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Malaga marks the 20th anniversary of the Nirvana frontman’s death with an exclusive exhibition in La Térmica
21.04.14 - 11:30 -
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Remembering Kurt Cobain 20 years on
Some of the many photos in the collection, among which Peterson's can be found. :: R. MOYNIHAN
Another year has passed and the anniversary of Kurt Cobain’s death has come and gone once more, yet the sombre mood still lingers over La Térmica in Malaga.
Last week marked twenty years since Kurt Cobain was found dead in the garage of his home in Seattle.
The reluctant and rebellious rock god, famous for his revolutionary music, powerful lyrics and his defiance towards mainstream culture and branding, was known to have struggled with depression and drug problems.
His short-lived career ended when he died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head at the age of 27, leaving behind wife and daughter Courtney Love and Frances Bean Cobain.
While family and former fellow band members paid tribute to the memory of Cobain with his induction into the ‘Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’ on Thursday of last week, Charles Peterson, one of three photographers to capture the singer on camera, was opening ‘Nirvana’ at La Térmica gallery.
The only venue in Spain to be hosting this exhibition, it showcases Peterson’s work along with that of Kevin Mazur and Kirk Weddle. As well as Cobain himself, the photo collection depicts the growth of grunge, following one of the most influential bands of the 1990s.
The core of the exhibition, mainly focused around Peterson’s work, features powerful shots of the band since its birth in the late eighties until the death of Cobain in 1994, many of which are monochrome. Peterson is well known for having documented the rise of grunge in the Pacific Northwest during the eighties and nineties.
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Also on display is a screening of A.J. Schnack’s documentary ‘Kurt Cobain About a Son’, containing audiotape interview footage between Michael Azerrad and the rockstar, as well as shots captured by Peterson. The film provides an incredibly intimate insight into Cobain’s life.
As well as Peterson’s work, photos from Kirk Weddle’s underwater photo shoot are also displayed in the exhibition. Noted for specialising in underwater photography, Weddle was responsible for taking the iconic ‘underwater baby’ photo for the album cover of ‘Nevermind’ , one of the most famous images in rock history.
The third photographer is Kevin Mazur, who contributed pictures from the 1992 MTVMusic Video Awards and from Nirvana concerts, however his photos of Cobain with family and friends are probably the most moving.
Rather than just representing Cobain as a tortured poet figure, Mazur has captured something beyond the star’s darker side, portraying him as more than the ‘talented yet troubled musician’ he is so often described as.
His family photos, which stand as testament to his fatherhood and to him as a husband, illustrate him as more than a role model for his generation, and are poignant, tragic and haunting.
It is, perhaps, ironic that Cobain would probably have objected strongly to the subsequent, widespread adulation over his death, but visitors have described La Térmica’s exhibition as a “great experience”. Here in Malaga, he is being remembered as more than the godfather of grunge.