Press Release

Press Release | Gütersloh, 10/26/2016

Photo Exhibition Featuring Portraits of Legendary Rock Musicians Opens at Theater Gütersloh

„Neal Preston – In the Eye of the Rock’n’Roll Hurricane“

  • Bertelsmann, Lightpower Collection, and Kultur Räume Gütersloh welcome 250 invited guests to the opening
  • 70 iconic works by Neal Preston on vies from October 27 to November 27, 2016 – Free admission

In the presence of the artist and approximately 250 invited guests, the photo exhibition “Neal Preston – In the Eye of the Rock‘n’Roll Hurricane” celebrated its opening at the Theater Gütersloh on Wednesday evening. Until the end of November, 70 memorable portraits of Rock‘n’Roll greats including Led Zeppelin, Queen, Madonna, Mick Jagger, Tina Turner, Roger Waters, David Bowie and Bruce Springsteen will be shown in the Theater foyer, photographs taken by Neal Preston over four decades. His camera captured the joie de vivre – and sometimes suffering – of the musicians both on- and offstage. The international traveling exhibition was brought to eastern Westphalia by Bertelsmann, the Paderborn-based Lightpower Collection, and Kultur Räume Gütersloh. It is open to the public daily from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. until November 27, 2016; admission is free.

Bertelsmann Chairman & CEO Thomas Rabe said: “Neal Preston’s pictures convey the artist’s creative process, and in particular the live experience of a concert, in a unique way. His photographs immediately draw the viewer in. I am delighted that we can now join our partners in presenting them in our corporate hometown Gütersloh. As a company that has been active in the music business for more than half a century and has created a first-class address for artists in the digital age with the new BMG  , Bertelsmann is a natural sponsor of this exhibition. In fact, many of the artists shown in the portraits are now signed with our music subsidiary.”

Ralph-Jörg Wezorke, Managing Director of Lightpower GmbH, said: “Many years ago, when I first started collecting rock‘n’roll photography, I never thought I would get this far with it. And even though we now have the largest collection of this kind anywhere in the world, Neal Preston remains our absolute flagship. All of us are deeply pleased and honoured to have realized this exhibition project in Gütersloh  with Bertelsmann and Kultur Räume Gütersloh as our partner.”

Andreas Kimpel, Manager of Kultur Räume and Head of Cultural Affairs for the City of Gütersloh, added: “The unique backdrop of the Theater Gütersloh provides a compelling venue for this exclusive exhibition of Neal Preston’s remarkable photographs. The theater offers an atmospheric setting and gives the rock‘n’roll legends a suitable stage. As a place for art and culture, the Kultur Räume Gütersloh, with their dual functions as theater and town hall, make possible an exciting multimedia experience with a matching supporting program including a reading, photography workshop and musical soiree.”

Neal Preston himself was delighted: “I want to thank everyone at Bertelsmann and Lightpower for the amazing job they’ve done. I also want to say thank you to all of the people at the beautiful Theater Gutersloh for hosting this exhibition. This is beyond exciting for me. I feel like a rock band with 10 records in the top 10! I couldn’t ask for a better group of people to work with. Thank you all for your time and effort, it looks fantastic. I am honored and humbled.”

At the opening, Preston personally explained his work to the invited guests. Afterwards, BMG Europe boss Fred Casimir joined him on stage, where they traded anecdotes about the music business in an interview conducted by ZDF presenter Lissy Ishag. The evening’s musical highlights were performances by the singer-songwriter duo Hanna Meyerholz, guitarist “Fast Eddie” Edward Christie-Bennett, and the rock band The Rubber Dubbers.

The exhibition  offers a multimedia experience: beyond the stories behind the pictures, which can be listened to on headphones, there are film clips featuring commentaries by Preston and his contemporaries. Memorabilia from his career are also on display. Neal Preston’s fine art prints are highly sought after by collectors worldwide. All proceeds from Lightpower Collection sales will go to a foundation that provides relief for event technicians in need.

Preston’s color and black-and-white pictures are among the most important works of rock‘n’roll photography, and arguably form the most extensive oeuvre in rock history. They have already been shown at the Jazz Festival in Montreux, in Las Vegas, Stockholm and at Musikmesse Frankfurt.

The supporting program for the exhibition includes an evening with Neal Preston on October 29, 2016 entitled “Behind the Pictures,” in which he speaks about his photos and how they came about. On November 19, 2016 this is followed by an evening with the actor Benno Fürmann who reads the works of journalist Hunter S. Thompson – an icon of the hippie movement and the founder of “gonzo” journalism. On November 23, 2016, the “Shooting Shows” workshop teaches the basics of concert photography, and that evening, young bands from the region will perform on Gütersloh Theater’s studio stage at the “create music” event.

“Neal Preston – In the Eye of the Rock’n’Roll Hurricane”
October 27 - November 27, 2016

An exhibition of extraordinary photographs
at the Theater Gütersloh
Barkeystrasse 15
33330 Gütersloh 

Open daily from 5:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. and during events at the Theater Gütersloh;
Admission is free
For more information: 

About Bertelsmann
Bertelsmann is a media, services and education company that operates in about 50 countries around the world. It includes the broadcaster RTL Group, the trade book publisher Penguin Random House, the magazine publisher Gruner + Jahr, the music company BMG, the service provider Arvato, the Bertelsmann Printing Group, the Bertelsmann Education Group, and Bertelsmann Investments, an international network of funds. The company has 117,000 employees and generated revenues of €17.1 billion in the 2015 financial year. Bertelsmann stands for creativity and entrepreneurship. This combination promotes first-class media content and innovative service solutions that inspire customers around the world.

About the Lightpower Collection
Lightpower was founded in 1978 in Paderborn as a lighting rental company. Since then the company has grown to be an internationally leading distributor for stage lighting equipment. The Lightpower Collection has evolved out of this company’s culture that has grown over 38 years. The collection of music photography is based on the origins of Rock’n’Roll which has influenced significantly today’s and future music and concert culture. Legendary album covers, views behind the scenes, moments that made history – the Lightpower Collection honors and celebrates those legends in the limelight – while returning something to those who work hard in the background to make all this happen. All income from the sales of fine art prints and books is being donated to the charity “Behind the Scenes”.

About Kultur Räume Gütersloh
Kultur Räume (Cultural Spaces) Gütersloh combines the City Hall and the directly adjacent theater under one strong brand. Both buildings not only offer a varied cultural program, but also numerous venues for events of any kind. The wide range of cultural spaces on offer enables ever new combinations for compelling event concepts. An experienced and competent team, along with state-of-the-art technology, ensure perfect implementation and unforgettable experiences. Whether cultural events or conventions and conferences, tradeshows, exhibitions or celebrations – from planning to implementation, Kultur Räume Gütersloh offers one-stop, customized solutions.