In 1975 Charles Gatewood made Sidetripping, one of the greatest photography books ever made, with text by William S. Burroughs. That alone should bring him canonical status. This biography sketches the life of the behind-the-scenes artist who has taken some 100,000 photographs, many of them too outrageous to be exhibited in art galleries and museums. A truly underground documentarian, Charles has been living in San Francisco the past thirty-plus years, doing exactly what he wants to do: accurately and beautifully chronicling those pushing the boundaries of artistic and ritualistic bodily expression, regardless of societal disapproval or censorship. His work lives up to the name of one of his hardbound monographs: Forbidden Photographs...
Charles Gatewood's international experiences are recounted here through interviews and Gatewood's own writings, as well as distillations of his stories by Julia Helaine.
Follow him as he works on Norwegian ships, hitchhikes through Europe, teaches in France, takes pictures for Rolling Stone, wins the Leica Medal of Excellence for his book Wallstreet, works with Larry Clark, and finally becomes the "Family Photographer" of the edgy San Francisco piercing and tattooing underground.
Included are 50 of Gatewood's photographs, subjects including; William S. Burroughs, Jimmy Page, Bryon Gysin, Luis Bunuel, Ornette Coleman, Diane di Prima, Abbie Hoffman, Lawrence Ferlenghetti, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Paul Krassner, and many more.