The thrill surrounding Prem’s latest exhibit comes together with sustained success working with the San Francisco Art Exchange (SFAE). As per the well-known curator, working with the SFAE has remained an important component of this and many other rock-based exhibits. “I value the opportunity to work with SFAE owners and directors Jim Hartley and Theron Kabrich,” Prem recently mentioned. “We’ve done 40 plus exhibitions together over 18 years. SFAE was the first gallery in the world to showcase the music photography genre and is probably the most successful outlet for celebrity photography.” Prem said that the Beatles photography is only one of many exhibitions he has facilitated with the SFAE over the years. As he continued, “Jointly we’ve co-produced several exhibitions of top UK and US photographers, comprising Robert Freeman, Iain MacMillan, Terry O’Neill and Dominique Tarle .” For Prem, the 50 year Beatles anniversary show aims to not only revive original fans about their musical heroes, but also give younger fans straight access into what rock and roll is all about.
Covering the history of rock music from 1963 and 1972, Raj Prem’s collection has been shown in different countries and galleries worldwide, such as the U.S., U.K., Dubai, Japan, and the Netherlands. He has put on critically recognized exhibitions such as The Decca Years, which features the works of Philip Townsend, Michael Cooper, and Dominique Tarle during the band’s climb from chart hits to rock movement icons. Prem is very much intrigued in Bonis’ Beatles photographs to extend the many pieces he has showcased in over 95 exhibitions, celebrating the shots of photographers like Robert Freeman, David Hurn, iain macmillan et al who have immortalized everyone’s favorite Fab Four, the Beatles, for over forty years.
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Raj Prem’s formula of tracking down top photographs is one of great myth in rock photography circles. Well-known shots of the Stones, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, and Bob Dylan and more are a result of his tracking down of the rarest and most iconic photos available. In order to make sure fans can view the work, he works alongside photographers – representing them, managing their archives and organizing shows. An iconic pioneer, Prem and long time collaborators San Francisco Art Exchange (SFAe) put on the world’s first rock photography show back in 1997, based upon his belief that photography is indeed true art. He has worked with many industry legends: Gered Mankowitz, Robert Freeman, Michael Joseph, Iain Macmillan, Michael Cooper, Peter Webb, Jerry Schatzberg, Dominique Tarlê, Terry O’Neill, and Pattie Boyd. The renowned rock journalist keeps a special place in his heart for the Rolling Stones. Photographs of the Stones’ 1965 US tour displayed at that very first exhibition and those from “The Decca Years”, a showcase which depicted the Rolling Stones rise from chart attractions to leaders of the counter culture wave, have pleased audiences and were obtained largely as a result of Prem’s hard searches. Within Keith Richards’ best-selling autobiography Life, many of the photographs are credited to ‘the Raj Prem collection’.