TRIBECA — With a name like Mick Rock, the longtime photographer behind an upcoming TriBeCa rock photography exhibit said his love for shooting musicians may have been a bit pre-ordained.
“I suppose some joker upstairs might have something to do with it,” said Rock, with a laugh, of his nearly half-century-long career snapping photos of some of music’s biggest stars. “But I love photographing musicians, they’re great characters.”
Dozens of images of some of those legendary characters — including never-before-seen photos from the ‘70s and ‘80s of musicians like David Bowie, Lou Reed, Freddie Mercury and Bob Marley — are now on display in Rock’s new “Exposed” exhibit at TriBeCa’s Sumo Gallery.
Rarely seen images of more modern music stars, including Snoop Dogg, Lady Gaga and Pharrell Williams are also part of the show, which runs through October 19 at the 37 Walker St. gallery.
Rock, who is originally from England but now lives on Staten Island, said he got his start as photographer as a student at Cambridge University taking pictures of the then-relatively unknown band Pink Floyd in 1969. He soon met David Bowie, who was also just gaining attention, and other up-and-coming rock stars.
His photos run the gamut of rock photography, from behind-the-scenes moments of bands on tour and album covers for the like of the Ramones, Queen and Joan Jett to quirky magazine pictorials.
Also on display at the exhibit is a host of photo-art that Rock created, including a large image of David Bowie etched in steel that’s on sale for $25,000 and is the priciest piece at the show. Photos range from about $2,000 to $25,000.
The Exposed exhibit also celebrates his photography book of the same name, slated to come out next month.
"I've been lucky," said the 65-year-old photographer. "I have a lot of fun doing what I do, so I suppose I'll just keep going."
Exposed will be on display at the Sumo Gallery, at 37 Walker St., through October 19. Hours are 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Tuesday through Sunday. For more information, head to the gallery’s website.