Theater Gütersloh

In the Eye of the Rock’n’Roll Hurricane
Außergewöhnliche Fotografien

Copyright © Bertelsmann, Fotograf Kai Uwe Oesterhelweg

German TV

The photo exhibition “Neal Preston – In the Eye of the Rock’n’Roll Hurricane” attracted a record number of more than 10,000 visitors to the Gütersloh Theater within a month, making it one of the most successful exhibitions in the city to date. Until Sunday, at the invitation of Bertelsmann, Lightpower Collection and Kultur Räume Gütersloh, 70 impressive photo portraits of rock’n’roll greats such as Led Zeppelin, Queen, Mick Jagger, The Who and Bruce Springsteen, created by the renowned documentary photographer Neal Preston over the course of four decades, were on display in the theater. The large crowd testified not only to the quality of the pictures, but also to the attraction of rock’n’roll. Audio stations and short films with accompanying interviews, music and stories brought the world of the stage stars to life and were used intensively by the visitors.

Theater Gütersloh and its partners Bertelsmann and Lightpower Collection were also able to record a “full house” in the supporting program for the exhibition: The theater’s studio stage was filled to capacity when Neal Preston talked about his eventful life on the world’s biggest stages and festivals. A reading from the book “The Rolling Stone Years” with the actor Benno Fürmann had to be moved to the large theatre hall in order to be able to offer more tickets. A workshop for concert photography and a music evening with young bands from the region also attracted numerous participants and visitors.

The exhibition “Neal Preston – In the Eye of the Rock’n’Roll Hurricane” had already attracted thousands of visitors at the Jazz Festival in Montreux, Las Vegas, Stockholm and the Musikmesse in Frankfurt. From October 27 to November 27, 2016, the show was held in Gütersloh.

The artist was delighted with the response from the region: “I would like to thank everyone in Gütersloh, including and especially my friends in the theatre, Bertelsmann and, of course, Lightpower, who together made this wonderful exhibition possible. I’m almost speechless. You gave me the time of my life,” said Neal Preston.

Bertelsmann Chairman and CEO Thomas Rabe said: “Music and photography are a strong connection, as shown by the enormous response to this exhibition sponsored by Bertelsmann. As a company that has been active in the music business for decades and represents the music rights of many of the artists depicted, we are happy and proud of the success of this joint project in our home region.”

“On the part of the Kulturräume, we are very pleased that not only the changing exhibitions in the gallery in the forum of the Stadthalle continue to be very popular, but also that the unique exhibition of Neal Preston’s work in the theater has proven to be a crowd puller. This project was something very special for Theater Gütersloh and I am delighted that we, together with our partners Bertelsmann and the Lightpower Collection, had the opportunity to present this exclusive exhibition in the theater,” says Andreas Kimpel, Operations Manager of the Cultural Spaces and Head of the Cultural Department of the City of Gütersloh.

Ralph-Jörg Wezorke, Managing Director of Lightpower GmbH, explained: “We have already experienced a number of exhibitions. Whether in Stockholm, Las Vegas or Frankfurt. Whether with many thousands of visitors or with prominent guests and well-wishers such as Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath), Marco Mendoza (White Snake) or Brian May (Queen). All of this is very important to us. Nevertheless, Gütersloh will occupy a special position in this series. Because we have never had a more interested audience than here. Above all, however, we had partners at our side in Bertelsmann and the cultural spaces that you couldn’t wish for better. We are very happy about that. At the same time, however, we are also a bit wistful that our little R’n’R caravan has to move on again.”

Neal Preston portrayed many legendary musicians and bands with his camera: Carlos Santana, Alice Cooper, Bob Marley, Tina Turner, Aretha Franklin, David Bowie, Deep Purple, Roger Waters, Janis Joplin, Prince, Madonna or Frank Zappa, to name just a few. His pictures are among the most important works of rock’n’roll photography and probably form the most extensive body of work in rock history.

On October 29, 2016, the supporting program for the exhibition included an evening with Neal Preston, where he spoke about his paintings and their genesis under the motto “Behind the Pictures”. On November 19, 2016, an evening followed with the actor Benno Fürmann, who read from the works of the cult journalist Hunter S. Thompson – an icon of the hippie movement and founder of so-called gonzo journalism

“Neal Preston – In the Eye of the Rock’n’Roll Hurricane”
27 October – 27 November 2016
Exhibition of extraordinary photographs
at the Gütersloh Theatre
Barkeystraße 15
33330 Gütersloh
Opening hours: daily, 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. and to events at the Gütersloh Theater Free


© Bertelsmann, Fotograf Kai Uwe Oesterhelweg

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