Artists Pay Tribute to the Original Party Machine in “Boombox Creators”

by Nick PizanaPosted on


Bobby Grossman – Fab 5 Freddy, Debbie Harry & Lee Quinones, Handball Court at Pike & Cherry (1990)

With new formats to experience and music being churned out every few years, the classic ‘block rocker’ continues to hold its place in the hearts and minds of music buffs. For many, it represents the first time that music fans were able to sling their favorite artists over their shoulder and blast their jams all day long- or at least until the batteries died.  The upcoming “Boombox Creators” exhibition at La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles pays tribute to this era and its continuing legacy.

“The show came about because I love and collect boomboxes,” says Matt Kennedy, curator at La Luz De Jesus.


Sharp HK-9000e Dolby Dual Cassette Ghettoblaster


Magnavox D8443 Power Play 4 Bands Stereo Radio and Cassette Recorder

“I joined a meet-up several years ago called Boomboxery and reached out to several of the other members about doing a Boomboxery themed show that would feature original, functioning boom boxes and ephemera from the era and art inspired by them. One of the other members, Miles Lightwood, was running a site called Boombox Creators which was dedicated to the designers and art directors at the major stereo companies, so I spoke with him about branding the show and including some of the original production designs he had collected over the years.”


Bobby Grossman – Jean-Michel Basquiat 1

The “Boombox Creators” exhibition pulls these house objects out from the background of parties and into the spotlight. The tributes on display include boombox-inspired paintings and sculptures, blue prints of unused designs, and photographs from the likes of Lyle Owerko, whose Boombox collection is considered historically significant, and Bobby Grossman, whose images from the Chelsea, Warhol’s Factory, and C.B.G.B.’s captured the generation of Punk and Pop persuasion. At the center of the exhibition are fully functioning boomboxes from all across the pricing spectrum, from a simple, dual cassette Emerson, to a Sharp HK9000, the same model used by hip-hop legends such as Fab Five Freddy.


Lyle Owerko – Sharp GF-9696

“Boombox Creators” will be on view at La Luz De Jesus Gallery from December 4th, 2015 through January 3rd, 2016.


Richard Culbertson’s Fantasy Boombox Designs Portfolio 1

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