Lenny Kravitz has turned the overwhelming situation of being constantly photographed into an artistic opportunity that shares the truth behind living the life of a rock star. L’Etage magazine attended Kravitz’s VIP preview of his photo exhibition “Flash” on December 1st in the Miami Design District. Kravitz himself hosted the exclusive preview and interacted with the diverse crowd who were buzzing with the excitement of his unique perspective of his life under the public eye.
At first, Kravitz said, he was frustrated that fans and the paparazzi would intervene when he tried taking images, but decided to turn his frustration into an artistic outlet by taking pictures of those who frequently photograph him, and through the process he discovered these images represented a unique artistic vision of his life. “I saw it as an opportunity,” he said. “It was an interesting dance, and it started to become fun.” The result is over 50 black and white photographs developed by Kravitz himself, in which he shares his point of view of being regularly photographed by his fans and the paparazzi.
The most captivating quality of the exhibit is that the artist truly allows the public to see the difficult journey of being a star, the constant traveling and seeming never to avoid photographers. The exhibit captures how unglamorous being famous can be at times. His Leica M-System captured the broad-range of emotions his fans experience when they receive the rare opportunity of connecting with him, and reveals eye-capturing glimpses of the quick encounters. Yet the most personal aspect of the exhibition is that Kravitz considers Flash to be a tribute to his father who introduced him to his first Leciaflex camera, which produced warm vintage photographs. His father was a Vietnam veteran and brought him the camera after the war. Initially the camera’s journey and hardship interested Lenny but with time he became curious about taking pictures. The camera brings an old-fashion quality to the prints, and Kravitz intentionally used nostalgia in his exhibition to create an intense depth behind each image.
Due to his fascination with Leica cameras, Kravitz and his creative firm (Kravitz Design Inc.) collaborated with the Leica company and produced the 125 Leica M-P (Type 240) “Correspondent” cameras. These cameras are a limited special edition and include two exclusive lenses as well as a handmade case. Although they were previously sold out, Art Basel attendees had the exclusive opportunity to purchase them in a Leica pop-up shop inside the gallery throughout the exhibit.
Renowned art-world personages and Kravitz’s celebrity friends came to celebrate the opening of his Art Basel exhibition. These included former Art Basel director Sam Keller, artist Taveres Strachen, WestLicht Gallery founder Peter Cohen, former Miami Heat star Ron Seikely, and Neo-pop artist Romero Britto. However heads truly turned when Kravitz’s noteworthy friends such as music producer Swizz Beatz and singer Lionel Richie arrived, who received exclusive tours from the artist himself.
The Flash Exhibition also received prestigious recognition in previous premieres such as March 5, 2015 in the Leica Gallery in Los Angeles, the June 24, 2015 in Germany at the Leica Camera’s Gallery Wetzlar, and August 10, 2015 in the Ostilich Gallery in Vienna. The photo exhibitions were presented by Leica Galleries and Berlin-based art advisor, as well as international agent, Reiner Opoku.
(Click on thumbnails to enlarge pictures)