Baron Wolman

Baron Wolman

Baron Wolman (b. June 25, 1937) is an American photographer best known for his seminal work in the 1960s for the music magazine "Rolling Stone".

Early Photographic Career

Baron's professional photographic career began in West Berlin in the 1960s where he was stationed with the military. From Berlin he sold his first photo essay for publication, images of life behind the then-new Berlin Wall. Determined to work as a photo-journalist, after his discharge he moved from Germany to Los Angeles and then to San Francisco.

"Rolling Stone"'s Chief Photographer

It was in San Francisco, in April, 1967, that Baron, then 30 years old, met a talented and articulate 21 year old Cal Berkeley student and freelance writer named Jann Wenner. Baron had been photographing rock bands and Wenner had plans to form a new kind of music periodical with "San Francisco Chronicle" music writer, Ralph Gleason. Baron agreed to join the new periodical, "Rolling Stone", and work for free. Presciently, he also insisted on ownership of all the photos he took for "Rolling Stone", giving the magazine unlimited use of the pictures. Both parties considered it a fair exchange at the time, and Baron began working for "Rolling Stone." He was there from October, 1967, when the first issue was published, and continued to shoot for the magazine for another three years. Because of Baron's virtually unlimited access to his subjects, his photographs of Janis Joplin, the Rolling Stones, Frank Zappa, the Who, Jimi Hendrix, Joan Baez, Iggy Pop, Pink Floyd, Bob Dylan, the Grateful Dead, Phil Spector, Jim Morrison, Ike & Tina Turner, and other celebrated, soon-to-be-famous musicians and counter-culture icons were the graphic centerpieces of "Rolling Stone"'s layout.

For the most part, Baron eschewed the studio and never used on-camera strobes, preferring informal portraiture, a style of shooting appropriate to both the musicians he was documenting as well as the audience for these photographs. Baron's photographic approach of capturing each musician as he or she was in life was gradually supplanted by highly stylized, mostly studio image makers, whose pictures were published only upon the approval of the musician and of his or her management. This evolution can be traced on the subsequent covers of "Rolling Stone" through the years.

"Rags" Magazine

Although his work at "Rolling Stone" has come to define his photographic career, Baron has been involved in numerous non-music projects. After leaving "Rolling Stone" in 1970, Wolman started his own fashion magazine, [ "Rags"] , housed in "Rolling Stone"'s first San Francisco offices. "Rags" was a counterculture fashion magazine ahead of its time (described as the "the "Rolling Stone" of fashion"), focusing on street fashion rather than the fashion found in store windows. Creative and irreverent, the magazine's 13 issues (June 1970 through June 1971) were an artistic success.

Later career

Baron followed "Rags" by learning to fly and making aerial landscapes from the window of his small Cessna. These photographs were the basis of two successful books, "California From the Air: The Golden Coast" (1981), and "The Holy Land: Israel From the Air" (1987), published by [ Squarebooks] which Baron founded in 1974, and which continues to publish an eclectic selection of illustrated, quality books.

In 1976, Baron spent a year with the Oakland Raiders football team, using his full-access status to photographically document the entire 1974 season. The result was "Oakland Raiders: The Good Guys", published in 1975.

In 2001, Baron moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he continues to photograph and publish.

External links

* [ Baron Wolman's Website]
* [ Gallery Site & Store]
* [
* [ The Art of Rock 'n' Roll - Walnut Street Gallery]
* [ Baron Wolman Vault]
* [ "Rags" Blog]
* [ Video interview with Baron Wolman]

elected Publications

*"Classic Rock & Other Rollers"
*"California From The Air: The Golden Coast"
*"The Holy Land: Israel From The Air"

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