The shoot, as Levine recalls, was particularly intense, and the photograph it produced (itself unique for a “portrait”) provocatively walks the tightrope between artistry and technique. “In some ways, I suppose you could technically call this a ‘bad’ photograph, in that her eyes are closed,” Levine concedes, “but this is one of those cases where I feel the intimacy and the emotion of the moment transcend any technical considerations.” Although it has been several years since Levine has dedicated herself exclusively to the kind of photography exemplified in this particular shot, she still finds herself looking at things from a photographer’s perspective—“Once a photographer, always a photographer,” she says.
This image will be among several dozen of Levine’s photographs on view this month at “Backstage Pass: Rock & Roll Photography” at the Portland Museum of Art in Maine. The exhibition, drawn from the largest private collection of photographs of rock musicians in the country, opens on January 22 and runs through March 22. Additionally, Levine contributed an essay to the accompanying exhibition catalogue, to be published by Yale University Press, and her work will be included in an exhibition at the Brooklyn Museum in October, entitled “Who Shot Rock: Photographers of Rock and Roll.” Portfolio: www.lauralevine.com.