Ricky Powell—often referred to as “the fourth Beastie Boy”—passed away in NYC yesterday, aged 59. Best known for capturing images of the city’s downtown music and arts scenes (and for his quick wit), Powell had an instinctual approach that resulted in artistic, sharp and adept images. Born and raised in NYC, Powell began shooting in the mid-’80s and since photographed the likes of Basquiat, Madonna, A Tribe Called Quest, Run DMC and others. He was most prolific as an unofficial Beastie Boy—first traveling with them on the 1987 Licensed To Ill tour. He was the subject of a 2020 documentary called The Individualist and was paid homage in the Beastie Boys song “Car Thief,” but most of all, Ricky Powell was a beloved, idiosyncratic character who embodied the city of New York. Read more at The Guardian.
Image courtesy of Johnny Nunez/WireImage