Sunday, August 2, 2015

Opening Reception: Jim Coke, The Doors: July 15, 1967

Celebrating The Doors: 1965 - 2015

Jim Coke photographed The Doors one time, on July 15, 1967, at LA's first rock music festival, the Fantasy Faire and Magic Music Festival at Devonshire Downs in Northridge. It was one month after the Monterey Pop Festival and two weeks before "Light My Fire" hit number one on the Billboard charts.

Over 20 years later, after seeing Oliver Stone's movie, "The Doors", Coke discovered his unprinted black and white negatives stored in his old darkroom at his family home in Long Beach. He began work on his Doors series just as the digital revolution was dawning, and produced his "Scream Sequence" of Jim Morrison using early versions of scanning, Photoshop and digital inkjet printing. As technology changed he eventually used the updated, higher resolution, archival processes available today. A few pieces are collaborations with Victor Raphael, who added gold and metal leaf to some of my prints. He's in the Polaroid permanent collection, and is noted for his experimental treatments of the photographic image.

Other subjects Coke photographed during 1967, that crucial "Summer of Love" year in America, were found along with the shots of The Doors: the Human Be-In at Griffith Park, Allen Ginsberg reading at USC, the Monterey Pop Festival, and the Stop the Draft Week protests in Oakland, where he found himself after transferring from USC to UCBerkeley.

Coke's most recent project is the mural in downtown Long Beach, the 20 foot long "Flying Morrison", which is derived from the climactic image in the Scream Sequence. He continues to photograph events on a freelance basis and welcomes inquiries into his catalog of counterculture or

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