Uncovering the Iconic Photoshoot of Nirvana in New York by Stephen Sweet for Melody Maker in 1993
Let’s take a trip down memory lane to one of Nirvana’s most iconic photoshoots. The shoot was for a 2-part interview in the UK’s Melody Maker weekly newspaper, and photographer Stephen Sweet had reserved the entire day for the press event. He picked up the band by taxicab and brought them to the Liberty Theatre, an abandoned movie theatre located on 42nd street in Manhattan, for the photo session.
But what really made this photoshoot special was the backdrop. Jenny Holzer’s incredible art installations, which focus on the delivery of powerful words and ideas in public places, were featured in the photos. The shots are often referred to as the “Men Don’t Protect You Anymore” photos, and they are part of her ‘survival’ series, which tries to communicate and evoke a reaction from the public in response to sexual assault.
The images are truly striking, with the band members posed against a backdrop of powerful statements in bold, neon lights. The combination of Nirvana’s edgy look and the thought-provoking art installations made for a truly memorable photoshoot that has been celebrated by fans and critics alike.
Looking back, it’s amazing to see how the band’s music and style, along with Holzer’s powerful message, came together to create such a memorable moment in pop culture history. This photoshoot will undoubtedly remain a beloved and significant part of Nirvana’s legacy for years to come.