About the book
"I was eager to be Judy's model and to have the opportunity to work with a true artist. I felt protected in the atmosphere we created together. We had an inner narrative, producing our own unspoken film, with or without a camera."
-Patti Smith, from her afterword
Like a scene in Godard's Vivre sa vie or Dreyer's La Passion de Jeanne d'Arc, Patti Smith posed for the lens of a young photographer, Judy Linn.
It was 1969, some years before Patti Smith entered the arena of rock and roll. Smith was a struggling poet, harboring a romantic ideal of the collaborative possibilities between an artist and model- a dream happily fulfilled within this intimate and high-spirited body of work.
Linn's images of Smith range from the vulnerable to the iconic. Focusing on shifting influences and spotlighting her profound relationships with artists such as Robert Mapplethorpe and Sam Shepard, Linn has captured Smith like no one else, in the grainy atmosphere of a bygone New York.
Judy Linn's photographs document the blooming of an enduring friendship and the evolution of two unique artists: gritty and visionary, fragile and tough.
Praise for Patti Smith 1969-1976:
"a striking new book, Patti Smith: 1969-1976 (out March 1) . . . collects photographs of the coolly photogenic star taken by her talented friend Judy Linn during the same time Kids describes. They're wonderfully composed shots of Smith looking like the star of a Godard film of her own making. The pictures show her fully ready for a closeup that would cement her boho image just a few years later, on the iconic cover of her first album, Horses, shot, of course, by Mapplethorpe himself."
-New York Daily News
"Here is Smith's acclaimed 2010 memoir, Just Kids, come to life-the shrines to Bob Dylan, the dress up-and the photos strike the same wistful note; as Smith writes in her afterword: 'once upon a time, we were young and beautiful and anyone we imagined we could be.'"
"Anticipating a new generation's excitement for Smith and Mapplethorpe, their friend Judy Linn has published a new book of her photographs, Patti Smith 1969-1976, that centers on the era covered in Just Kids, the time before Patti and Robert were famous. The book's a nice visual testament to their friendship, but it's also a bible of good clothing, an early record of one of the most stylish couples of all time."
"Linn's collection of photographs is the perfect complement to Smith's National Book Award-winning memoir, Just Kids . . . like Smith's memoir, the photos-uninterrupted by titles, captions, or any other text-serve two purposes: they tell the story of young artists finding their voice and style and serve as a love letter to '70s New York, four decades later."
About the author
Judy Linn is a photographer who is represented by Feature Inc., New York. Her work is in the collections of the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Detroit Art Institute, and the Dallas Museum of Art. She teaches photography at Vassar College and lives in New York City.