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Shots in the Dark with David Godlis

shots in the dark

Between 1976 and 1980, young Manhattan photographer David Godlis documents the nocturnal goings-on at the Bowery's legendary CBGB, "the undisputed birthplace of punk rock," with a vividly distinctive style of night photography.

Directors: Lewie Kloster & Noah Kloster

Star: David Godlis


They say that the punk rock movement was born in Mid 70's New York City. If so, then David Godlis was in the delivery room. Godlis was NYC's latest resident when he found the now-famous venue, CBGB's. He was a 25 year old street photographer, dissatisfied with his studio assistant day job. To combat his frustration with his inability to shoot street pictures by day, he was determined to reinvent street photography to be just as beautiful by night. His setting would be his favorite bar: CBGB's. While he took some of the earliest photos of The Ramones, Blondie, Television, and Talking Heads, he also turned his camera away from the celebrities. He took photos of the regulars, the drunks, and loud mouths who loitered the club too. As a result, Godlis compiled a truly intimate portrait of his new home, CB's, all while empowering himself in the new punk movement fueled by a DIY attitude.

David Godlis


David Godlis, who is best known by his last name GODLIS, has been photographing in New York City since 1976. A “street photographer” in the style of Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand, he wandered into the nightclub CBGB's one night, and has become known for his photographs of the NYC Punk scene.


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