Roberto Rabanne began his career in New York as the influences of the counter culture were being felt on music, fashion, art and politics. His iconic photographs of Bob Marley, Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Grateful Dead and other rock idols quickly earned him a reputation as a master at capturing the exhilaration of live performances on film.
In the 1980’s Rabanne extended his work into high fashion and has continued to document the people and events of his generation in private shows and foremost publications such as Rolling Stone, Spin, Vogue, Der Spiegel, Woman, Marie Claire among many others.
Rabanne’s themes are sex, power, politics, celebrity, music and fashion. He describes himself as a voyeur. “Because I was born and lived my first 13 years in Panama, I think I have an outsider’s perspective of American and European culture. I see pop culture as a seductive relationship between ambition and art. My photographs record the high and low points of that liaison.”
The works of the Dadaists and Surrealists have a great influence on Rabanne’s work.” In the late 1990s Rabanne began experimenting with photographic images to take his work beyond merely capturing a moment in time. “I wanted to create moments, moods, ideas from the photographs,” he explains. “With new technologies I can push myself to be more artistic, more provocative.”
In 2002, Rabanne founded Rabanne Design, Inc. as a creative laboratory for expanding the limits and applications of photography to both objects and environments. He defines brand, Roberto Rabanne X as “the distillation of all my aspirations, experiences and ideas.”