3 years ago
dillonk
in English · 6,432 Views
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The Punks of New York by William Coupon
William Coupon, a New York City portrait photographer, documented the counter-cultural lifestyle of art, sex, and music of New Yorkers in 1979. In his mid-twenties, William fit right into the rapidly growing influential scene of music and art that took New York by storm. It is always great to look back at influencers in a large spread modern movement in culture. William's portraits may not look so abnormal to us in the 2014, but this lifestyle was highly controversial during its time. Here is what William Coupon personally had to say about the lifestyle he lived in New York during the late 70s: "What is a Punk? Was I really a Punk in 1979? I was a young 26 year old with a camera and I would spend my each and every evening embedded not in some world war, but another form of social chaos: The Mudd Club in lower Manhattan. God knows but these were my peers: the artists with torn jackets and jeans, with red and green hair, with safety pins holding up their shirts and blouses. It was a menagerie of faces, a chaotic group of youngsters all of which did not hold any semblance of a “normal” job. I had first gone there on assignment for Andy Warhol’s Interview Magazine. I thought a real war had broken out when I remember the gyrative dance moves so recklessly in motion along with many broken bottles, that I could hardly walk, much less dance. But everything looked rosier at 3:00AM in the morning, or at least it seemed that way in soft focus. I met David Byrne, Amos Poe, Jean Michel Basquiat, Debbie Harry and Chris Stein, Robert Mapplethorpe, Tina L’Hotsky, Lydia Lunch, William Burroughs, Banger Benvenuti, John Lurie, Kirsten Bates, Duncan Hannah, Glenn O’Brien, John Cale and countless others ~ all quite vain and fashionable, known or unknown. They may have looked like oddities ~ but they combined to form a very real talent pool. They were smart. They were hip. They were inventive. I was up too late. I got up too late. I had sex late. I don’t know quite what propelled this obsession with going to the Mudd Club each and every night. I had always felt like an outsider, but it did kick~start my life as a portrait photographer. And the people who would frequent the club would begin to feel like friends of mine rather than some voyeuristic outsiders. I started to enjoy it. I had my work on the walls, thanks to the owner Steve Mass. I was exhilarated during those days. Why not? I may not really have been a Punk, but for that brief two-three year period, that was my scene, my peer group ~ my home away from home. They all had real sense, mostly very good fashion sense, and if that was Punk, I was in." @caricakes I thought of you while making this right up, I hope you enjoy!
2 comments
This is an awesome collection of work. I would say this portrays the true spirit of the punks of New York, but I really have no idea because I didn't live during that time. I'd say this is very interesting though, thanks for sharing!
3 years ago·Reply
10
Glad you like it!
3 years ago·Reply