Author(s): Hasse Persson
In 1977, at the height of the disco craze, a club opened at 254 West 54th Street in New York City. Studio 54 was-and, arguably, remains-the world's most renowned and legendary disco. Regularly attended by celebrities such as Andy Warhol, Elizabeth Taylor, Mick Jagger, Bianca Jagger, Jerry Hall, Debbie Harry, Grace Jones, Michael Jackson, Calvin Klein, Elton John, John Travolta, Brooke Shields and Tina Turner, the club fostered an atmosphere of unadulterated hedonism for New York's art and fashion set. Hasse Persson and his camera were frequent club guests from 1977-80. The images he photographed there have become legendary, capturing the club's famed revelers, dancers in costume and general, drunken exhilaration-and yet, incredibly, "Studio 54" marks the first time in history that they have seen publication. Almost 35 years after the club's unceremonious and sudden closure, this beautiful hardback volume superbly documents the zeitgeist.Hasse Persson (born 1942) has had a long career as a photojournalist. Though Swedish born, he spent nearly a quarter century, from 1967 to 1990, working in New York. He has published five books on America and his photographs have appeared in such publications as "The New York Times," "Time," "Newsweek" and "Life." He worked as the artistic director of the Hasselblad Center in Gothenburg and today he is the artistic director of Strandverket Konsthall in Marstrand, Sweden.
It was a Pandora's Box of eccentricity and glamor.Open for just 33 months from 1977 to 1981, Studio 54 remains the ultimate discotheque.Only the beautiful, famous and socially-connected could be sure of entry.The lucky partygoers that made it into the New York City establishment reveled among celebrities, blaring music, champagne, bubbles, costumes, art, theater - and occasionally animals.Hundreds, however, never managed to pass the red velvet rope.For those left out in the cold, award-winning photographer Tod Papageorge was there - and has now compiled the madness into a book.Here is a taste of his spectacular insights.--Mia De Graaf "Daily Mail "