— Raj Prem, known for his passion for rock art, is planning to set out for a tour of India with his moving Beatles exhibition. Prem's collection consists of pictures taken by Robert Freeman in the early 1960s. Freeman designed several of the early Beatles’ album covers and had unprecedented access to the band during that time. Prem purchased the collection from Freeman several years ago when they were shown in the United Kingdom. In 2013, a collection made up of these black and white photos from the early years of Beatles fame were displayed at Snap Gallery in London.
As a collector, Raj Prem focuses on photographs of rock bands taken in the 1960s and early 1970s. He says of the Beatles, "What makes [them] unique is that their appeal is not purely nostalgic. The Beatles are probably just as big now as they were at the time. When appearing on The Ed Sullivan Show, they got what was at the time the largest audience in the history of American television". The display in India will focus on images of the Beatles when they visited India in 1968. Prints will be presented in shopping malls in Mumbai, and later will move on to Ishetan in Japan. This show will be the first of its kind, and is being presented in collaboration with Prem's business partner, Mark Ryder.
Raj Prem's career began as a music journalist with a particular interest in the bands of the 1960s and 1970s era of Rock and Roll. His fine art collection started after a chance conversation in 1996 with one of the owners of the San Francisco Art Exchange (SFAE) gallery. Prem then made it his mission to find and exhibit some of the most representative images of that era. His first fine art collection of Rock and Roll photographs was shown at SFAE a year later, in 1997. Prem's collection spans his chosen era of 1963-1972 and includes iconic snapshots from photographers such as Robert Freeman, Michael Joseph, Iain Macmillan, Michael Cooper, Peter Webb, Jerry Schatzberg, Dominique Tarlê, Terry O’Neill, and Pattie Boyd. In nearly two decades, he has staged almost 100 exhibitions of his photography collection in many countries. More than 40 of those exhibitions have been held at SFAE, but he also curates collections at the Snap Gallery, Atlas Gallery, and Proud Galleries. At Proud Galleries, he collaborated with Kate Boenigk, Managing Director, to co-produce and curate many exhibitions.
Raj Prem's Fine Art Photography collection has been viewed in Hong Kong, Japan, the USA, the UK, Dubai, and the Netherlands. He has been involved in projects such as the Beatles Retrospective in London, and The Decca Years, a project which focused on the Rolling Stones. Prem continues to search for unique photographs to add to his compilation, especially knowing that many of the photographs in his business were never part of public domain, and therefore have never been seen before. He hopes to continue to share his collection with fans and collectors around the world. He says that these prints have a crucial place in music history and wants to make sure that their representation in that world is solidified. For more information about Raj Prem or his photography collection, visit his website at http://rajpremnews.com
Raj Prem - Curator of Rare Photography: http://rajpremcurator.com
Raj Prem - Fine Art Photography: http://rajpremfineartphotography.com
Raj Prem - Collector of Music Photography: http://rajpremcollector.com
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