Michael Grecco is an award-winning photographer and director based in Los Angeles. He is recognised internationally for his high concept imagery, dramatic visual storytelling, mastery of lighting, and the powerful connections he forges with his subjects that result in surprising nuance and fresh takes on the most famous of faces.
Grecco’s immense body of work, which represents almost 45 years of capturing images, encompasses fine art, music, commercial, and editorial photography, as well as an outstanding portfolio of celebrity portraiture. The latter became a specialty when People Magazine invited him to move to Los Angeles in the late 1980s to shoot for the publication.
Born in New York City, Michael attended college in Boston, where he began his professional career shooting for the Associated Press and covering the music scene for the legendary FM radio station WBCN. It was the heyday of punk rock’s arrival in the U.S. While he was documenting the nightclub and concert scenes in Boston and New York City, in the 1970s and 1980s, as a working photographer, Grecco – a self-described “club kid” of the time – had a unique opportunity to embed himself in this revolutionary scene as both a chronicler and a participant.
After these images sat dormant in flat files for decades, Michael Grecco and his archivist decided to revisit them. Their efforts lead to his latest book, Punk, Post Punk, New Wave: Onstage, Backstage, In Your Face, 1978–1991 (Abrams Books, 11/10/2020), and the accompanying multi-media exhibition, “Days of Punk.” The coffee-table volume features 162 previously unseen images – including backstage and onstage moments – that are available to collectors for the first time in exclusive limited editions. Grecco’s personal anecdotes from his times hanging out with the musicians he was shooting add further depth to the book.
Michael says, “The spirit of Punk was extraordinary, its music endures. It marked me forever. This collection of work has never before been seen. As you look at these images, I hope you also get touched by its infectious freedom.”
These Michael Grecco photos are the centerpiece of the “Days of Punk” exhibition, which premiered at the international photography fair Photo London in 2021, and will subsequently travel the world. The show experience is augmented by soundscapes created in collaboration with members of the cult band Mission of Burma. A video component of the exhibition includes some archival footage that Grecco himself shot back in the punk era.
Grecco continues to create new work, and his images have appeared in publications including Time Magazine, Vanity Fair, The Boston Globe, The Guardian, Esquire, and Rolling Stone, among many others. A father to three, Grecco lives and works in Santa Monica with his wife and their two Russian Blue cats. In his spare time, he can be seen exploring his adopted hometown’s diverse neighborhoods and subcultures on his Triumph Bonneville, with a favorite camera in tow, ready to find, capture and inspire.
We interviewed Michael Grecco to find out more about his music photography, career, and inspirations. Read our news article here to find out more