The world of punk rock can be intoxicating and hypnotizing, enticing anyone who wants to listen into it’s chaos. On our latest peek into the punk rock world we are checking out Hard+Fast, a brand new photography book from photographer Melanie Nissen. Growing up in Los Angeles, Nissen snagged her first camera when she was 18, after her young daughter inspired her to pursue her passion for photography. Nissen originally studied photography at ArtCenter College of Design, but left due to balancing raising a child and monetary expenses. She would later work at Hunter’s Books, where she met artists that introduced her to the LA punk rock scene in the mid-’70s. Nissen quickly inserted herself into the punk rock scene, becoming an essential photographer in the scene for a handful of years…creating pure emotion with her photos. .
“I can see that these are also documentary pictures because they include elements of Los Angeles that have disappeared. The Tropicana Motel, bars and cocktail lounges, newsstands, nightclubs, the street life on Hollywood Boulevard, boutiques run by and for punks, burger stands, phone booths – these things are gone today, and they represent an aspect of L.A. history that shouldn’t be forgotten. The entire city had the familiarity of a neighborhood then, and that’s no longer the case. L.A. is my home, though, and I’ll always remain loyal to it; I wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.” – Melanie Nissen
The art of photography is sometimes lost on the masses, as the amount of emotions you can express are limitless and can be endlessly interpreted differently. Nissen understood this fact, as she was able to catch a different style from her peers, with each photo impacting hard. Thanks to Nissen becoming friends with most of her subjects, she was able to snag more candid, good humor, entertaining, and exagerrated body language within her frames. From 1976 – 1979, Nissen helped mold and create Slash magazine, creative a unique fanzine that truly showcased the inclusivity and chaos of the late ’70s punk scene. This first collection of Nissen’s work, HARD + FAST, will be a hardbound art book published by Blank Industries due out February 1, 2022.
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Who am I? Just some guy who decided to start writing on the Internet years ago and now operates his own brand and site. Owner/Operator of Modern Neon Media, I make all kinds of niche content to suit my interests at the time. DIY Enthusiast, Brewmaster extraordinaire, and avid freak for geek culture. Follow on my socials for a more “on” version of me.