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Ricky Powell, Charlie Ahearn, Glenn O’Brien, et. al 

Public Access: Ricky Powell Photographs 1985-2005

In 20 years of taking pictures, Ricky Powell (aka "the Rickster") has had a large hand in encapsulating how the world visually thinks of East Coast hip-hop icons such as Slick Rick, Flavor Flav, and Run-DMC. And his black-and-white shots of the Beastie Boys are the band's default image in many a fan's mind's eye. While he's previously released books of his photography (Oh Snap! and The Rickford Files) that depict his casual, multicultural take on New York life, Public Access is the most significant effort to date. And that's because it's more than just a staid collection of photos.

The twist that gives this book the edge in the Powell collection is its intermingling of collaborations with several notable graffiti writers-turned-international art stars such as BIGFOOT, Sam Flores, David Choe, Lee Quinones, KAWS, Dalek and SEEN. Paints, pens and aerosols collide with photos to create unique collages that often animate Powell's literal images one step further into a world of Technicolor fantasy wonderland. Thus, LL Cool J really gets to choke a chicken on stage, Powell himself sports a mischievous tail, and West Coast gangsta rapper the late Eazy E comes face-to-face with a vibrant tiger. It's all like an exciting Saturday morning cartoon for adults funneled into one wild and crazy book.

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