In the first of a new programme of online exhibitions, we present a selection of the recently released collection – Disco by Bill Bernstein. This series of amazing photographs takes the viewer on an access-all-areas tour of late-70s New York nightlife.
Bernstein witnessed first-hand the last days of the disco scene in New York, he photographed the regulars at Studio 54, Paradise Garage, Mudd Club, Hurrah and GG’s Barnum Room.
Headlines may have been dominated by images of Bianca Jagger and Andy Warhol but Bernstein also captured the real faces of disco, the authentic, egalitarian crowd who lived and breathed the scene. They showed the true democracy of the dance floor where anyone could be a star, as long as they had the right attitude and flair. The images are a document of an incredibly exciting and creative time, not only in music, but also in social, political and fashion history too.
During this time of gay liberation, women’s rights and racial equality, the dance floor transcended sex, age and status. As the Disco Bats glided across the ceiling at Barnum’s, Wall Street suits partied beneath with transgender street kids. Manhattan was the epicentre of disco, and Bill Bernstein captured it all.
“DISCO WAS THE PERFECT PLACE TO FORGET ABOUT LIFE AND GIVE IN TO THE MUSIC”– Bill Bernstein
A number of signed, limited edition prints of these works are now available to purchase.