Letters

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Paparazzi Self-Portraits Postcard
Paparazzi Self-Portraits Postcard
Fan letters
Letter from Phil
Letters from Phil
Letter from Phil
Letter from Phil
Letter from El Limey
Letters from El Limey
Letter from El Limey
Letter from El Limey
Letter from Ava
Letters from Ava
Letter from Ava
Letter from Ava
Miscellanceous letter
Miscellanceous Letters
Miscellanceous letter
Miscellanceous letter

When Bettie and I first started taking photographs at CBGB we saw it as an extension of the conceptual art we were making for art galleries. The popular enthusiasm surrounding rock and roll, however, was very different from what we experienced in the rarified world of avant-garde art. We quickly realized that this offered new possibilities for distributing and selling our photographs. When Susan Springfield the lead singer of the Erasers offered us a show at Photo Works Gallery, the alternative art space she managed in Tribeca, we decided to mass produce our snapshots of celebrities and sell them for a $1 each on a cash and carry basis. The first pictures to go were the 50 copies of "Bettie with Joey Ramone" that Joey had specially signed for the exhibition. Next we began marketing our punk pictures in rock magazines. A small classified advertisement in Rolling Stone brought us orders from around the world and, in an age before e-commerce and e-mail, chatty handwritten letters from fans. The presence of Bettie in each of the pictures made our color snapshots stand out. Many of our orders came from repeat customers who saw Bettie as a friend with whom they could share their passion for the new Punk groups. In retrospect, our new marketing schemes and low prices paralleled a trend among downtown artists, many of whom were also striving to make art that had broad public appeal and was not just restricted to art connoisseurs.