Eye-Gifts from Pedro: photography of Mike Watt, iconic punk bassist



Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica is currently hosting an exhibition of photography by Mike Watt, best known as the bassist for one of the greatest bands in the history of mankind, the Minutemen. He has also collaborated musically with such diverse acts as Sonic Youth, Iggy Pop, Eddie Vedder and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Above, two shots from the current photography exhibition. For many years, Watt has lived in San Pedro, near the urban Port of Los Angeles. He began photographing the port area in 2002, mostly while kayaking or biking. He explains:

I started taking digital shots when columbia records gave me a primitive mavecia (used floppy discs!) in 1997. I really didn't get into it though w/the bike riding in the early morning (I started pedaling in 1996 after like 22 years of not riding a bicycle cuz I got a car at sixteen) 'till around 2002. I was in love w/early morning but never thought of taking pictures. you know, pedro faces east – much different than the other so cal water towns and that's what we got: sunrises and not really sunsets. I started paddling maybe seven years ago. I love my kayak and it's above-the-waist action so it gives my knees a break (I paddle tuesdays, thursdays and saturdays) – I had surgeries on them in my early twenties (I'm fiftytwo now) cuz I was born w/them bad (gift from my pop's danish ma) and fuck, my pop was a sailor – an engine room cat (chief, machinist mate) so why not be my own engine room? so I'm a paddler besides a pedaler. I have a waterproof camera for when I'm in the 'yak and then one for pedaling I carry in kind of a purse the goes over my shoulder crosswise.

Eye-Gifts from Pedro: Mike Watt at Track 16 Gallery. Here's a video interview with the artist, and here are more images from the show.

(track16.com, thanks Laurie and Sean)