JMB

JMB is a limited–edition book publication signed by photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron, with the inclusion of a poignant introductory essay by Francesco Clemente. 64 pages encased in a teal blue hardback cover, with ebony de-bossed JMB foiled titles.

In December 1984, Jeannette was invited by Bruno Bischofberger to photograph Jean-Michel Basquiat at his Great Jones Street studio, New York City. This was to be the first of two sittings. With only a birdcage, a chair, together with an unfinished painting as props, Jeannette shot three rolls of 120 film, 36 images – layering light and shadows in her signature black and white. As Francesco Clemente describes “Jeannette Montgomery Barron is an elegant woman and an elegant photographer. She conveys the widest range of expressivity with the minimum amount of means. The secret of her good luck is that she travels light”. Jeannette would later return to photograph both Basquiat and Warhol – again shooting 36 frames, during their infamous painting collaboration at The Factory, in the spring of 1985.

Published for the first time JMB brings together the complete sittings from 1984 and 1985. Including six contact sheets, featuring 24 large format images, plus a previously unseen artwork by Basquiat. Together with four hand-drawn diary entries by Jeannette, JMB provides a wry and honest commentary into Basquiat’s curious world at the pinnacle of his success.

This collection was part of a remarkable compendium of portraits shot by Jeannette of renowned personalities from arguably the most exciting era of New York City underground culture—the 1980s—when the young and indomitable flocked downtown in search of places to work and live among like-minded collaborators. These musicians, filmmakers, painters, writers, fashion designers, publishers, actors, models, and photographers played together, worked together, made their own rules and changed our culture, as we know it, forever.

Designed and published by NJG, fall 2022.