Photographer Shares Polaroids of NYC’s 1970s Punk Rock Scene on Instagram

Like many photographers living in 1970s New York City, Julia Gorton used her craft to capture everyday life in the city. What sets her portfolio apart from others, however, is that Gorton's “everyday life” happened to feature some of punk rock's most iconic figures.

A transplant from Delaware, Gorton moved to New York in 1976 to study design. Here, she began attending punk rock and no wave shows, documenting the city's avant-garde with a Polaroid camera—a tool she'd soon discover would be crucial to her career. “When you had a large unusual camera that made instant prints,” she explains in an interview, “it was easy to approach people.”

Soon, Gorton would amass a star-studded series of photographs, featuring famous faces like Billy Idol, Iggy Pop, Debbie Harry, Patti Smith, and even contemporary artist Jean-Michel Basquiat (known then by his pseudonym, SAMO). In addition to well-known figures, however, her photographs also showcase the scenes' lesser-known characters, from musicians' close friends to “the downtown denizens who walked the streets in torn stockings, leather jackets.”

Recognizing the rarity of her photographs, Gorton has opted to compile them into an archive on Instagram. Rendered in black and white, these intimate shots offer a fascinating glimpse into the fleeting experiences and one-of-a-kind memories of an “ex-punk rocker.”

On Instagram, photographer Julia Gorton shares photos of the 70s punk rock and “no wave” scenes in New York City.

Iggy by Julia Gorton. . #Iggy #juliagorton

A post shared by Julia_gorton_nowave (@julia_gorton_nowave) on

Bob Mothersbaugh, Devo by Julia Gorton. . #bobmothersbaugh #Devo #juliagorton

A post shared by Julia_gorton_nowave (@julia_gorton_nowave) on

Self portrait (rooftop in downtown Wilmington, Delaware). . #juliagorton

A post shared by Julia_gorton_nowave (@julia_gorton_nowave) on

Julia Gorton: Website | Instagram | Tumblr
h/t: [Laughing Squid, Garage]

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Kelly Richman-Abdou

Kelly Richman-Abdou is a Contributing Writer at My Modern Met. An art historian living in Paris, Kelly was born and raised in San Francisco and holds a BA in Art History from the University of San Francisco and an MA in Art and Museum Studies from Georgetown University. When she’s not writing, you can find Kelly wandering around Paris, whether she’s leading a tour (as a guide, she has been interviewed by BBC World News America and France 24) or simply taking a stroll with her husband and two tiny daughters.
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