Stephanie Chernikowski moved to New York City from her native
Texas on Columbus Day of 1975. She began working as a photojournalist
shortly before her move and has continued to view life through
a lens. Her concentration has been on 35mm black & white
portraiture and documentation of the downtown music and arts
scene, with occasional digressions.
In 1996, 2.13.61 Publications released "Dream
Baby Dream: Images from the Blank Generation, a documentary
film in stills," her record of the punk years in New
York City. Critically acclaimed it was nominated for a Firecracker
Award (the ABA's Independent Press category) for the outstanding
art/photography book of the year. The following year she was
project coordinator of and a contributor to Blank Generation
Revisited: the Early Years of Punk Rock, published by Schirmer
Books/Simon & Schuster in which six of the era's leading
photographers presented photo essays on the period drawn from
their contributions to a long-running traveling show.
Chernikowski's images have been commissioned and included in
cds by such diverse artists as R.E.M., Henry
Rollins, the Ramones and
Joey Ramone, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, George Jones,
Gary Stewart, Delbert McClinton, Elvis Costello,
Jon Spencer's Blues Explosion, Daniel Lanois, Alex Chilton,
The dB's, Alan Vega,
The Cramps, Roky Erickson, Richard
Hell, Richard Lloyd,
Eric Ambel, Coyote Shivers,
Laura Cantrell, Will
Rigby, and Amy Rigby.
as well as Sony Music, Rhino Records, Warner Bros. Records,
Atlantic Records; and the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.
has appeared in numerous publications, books, films, and videos
around the world, some of which include The Village Voice, The
New York Times, Rolling Stone, Texas Monthly, Austin Chronicle,
Austin American-Statesman, New York Daily News, Tokion, the
Journal of Country Music; New Music Express, Melody Maker, Mojo
(UK). It is included in films: Rock & Roll High School, Burning Down the House, and Blank Ciity: and videos aired by BBC, A&E, VH1, and
PBS. Books include CBGB & OMFUG (Abrams); Max’s Kansas City: Art, Glamour, Rock and Roll edited by Steven Kasher (Abrams); Punk 365 (Abrahms); No Wave: Post Punk. Underground.New York. 1976-1980 (Abrams Image); The Portable Henry
Rollins (Villard); Martin Scorsese Presents the Blues, How the
West Was Worn, American Roots Music (Abrahms); PUNK (Cassell,
UK, Thunder’s Mouth, US); Please Kill Me (Grove), Rolling
Stone Book of Decades (Chronicle); Trouble Girls: Women in Rock
(Rolling Stone/Random House); Rolling Stone Book of Life and
Rolling Stone Book of Rock (Rolling Stone/Running Press); R.E.M./Fiction
(Virgin Books); The R.E.M. Companion (Schirmer Books/Simon &
Schuster), High on Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max’s
Kansas City (Thunder’s Mouth); You’re So Cold I’m
Turning Blue (Viking Penguin); Country Music Encyclopedia, Illustrated
History of Country Music (Times Books/Random House).
As the work has acquired historical significance, demand has
increasingly moved to galleries. Chernikowski's solo shows have
included "The Photography of Stephanie Chernikowski: Images from the Blank Generation" at the Morrison Hotel Gallery Bowery, NYC; "The Possessed: Portraits of Artist" at Pratt Institute Photography Gallery; "Rough
Magic: Punks NYC 1970s," at Great Modern Pictures, NYC
and Maxwell's, Hoboken; "On the Bowery" at BLVD, NYC;
and "Late Night Reruns and Coming Attractions," Congo
Bill/Danceteria, NYC. She curated a show, "The Outlaws, photographs of the Counter Culture," with fellow Village Voice photographer Fred McDarrah at the Shooting Gallery in Los Angeles. Some of the group shows in which her work
has appeared are "Looking at Music: Side 2" at the Museum of Modern Art, NYC; "Who Shot Rock & Roll: A Photographic History, 1955-present (Knopf); “bande à part” New York
Underground 60’s, 70’s, 80’s at galerie du
jour agnès b Pari.s and Clic Soho NYC; "Blank Generation Revisited,"
Earl McGrath Gallery and CBs 313 Gallery, NYC, Stichting Melkweg,
Amsterdam, Lubbock or Leave It, Austin TX ; Janet Wallace Fine
Arts C, St. Paul, MN; "The Cool & the Crazy,"
Earl McGrath Gallery, NYC, Candace Perich Gallery, Ridgefield
CT, Govinda Gallery, Washington DC; "Ascent of Western
Civilization", Threadwaxing Space, NYC; "The Last
Party: a history of nightlife," Serge Sorrokko Gallery,
New York & San Francisco; "Texas Photography &
Texas Music Photographers," New Braunfels Museum of Art
& Music"; "Angels: from Cherubim & Seraphim
& Lucifer's Children,"Melkweg Gallery, Amsterdam; "Man
and Peace, Third International Photo Exhibition", traveling
USSR; The Village Voice group show, Overseas Press Club, NYC.
After the World Trade Center attack, she participated in Here
is New York, whose archives have been donated to the New York
Public Library, the New-York Historical Society, and the Smithsonian.
Chernikowski is also a published writer on lifestyle and popular
culture for books and periodicals, most notably for The Village
Voice, where her work was accompanied by her photographs.
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