Glen Craig was born in New York City in 1949 and started taking pictures at age 12. In 1965, an early opportunity to work in the music business propelled a young Glen Craig into the world of music photography. By the age of just 16, his images of musicians were being published both in the United States and Europe in magazines like Sixteen Magazine, Tiger Beat, and Hullabaloo, where he went on to work as a staff photographer.
Early on in his creative development, a mutual friend introduced him to famed photojournalist and filmmaker Gordon Parks, who was working at LIFE at the time. They became friends, and Parks served as an influential early mentor. Craig went on to study photography and graphic design at Parsons School of Design in New York where Diane Arbus and Benedict J. Fernandez, helped to further shape his technical and compositional prowess.
"My visual language is influenced by my years as a graphic designer and I maintain a playful and creative intent on all my projects. My goal is to create a beautiful image that serves a purpose." -- Glen Craig
Craig’s work also caught the attention of Sid Bernstein, the music promoter credited with bringing The British Invasion to America, and he went on to work closely with Sid in a parallel career on the music management side, as an Assistant, Creative Director, Photographer, and Press Officer.
Craig's many assignments brought him back and forth to London and around the USA shooting the hottest acts of the era. Still a teenager in 1965, he shot The Rolling Stones and The Who in London. Back in New York in 1966 he photographed the Beatles when they returned to play Shea Stadium. In 1967 he found himself in London again to capture the Beatles during the "Our World" satellite broadcast where they performed "All You Need is Love" at Abbey Road Studios for an audience of about 350 million viewers.
In 1969 he joined B.B. King on tour as the opening act for The Rolling Stones, capturing his performances in the months leading up to his first GRAMMY® win for "The Thrill is Gone". Of course he also shot the Stones, along with Tina Turner, Terry Reid, and Stevie Wonder, who also opened for the band during this legendary tour.
In 1970, Columbia Records wanted to cross Miles Davis over into the more mainstream music audience, so they arranged for a writer and photographer to meet with him for a large spread in Zygote Magazine. Craig was hired for the job and soon developed a trusting relationship with Davis that allowed him to capture candid and intimate portraits of the iconic musician at home, at the gym, in the studio, and on stage.
Over the course of his career, Glen photographed many musicians who went on to become music legends. These include celebrated artists Aretha Franklin, James Brown, B.B. King, Gene Vincent, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, Wayne Cochran, Tina Turner, and Johnny Cash, as well as Rock & Roll icons The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, The Beach Boys, Loving Spoonful, The Doors, and countless others.
In a recent interview Craig explained, “Working with musicians all my life, you develop respect and they have respect for you…When you’re working in discreet moments like the recording studio…You’re a fly on the wall. You’re not disengaging the musical process. You’re part of it. And that’s what people respected of me, the ‘He’s there, but he’s not there’ kind of thing. You’re waiting not as the stalker, but as the onlooker, for the decisive moment of the photograph.”
Glen Craig continues to live and work in New York City. We are proud to represent his incredible archive of images, a selection of which is shown below, please contact us with any questions, or if you would like to inquire about additional artworks not shown.
Each photograph is printed to order in New York City, so please allow 2-4 weeks for delivery. Every photograph will be hand-signed and numbered by the artist. Buyers will receive a certificate of authenticity following delivery of the artwork.