"We look so young. We were so young."
Scene is a remarkable compendium of portraits of renowned personalities from arguably the most exciting era of New York City underground culture, the 80s—a veritable time capsule of NYC when the young and indomitable flocked downtown in search of places to work and live among like-minded collaborators. These musicians, filmmakers, painters, writers, fashion designers, publishers, actors, models, and photographers played together, worked together, and made their own rules, and changed our culture, as we know it, forever.
Scene is photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron's album of that exciting and innovative era; her life in New York in the 80s was filled with the early light of dawn after nights spent dancing at Area, the Palladium, or the Mudd Club, vodka and cigarette-fueled dinners at the Odeon, salon-style lunches at Andy Warhol's Factory, and mornings working out at the gym with Bianca Jagger. Montgomery Barron's first portrait of Francesco Clemente was followed soon after by one of Andy Warhol, which led to portraits of friends Jean-Michel Basquiat and Keith Haring. In rapid succession, she photographed all the icons and luminaries of the era including Willem Dafoe, Julian Schnabel, Robert Mapplethorpe, Jenny Holzer, Cindy Sherman, Kathryn Bigelow, George Condo, William Burroughs, and many more.
Scene is a beautiful collection of fragile young souls, fearless in their desire to remake the nightlife and the art world in their likeness, and a poignant memento of those lost too early.
"Having shot everyone from Andy Warhol to Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring to Cindy Sherman, Barron's photos managed to capture some of the art world's biggest stars during their ascent as well as icons who would not live past the decade."
"[Jeannette] captures her old friends during a luminous era that has yet to fade."
"Jeannette Montgomery Barron’s new photo book SCENE is a must-have for aficionados of the ‘80s New York art scene — for which Barron was something of an unofficial 'yearbook photographer,'capturing images of legends.
"Jeanette Montgomery Barron is presenting a beautiful version of New York in the 80s that's wonderfully stripped down."
-Harper's BAZAAR online
"Montgomery Barron's black and white portraits are visually captivating and the collection in Scene evokes an intimacy that makes the book feel like you are flicking through a private photo album."
-Le Journal de la Photographie
"SCENE takes us back in time, through the faces of the ones who changed our culture."
"At the mythic origin of the downtown scene, there was Andy Warhol, Bianca Jagger, and Jean-Michel Basquiat. And photographer Jeannette Montgomery Barron was there too -- photographing the superstars, the wannabes, and the demigods in-between."
-The Daily Beast
"Ms. Barron, on the other hand, seems possessed of verbal self-discipline, not only in person but also in print. "Scene" combines her spare, elegant photographs and her economical prose."
-The Wall Street Journal