Share this project

Done

Share this project

Done
Photographs by Glen Wexler | Foreword by Billy F Gibbons
209 backers pledged $32,669 to help bring this project to life.

About

The ’80s Portrait Sessions project video thumbnail
Replay with sound
Play with
sound

$32,669

209

 12x12” case bound book with dust jacket. Superb tritone printing on premium heavyweight paper with gloss spot varnish on each photo for additional contrast and depth. 132 pages with over 60 images. The cover photo of Bob Weir is in the permanent collection of The Grateful Dead Archives.
12x12” case bound book with dust jacket. Superb tritone printing on premium heavyweight paper with gloss spot varnish on each photo for additional contrast and depth. 132 pages with over 60 images. The cover photo of Bob Weir is in the permanent collection of The Grateful Dead Archives.

In a decade of rock and roll excess I was looking for a sense of intimacy.  When creating these portraits I sought to capture an authentic human connection behind the big personas.

Michael Jackson photographed in my Hollywood studio March 1984. This was after "Thriller" and just prior to the "Victory" album release and tour.  A fine art print of this image is included in the limited edition deluxe book set which comes in a beautiful clamshell portfolio box.
Michael Jackson photographed in my Hollywood studio March 1984. This was after "Thriller" and just prior to the "Victory" album release and tour. A fine art print of this image is included in the limited edition deluxe book set which comes in a beautiful clamshell portfolio box.

The eighties was a busy and productive time when I created photography for hundreds of album covers, including Chaka Khan, Missing Persons, Kansas, Rush, Chick Corea, and Slaughter. I also had the privilege to photograph music legends such as Michael Jackson, Herbie Hancock, Bob Weir, KISS, Yes and Tears for Fears. This book collects the faces that most resonated with me during that period.  Some you will recognize, others you will not, but their personalities were all powerful, remain fascinating and add to the history.  Of course a picture is worth a thousand words,  but I will also be including small anecdotes to help share what I remember about the people and the moments in an effort to help you see what I saw when I looked through the lens. 

Chaka Khan from the "Naughty" album cover shoot.
Chaka Khan from the "Naughty" album cover shoot.

Revisiting the files and proof sheets was an incredible journey down memory lane. The digital scanning and “re-mastering” of the work was informed by my analogue darkroom experience. The approach and process combines the best of both worlds. 

While selecting from hundreds of photo shoots, I thought it was important to let the images, rather than celebrity, describe the decade.  Sure, there are many famous faces, but just as important are the interpretations of style and the influence provided by those who didn’t become household names.  For me, this tells a more complete story. 

Castle Bravo broke up on the verge of signing a major record deal. Fred Drake, on the left, later established the recording studio Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree where he recorded and took part in the legendary Desert Sessions.
Castle Bravo broke up on the verge of signing a major record deal. Fred Drake, on the left, later established the recording studio Rancho De La Luna in Joshua Tree where he recorded and took part in the legendary Desert Sessions.

I am thrilled to be working with Andy Burgess and Dark Spring Press on The ’80s Portrait Sessions. The collaboration provided the opportunity to produce this book exactly as envisioned with exquisite quality and attention to detail.  It’s been rewarding to have an objective and astute sounding board to strike the balance between pop culture and the art world.

To top it off, I’m humbled and honored that Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top wrote the book's foreword. There are a number of musicians I could have asked, but I think Billy is a perfect representation of the importance of style and image emerging from the decade.

All that said, making a book of this scale and exceptional quality is beyond the means of a small publishing house.  The investment into the best possible reproduction standards comes with a hefty price tag.  Please contribute to our Kickstarter to help us raise the remaining funding. In return we are offering generous one-time perks and pre-order discounts. 

The book is a time capsule reflecting the essence of the era.  It's not intended to be the definitive history of the eighties, but it’s my history and I believe one worth sharing.  Thank you for your support!

~ Glen Wexler, Photographer

ZZ Top from the "Greatest Hits" album cover sessions
ZZ Top from the "Greatest Hits" album cover sessions

"These artists, present company included, seem somewhat serene in these shots as Glen shared his keen sense of artistry capturing us all as we really are."

 ~ Billy F Gibbons, ZZ Top 

Limited Edition Poster (edition of 1000)
Limited Edition Poster (edition of 1000)

"The ’80s Portrait Sessions represent the purest and most distilled embodiment of Wexler’s art.  Exquisitely composed and lit, these portraits capture a precious record of glamorous times.  Famous artists such as Michael Jackson, Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock and Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead are captured in intimate and sensitive portraits.  Legendary rock bands such as KISS, ZZ Top and Missing Persons are photographed in their finery along with influential producers, actors and models, reflecting the now infamous look and style of the 1980s and capturing the essence and glamour of the decade."

~ Andy Burgess, Publisher

Herbie Hancock
Herbie Hancock
Lillian Nude (outtake from the Lillian Axe "Love + War" album cover sessions)
Lillian Nude (outtake from the Lillian Axe "Love + War" album cover sessions)
Christina Applegate
Christina Applegate

About Glen Wexler:

Glen Wexler is a photographic artist best known for pushing the boundaries of the medium, creating digitally enhanced photo-compositions of improbable situations.  His signature style has earned an international clientele and the following of photography collectors, including works in the permanent collection at the George Eastman House, International Museum of Photography and Film and Los Angeles County Museum of Art.  His work has been exhibited worldwide including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum.

At 22 years old, Wexler photographed his first album cover for Quincy Jones Productions while still a student at Art Center College of Design. Wexler veered away from his original pursuit of fine art photography to embrace opportunities in the music industry where he found a visual playground in which to hone his craft and vision. He quickly gained a reputation for his imaginative and elaborately staged photo illustrations for Michael Jackson, Van Halen, Rush, Black Sabbath, Yes and many others.  Wexler is also well known for his studio portraits of musicians and celebrities.

