Walter Knabe, and renowned British rock and roll photographer, Gered Mankowitz, have collaborated to create the Knabe Mankowitz Collection a limited edition artwork series commemorating six legendary rock musicians. Included are Jimi Hendrix, Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Annie Lennox, and Billy Idol.
Walter and Gered worked together to create fine art featuring historic portrait photographs taken by Gered in the 1960’s, 1970’s and 1980’s. “His photos capture the unique essence of these musicians during pivotal, historic times in their careers, while on tour, in the recording studio or just living life.
"Gered and I are storytellers. We wanted to tell a story of each of these musicians because they have influenced millions of lives for multiple generations”, says Knabe. The two accomplished this using colors and intricate textures that preserved the integrity of the photos. This enabled each piece to embody emotion, energy, and details of London’s fashion in these time periods, all while retaining the personal expression of these musicians.
Walter reached out to Mankowitz during the pandemic lockdown and was delighted that he wanted to collaborate. A blossoming professional relationship and friendship formed via virtual video meetings – because they reside in different parts of the world. “Our project is the outcome of a ‘new norm’. Had the pandemic not occurred, this would not have happened the way it did,” he continues.
Mankowitz was delighted when Knabe approached him with the collaboration idea. “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. The pandemic, combined with the current unrest in our world, has brought about a revival for the sense of ‘peace and love’ exhibited during the time when I took these photographs. We want to rekindle and share that era with the rest of the world no matter their age or where they live. What better way to bring this to life than through a wonderful piece of art to hang on your wall”, says Mankowitz.
Knabe and Mankowitz chose these musicians for their project because of their timelessness, ubiquity, and the emotions their music elicits. “No matter what generation you’re from, you understand that their songs are universal, have the ability to stir powerful feelings and have transcended time." Knabe adds.
Each piece is signed by both Knabe and Mankowitz and blends Knabe’s signature hand crafted screen printing and hand painted detail using multiple paint colors intricately layered on heavy, tactile paper. The pieces range in size from 18” x 27” to 24” x 24”. As well, a certificate of authenticity, signed by both Walter Knabe and Gered Mankowitz, is provided along with the purchase of the screen print.
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.