new kurt cobain photo exhibit takes a look into his personal world

Photographer captures rare archival images from the musician's private vault.

|
Feb 7 2016, 6:05pm

Jesse Frohman

Kurt Cobain's Madonna Box, Geoff Moore, KM Fine Arts

In an exhibit opening on Thursday, February 11 in L.A., photographer Geoff Moore will be displaying his prints of never-before-seen private objects owned by Kurt Cobain. The show, entitled "Endorsement — The Unseen Kurt Cobain Photos," was inspired by the book Cobain Unseen, by Charles R. Cross, for which Moore captured the images of the musician's ephemera.

In 2008, the photographer was allowed one day's access to Cobain's secured art-storage vault; some of the items were taken, under guard, to an L.A. studio for one day, where Moore shot them.

One of the most potent images in the show is of one of Cobain's beloved Converse sneakers, with "Endorsement" written on its rubber tip — a reference to Kurt's longstanding wariness of corporate America and "selling out." This piece, rendered in a three-by-four-foot archival-pigment print, forms the heart of the exhibit as well as informs its title.

"Kurt's Converse," Geoff Moore, KM Fine Arts

The photos in this show give a deeper look into one of the most talented musicians of our era, and, especially, reveals the unique visual sensibility of the private and opaque artist Kurt Cobain. Photographer Moore's unique access to Cobain's artworks, collections, notebooks, and tapes is unprecedented. In the storage room, Moore found Joseph Campbell-style assemblages like "Heart Shaped Box." 

"Heart Shaped Box," Geoff Moore, KM Fine Arts

One of the most powerful images from the show is "Smashed Guitar," which depicts a piece of a broken instrument with Cobain's lyrics scribbled onto the wood. 

"Smashed Guitar," Geoff Moore, KM Fine Arts

"Tapes," Geoff Moore, KM Fine Arts

"Kurt's Journals," Geoff Moore, KM Fine Arts

"Endorsement — the Unseen Kurt Cobain Photos," runs from February 11 through March 26 at KM Fine Arts Gallery, 814 North La Cienega Boulevard, Los Angeles; www.kmfinearts.com.

Credits


Text Laura Vogel
Photography Jesse Frohman, Geoff Moore, KM Fine Arts