Internationally recognized as one of the original artists to incorporate digital imaging technology into the creative process, Wexler is widely regarded as a leader in the field.  His work has been profiled in many publications including Communication Arts, French PHOTO, Creativity, Los Angeles Times, Apple Pro Stories, and Adobe Photoshop Innovator’s Spotlight.

 https://glenwexler.com     https://bluechimp.com 

Frank Zappa musicians formed the quintessential New Wave band Missing Persons.
Frank Zappa musicians formed the quintessential New Wave band Missing Persons.

About Dark Spring Press:

Dark Spring Press is an independent publisher located in Tucson, Arizona presenting elegant, meaningful, small run and limited edition photography books founded in 2017 by Andy Burgess. 

 https://www.darkspringpress.com 

The legendary record company executive who appeared as a bride in Aerosmith’s music video "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)." So influential in the development of artists his album cover credit on numerous platinum selling records reads, "John Kalodner: John Kalodner"
The legendary record company executive who appeared as a bride in Aerosmith’s music video "Dude (Looks Like a Lady)." So influential in the development of artists his album cover credit on numerous platinum selling records reads, "John Kalodner: John Kalodner"

All images © 2018 Glen Wexler Studio

Risks and challenges

Our only remaining challenge is raising these final funds to go to press. With any printing project there is the potential for unforeseen delays, but overall, there are virtually no risks to our supporters. The special printing techniques and materials have been tested and the results look amazing! We are ready to print as soon as we reach our goal. The printing is being produced regionally and we should be able to ship in about six to eight weeks from funding. Posters are ready to distribute now. The production of the fine art prints will be made to order within a few short weeks. Thanks again for your support!

Learn about accountability on Kickstarter

Questions about this project? Check out the FAQ

Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Signed limited edition poster

    36x24 inch tritone lithograph on premium heavyweight paper with gloss spot varnish on each photo for additional contrast and depth. ($50 value)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Signed first edition book

    12x12” case bound book with dust jacket. Superb tritone printing on premium heavyweight paper with gloss spot varnish on each photo for additional contrast and depth. 132 pages with over 60 images. ($80 value)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    109 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $75 or more About $75

    Signed first edition book & poster

    Get both! Signed first edition book and signed limited edition poster. ($130 value) Book and poster ship separately.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 28 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $175 or more About $175

    Signed first edition book & 12x12 print

    Signed first edition book with one signed 12x12 inch limited edition print. Choose one: Bob Weir (book cover version) ZZ Top, Chaka Khan, Herbie Hancock, Feather Mask or Lillian Nude. Limited edition archival prints are made to the finest possible standards and individually printed by Glen Wexler. ($530 value)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 34 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  5. Reward no longer available

    Pledge $375 or more About $375

    Limited edition deluxe book set

    12x12” case bound book presented in a beautiful deep red linen clam shell box with foil stamping including a 12x12” signed and numbered print of Michael Jackson. The deluxe edition is limited to only 100 sets. Pricing is tiered, meaning the price will increase as the edition sells out. This special pricing is available to only 20 Kickstarter supporters. ($650 value)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Reward no longer available 20 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $475 or more About $475

    Limited edition deluxe book set

    JUST ADDED! The first 20 are already reserved for earlier pledges. 12x12” case bound book presented in a beautiful deep red linen clam shell box with foil stamping including a 12x12” signed and numbered print of Michael Jackson. The deluxe edition is limited to only 100 sets. Pricing is tiered, meaning the price will increase as the edition sells out. This special pricing is available to only 10 Kickstarter supporters. ($750 value)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $575 or more About $575

    Signed book and 17x17 print

    Signed first edition book plus a signed 17x17 inch limited edition print. Pick from any image in the book. Availability is limited to 3 copies of each image. Limited edition archival prints are made to the finest possible standards and individually printed by Glen Wexler. ($980 value) Items ship separately.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 4 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    Signed book and 24x24 print

    Signed first edition book plus a signed 24x24 inch limited edition print. Pick from any image in the book. Availability is limited to 3 copies of each image. Limited edition archival prints are made to the finest possible standards and individually printed by Glen Wexler. ($1880 value) Items ship separately.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,000 or more About $2,000

    Signed book and three 17x17 prints

    Signed first edition book plus three signed 17x17 inch limited edition prints. Pick from any image in the book. Availability is limited to 3 copies of each image. Limited edition archival prints are made to the finest possible standards and individually printed by Glen Wexler. ($2780 value)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 2 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $2,500 or more About $2,500

    Signed book and 36x36 print

    Signed first edition book plus a signed 36x36 inch limited edition print. Pick from most any image in the book. (Some exclusions) Availability is limited to 1 copy of each image. Limited edition archival prints are made to the finest possible standards and individually printed by Glen Wexler. ($3680 value)

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  11. Select this reward

    Pledge $3,750 or more About $3,750

    Gold Contributor

    Signed first edition book, 3 signed 24x24 inch limited edition prints, signed poster, and name in book (value = $5530+ ) Items ship separately.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.
  12. Select this reward

    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Platinum Contributor

    Signed limited edition deluxe book package (copy 1 of 100), signed standard edition book, signed poster, 4 signed 24x24 inch limited edition prints, 1 signed limited edition 36x36 print (some images not available), name in book, and invitations to all book release and gallery showings worldwide. (value = priceless) Items ship separately. Shipping included. An optional customized package is available. Please conatct us for information.

    Less
    Estimated delivery
    Ships to Anywhere in the world
    Limited 0 backers
    $
    Kickstarter is not a store.

    It's a way to bring creative projects to life.

    Learn more about accountability.

Funding period

- (33 days)