Life of the Party, Ricky Powell Celebrates 50 with All-Star Classic Photo Exhibit
Ain’t no party like a Ricky Powell party! This past Saturday, the NYC photographer continued his 50th birthday celebrations at Milk Studios, with The Rickford Institute All-Star Classic Group Photography Exhibition. Sponsored by TheGoodLife! and curated by Powell, the exhibit brought together both long-time and up and coming urban photographers including the 13th Witness, Aviva Klein, Craig Wetherby, Estevan Oriol, Jamel Shabazz, Martha Cooper, and Mel D. Cole, just to name a few. Over 1,000 attendees came by throughout the night to commemorate Ricky’s big 50.
12oz caught Powell mingling with a few hundred of his closest friends, with DJ Stretch Armstrong and Jasmine Solano setting the tone. The crowd was a mix of hip hop heads and models, NYC photogs and industry peeps, and connoisseurs of dope art. Powell, who’s been photographing the streets of New York for over 25 years, also had a few select pieces up on display. My favorite was a 1985 Powell photo of Keith Haring outside his Pop Up Shop. Ah, the good old days!
If you didn’t get a chance to attend opening night, the exhibit runs until December 22nd. From street life to the birth of the hip hop era, don’t miss your opportunity to catch a glimpse of the old New York. Shout out to Ricky Powell, Milk Studios, and TheGoodLife! for putting this together. 50 years young, Happy Birthday Ricky!
Text: Steven Lau
Photo: Joe Russo and Steven Lau