In Los Angeles, ‘Bob Marley: I and Eye’

Even for the ganja-driven mid-seventies, it must have seemed a dreamy assignment:

Go to Jamaica. Photograph Bob Marley, Bunny Wailer, Peter Tosh, Toots and the Maytals, Burning Spear and the Heptones.

For two years, in 1975 and ’76, photographer Kim Gottlieb Walker did precisely that, shooting Marley in Los Angeles with George Harrison, taking a cover photo of the Reggae master for High Times – the most popular cover in the magazine’s history – and escorting a young Cameron Crowe back to Jamaica to hang with Marley in his home.

“I photographed anything going on, and covered the usual scene there,” says Kim Gottlieb-Walker. “We traveled all over the island and met all the reggae performers and producers – they were enthused about having professional photos taken.”

It was the dawn of Reggae music in the states, and she photographed much of it as it happened.

She and her husband, Jeff Walker who served as Island Records USA publicity head from 1974-1977, had inside access to exclusive meetings held in Los Angeles with the record label executives and the artists who would go on to define the genre and captivate a generation.

Now her photographs are scheduled for a solo exhibition at KM Fine Arts in Los Angeles.

“I wanted to give people chance to see personal pics of Bob and Peter and that time period,” she says. “It’s all stuff that I had in my archives.”

She’s known for her use of natural light to produce some of her most important photographs. The exhibition is in two parts, with 16 large photos in the main gallery, and 30 others that are the artist’s favorites. “None are performance shots,” she says. “They’re all personal photos, with some of the Jamaican atmosphere.”

One of her favorites features a truck that was in Marley’s yard with a bumper sticker that reads: “Who Ja Bless, No Man Curse.”


The exhibition runs from Jan. 11 through Feb. 18.

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