From the Knabe Mankowitz Collection: A special collaboration between Walter Knabe, an American multi-disciplinary fine artist, and renowned English rock and roll photographer, Gered Mankowitz.
The first in the collection is Jimi Hendrick, titled Jimi ’67. The edition of 200 pieces was created using a 1967 portrait photo shot in black and white by Mankowitz titled “Jacket & Hands” – in which Hendrix was wearing one of his iconic, fashion-forward military style jackets. Walter worked to create artwork that preserved the integrity of Gered’s photo, and which brought to life the heartbeat of the London style of the 1960's and the powerful essence of Hendrix.
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The 24” x 24” artwork piece blends Knabe’s signature hand-crafted screen printing and hand-painted detail using 18 paint colors intricately layered on hand-torn heavy, tactile paper.
Each piece in the edition is signed by both artists. “Because I created each one by hand, they are all a bit unique. We wanted the artwork to reminisce the look and culture of the time, capture Jimi’s spirit and emotion as well as tell a story with color and texture. Gered and I created a way to use the era’s trending colors – such as lime and magenta – in a complementary manner. This enabled us to bring to life the cording, buttons and other detail elements on Hendrix’s jacket to illustrate his great sense of fashion,” says Knabe.
Walter has long wanted to create a rock and roll series working together with a photographer who had the proper catalog. He has always loved Mankowitz’s work and his iconic rock and roll images. Walter connected with him during the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown and months later Jimi '67 is released --- the first in their series of limited edition rock and roll icon artwork.
“I was so delighted when Walter first approached me with the proposal that we collaborate on a silkscreen project. His work is amazing, and his expertise in the craft of print making is second to none, so I jumped at the chance to join him and create something new,” says Mankowitz.
Mankowitz established his first studio in London’s Mason’s Yard in 1963 in what was to become the heart of 60’s swinging London. He began working in the U.K. music industry at a time when it needed mould breaking images. Mankowitz's work with Jimi Hendrix and The Experience produced some of the most iconic and widely known portraits of the musician.
Mankowitz has continued working in the music world over the last 50 years and also shoots other genres of the commercial photography industry including editorial and advertising, and contributes to leading magazines. He has published multiple photography books of his images and co-created/executive produced on six-part TV series “ICON – Music Through The Lens”, on PBS in the USA. Mankowitz resides in Cornwall County in south west England.