Celebrating Grammy Week, Morrison Hotel Gallery is honoring the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band KISS with a special exhibit February 14-17, 2016. The exhibit will showcase photographs spanning the illustrious rock band’s lengthy career. In addition, Morrison Hotel Gallery is debuting the “KISS + UKIYO-E Project,” presenting a distinctive collection of spectacular multicolored wood block prints. These prints represent one of Japan’s most revered genres of art and will be a limited edition, signed by the band.
The all-star cast of KISS photographers in this exciting exhibition includes Travis Shinn, Lynn Goldsmith, Bob Gruen, Danny Clinch, Neal Preston, Norman Seeff, and Patrick Harbon. Shinn contributes more recent images of the band, whose name is very well-suited for Valentine’s Day.
Shinn interviews here, speaking with humor, candor and enthusiasm regarding the exhibition, the experience of photographing KISS, and his distinctive formula for capturing rock’s greatest personalities.
Will Engel: Please discuss your thoughts on the unique, upcoming KISS exhibition at the Morrison Hotel Gallery.
Travis Shinn: This is my first show I have been involved in with the gallery. I’m the new kid on the block. I’m excited to share space with some of the people I have looked up to in my career and a subject that is so iconic as Kiss.
The Ukiyo-e prints for the show are simply mind blowing. I am completely in awe of sharing wall space with them. The amount of detail and craftsmanship that goes into making them is incredible. It should be interesting to see the dichotomy of the prints in conjunction with the photography. Good times.
WE: What would you most like to share about the experience of photographing KISS?
TS: I have only been really star struck twice, first time involved a urinal at a Hollywood hotel. Second time was the time I got to shoot Kiss. I was always a huge fan. When I was a little kid, I had a bunch of their posters hanging on my wall. Every night, my sisters would have to cover the posters because they would scare the s– out of me. So, when I got the opportunity to shoot my childhood heroes, they walked onto the set and I could not stop laughing for the entire ten minutes I had with them. It was awesome. They were so tall in their costumes I had to hold the camera over my head to shoot them at eye level.
WE: Of all the numerous artists you’ve photographed, whose personality stands out as being the most distinctive?
TS: Funny, I get asked that all the time and I can never come up with an answer. I love my job and I get to work with incredible personalities. We have fun.
WE: How do you approach revealing a musician’s artistry through your photography?
TS: I never try to project too much of myself onto my subjects and treat them as I would any other person. I let them do their thing and I document that… with a little chaos thrown in now and then.
Morrison Hotel Gallery
Sunset Marquis Hotel
1200 Alta Loma Rd.
West Hollywood, CA 90069