to professional photographer, and in 1997 she quit her day job to shoot photos full time. Her first photo assignment was for Thrasher, the legendary skateboard magazine. It was also at this time that she began working at the Brooklyn-based youth-culture magazine Mass Appeal, first as a photographer then as director of photography.

Since then, her work has appeared in a wide array of publications including New York Magazine, Vice, Nylon, Vibe and Dazed and Confused, as well as in books such as Vice Photo Book, Definition: The Art and Design of Hip Hop, Juxtapoz Photo, Street World and most recently, the best-selling Contact High, featuring her groundbreaking 2008 photographs of Nicki Minaj.

Crusty Drunks. Photo by Angela Boatright.
Angela Boatright. Photo by Alexis Gross.

After almost two decades in New York, Angela moved to Los Angeles where she began making documentary films. In 2013 she directed an online series entitled East Los, documenting the backyard punk scenes in East Los Angeles and South Central. This series led to her first full-length documentary film, entitled Los Punks: We Are All We Have, which was selected to premiere at Slamdance film festival in Park City, Utah in 2016 and achieved huge praise.

Angela’s work has since focused on documenting fans and music scenes that figuratively and literally save young people. She also directed and produced a short about heavy metal in the United States and Mexico, titled Todo Es Metal and introduced Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown to the backyard punk scene in L.A. Angela is currently compiling an extensive photo book featuring the backyard punk scene in East L.A. and South Central, equally illuminated by works from the punks within the scene.



For more info, check out The Punk Rock Museum website. And go HERE to watch my exclusive (and hilarious) video interview with museum co-founder Fat Mike of NOFX.