Palazzo Medici Riccardi
Via Cavour 3, Florence
Everyday 10:30 am – 6:30 pm
Closed on Tuesday and Wednesday
full ticket: 10 € / reduced: 6 €
Free: up to 17 years old
Over 80 photos, both published and unpublished, retrace the history of the grunge music scene, as well as its undisputed hero, Kurt Cobain, a symbol of the American counterculture of the 90s, a time that followed the end of the Cold War and preceded the illusion of the New Economy.
From March 7 to June 14, 2020 in Florence, Palazzo Medici Riccardi will host the photographic exhibition “Peterson – Lavine. Come as you are: Kurt Cobain and the Grunge Revolution”. Curated by ONO Arte Contemporanea, the exhibition is organized and promoted by OEO Firenze Art and Le Nozze di Figaro, in collaboration with Città Metropolitana di Firenze, Comune di Firenze and Mus.e.
“Twenty-six years after Kurt Cobain’s death, the Nirvana myth does not tend to fade and continues to have a communicative and expressive force that manages to reach into the younger generations and thrilling the heart of those who lived their saga in the 90s”.
There are two sections; one side has images captured by Charles Peterson, the official photographer of Sub Pop Records, and the other side has photos taken by Michael Lavine, a famous advertising photographer. Peterson’s side includes shots on the birth of Nirvana, as well as the concerts and the grunge scene in Seattle, while Lavine’s side houses images captured from posed services and images for magazines. This is an unprecedented combination that immerses the audience in the fascination of those extraordinary days, where fans were an integral part of a musical revolution.
Michael Lavine captures Nirvana in the studio in different moments. The images from the months of their formation and the years of their worldwide success, a time that coincided with Cobain’s relationship with his wife, Courtney Love, became symbols of an era. His friendship with Cobain allowed him to create a visual record of the group, in the studio at all different moments of their parable, until a few days after the death of its leader.
Charles Peterson’s contribution is crucial not only for the history of Nirvana but also for the rise of grunge. By using a personal style, he created its own unmistakable trademark: its flashes are so powerful that they pierce the darkness of the clubs, while also isolating the subjects in a classic and iconic way. His images portrayed Cobain in intimate images that fully showed how the weight of success troubled the artist.
The exhibition also includes images of bands such as Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, Mudhoney, and shows the entire Seattle music scene at the end of the millennium, immortalizing a fundamental and recent period in American history: the crisis of Reaganian hedonism, the new suburbs (and its countercultures) and the incipient New Economy that will generate its own titans in Seattle.
“Peterson – Lavine. Come as you are: Kurt Cobain and the Grunge Revolution” is an exhibition in which multiple generations will be able to recognize themselves in its evocative images, reliving illusions, hopes, and the style that have seen them identify with a soundtrack and its heroes at the end of the second millennium.