In Retrospect: Lou Reed

2013-10-30 2

American rock icon and Velvet Underground founding member Lou Reed passed away three days ago. Reed died at 71 years old from liver disease, only months after undergoing a liver transplant earlier this year. He is remembered for his contributions to music, but not as much for his work as a photographer.

Last know photo of Lou Reed taken by Jean Baptiste Mondino. Photo via

Reed had a prolific career as a musician, owing much of his popularity to the fact that he co-founded one of the most influential bands in the 1960s. After leaving the Velvet Underground in 1970 however, Reed continued to pursue his rock and roll dreams as a solo artist and has even collaborated with the likes of David Bowie, The Killers and—-believe it or not—-Metallica.

The world mourns the loss of a great musician. As a songwriter and poet, he is fondly remembered for his timeless contributions, but not too many are aware that Reed was a photographer as well. He was known to shoot with a Leica M8, Leica S2, and a Swiss-made Alpa. Below is a photo of film director Kimberly Peirce, taken by Lou Reed for Interview Magazine.

Kimberly Peirce. Photo by Lou Reed via

Like a true artist, Reed dabbled in other mediums to further exercise his creativity. He has held a few photo exhibitions and published books featuring his photographic work, namely “Emotion in Action,” “New York,” “Romanticism,” and most recently,“Rimes Rhymes.”

Here are some images from “Rimes Rhymes.”

All photos by Lou Reed

“These photos represent my adventures with light – starting from 1960 with Andy Warhol through today. I began with photograms. I had used a video camera to obtain extreme contrasts in photos in the likeness of Billy Name. I installed twelve rows of televisions stacked on five levels with tapes specifically for this effect. It seems as if it were whirling glaciers and was looking to all of this before I was playing on stage. I armed myself with a variety of devices for all of my goals in my quest for joy and beauty. Nothing looks like it was captured just just one lens. The reality is different for every viewer. Everything is exciting to see. I’m sure God owned a Leica.” – Lou Reed, New York, April 2012

written by jillytanrad on 2013-10-30 #art #lifestyle #infrared #lou-reed #the-velvet-underground #tributes #in-retrospect

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  1. holgardo
    holgardo ·

    Just a few weeks ago me and my dad were talking about Lou Reed. I was complaining about the Metallica/Lou Reed album, wich I truly hated (still do). He was telling me that he had never liked Lou Reed that much and that he was an overrated musician.
    I was trying to convince my dad about the importance of Lou Reed... in the end we get to the common ground that we both liked music from Laurie Anderson.

  2. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    Lou was the most important figure for my musical formation, he let me understand that rock'n'roll music could be a true form of art and non only mere entertainment. his Vision was the key that open my mind to explore and think different, to don't be a sheep but a Man. I miss him so much and I wanna tell him that I love him and thanx for his effort to made this world little more interesting.

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