Lyle Owerko’s Boombox GelaSkins

by Julie Wolfson


Photographer Lyle Owerko's Boombox series for GelaSkins is the latest (and one of our favorite) graphic tributes to the giant stereos that ruled the '80s.

His take on the trend draws on his personal collection of 42 ghetto blasters, which he's been amassing for their ostentatious, industrial look since the mid-'90s. The result is a range of Owerko's reverent images printed on GelaSkin's removable adhesives that feature scratch and UV-resistant coating to keep iPhones, laptops and a wide variety of other devices intact while looking sharp.

While Owerko's own nostalgia for the portable stereos stems from memories of heavy metal, punk and ska, his video with Fab Five Freddy for NPR Music explores the history of boomboxes to explain the stereo's affect on all genres—it's well worth a watch.


Known for being one of the first photographers on the scene at the World Trade Center on 9/11, Owerko's images from that day are the subject of the book, "And No Bird Sang." He was also recently named a finalist for the Hasselblad Masters award for his series of Samburu photos.

Prices for the GelaSkins start at around $15 and are available on their website.