the Backroom

The Amazing Bob Dylan Retrospectrum Exhibition

by Chris Murray on May 4, 2022  |  1 Comment »

I went to see the extraordinary exhibition of Bob Dylan’s pantings, drawings, and iron works at the Frost Museum in Miami. I was blown away by Dylan’s art. Here are some examples of Dylan’s works from that exhibition.

This week, the Bob Dylan Center opens in Tulsa, Oklahoma with its inaugural exhibition featuring material from Bob Dylan’s archive.

About the Bob Dylan Center

Designed by Olson Kundig, the Bob Dylan Center will house and exhibit more than 100,000 exclusive cultural treasures created and owned by Bob Dylan over seven decades. These include handwritten lyric manuscripts to some of the world’s most treasured songs, previously unreleased recordings, never-before-seen film performances, rare and unseen photographs, visual art and other priceless items spanning Dylan’s unparalleled career as one of the world’s most important cultural figures.

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Chris Makos’ New Book of Warhol Modeling Photos

by Chris Murray on April 28, 2022  |  4 Comments »

Christopher Makos, Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, 1984. Photo by Chris Murray.

I went to NYC for the launch of Christopher Makos’ just published book Andy Warhol Modeling Portfolio (G Editions). The launch took place at the legendary Strand Bookstore and Vincent Fremont moderated a discussion of the book with Makos. Christopher’s energy is legendary and when Fremont came out of the ‘backstage’ area with Makos to start the program he looked at me and said “I’m already exhausted!” It was a lively program and Christopher signed books for everyone.

The book cover of Andy Modeling Portfolio (G Editions, 2022).

Makos introduced me to contemporary photography. He has also had six major one person exhibitions at Govinda Gallery, including Christopher Makos, Photographs (May 1981), War Games (November 1984), Architecture and Design (September 1986), Photographs of Andy Warhol (June 1989), Paintings and Prints (May 1990), and Icons, Portraits, and Man Ray (September 1991). His work was also featured in The Cool and The Crazy: Images of Punk (October 1996)  and the Govinda Gallery Twenty-fifth Anniversary Retrospective Exhibition (September 2000).

Supermodel Esme Marshall and Christopher Makos, NYC, 1982. Photo by Chris Murray.

Govinda Gallery also had the pleasure of publishing two major projects of Makos’ silkscreens and paintings, Icons and Man Ray.

Portrait of Andy Warhol by Christopher Makos. Acrylic on canvas, 1990.

Christopher Makos’ work is available through Govinda Gallery. Enjoy the slide show of Christopher Makos’ photographs on our home page, selected by Govinda Gallery’s Fabiola Castro.

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Christopher Makos

by Roberto Rodriguez on April 12, 2022  |  Comments Off on Christopher Makos

Christopher Makos burst onto the photography scene in 1977. Andy Warhol, his good friend and frequent portrait subject, called Makos “the most modern photographer in America.” His photographs have been exhibited in galleries and museums such as the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, the Tate Modern in London, Govinda Gallery in Washington, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York, the IVAM in Valencia (Spain), and the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid. His pictures have appeared in magazines and newspapers, including Paris Match and Wall Street Journal. He is the author of several important books, including Warhol/Makos In Context (2007), Andy Warhol China 1982 (2007) and Christopher Makos Polaroids (2009).

Christopher Makos’ photos are available through Govinda Gallery


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35th Anniversary of Andy Warhol’s Memorial Service

by Chris Murray on April 1, 2022  |  1 Comment »

Peter Wise, Chris Makos and Chris Murray entering St. Patrick’s Cathedral, April 1st, 1987. © Christophe von Hohenberg.

35 years ago today a memorial mass was held at St. Patrick’s Cathedral for Andy Warhol, who had passed on just about one month before the service. I was invited to the memorial and went with my friends Chris Makos and Peter Wise. We sat behind Yoko Ono.

Program for Andy Warhol memorial service.

Warhol was a major inspiration in my opening Govinda Gallery, and he had six exhibitions at Govinda. Andy and his circle of artists, photographers, writers, editors, collectors, art dealers and friends had much to do with Govinda Gallery’s success.

Warhol superstar ‘Baby Jane’ Holzer, St. Patrick’s Cathedral, April 1st, 1987. © Christophe von Hohenberg.

I met Andy several years before I opened Govinda in 1975 through my college chums Michael NetterBob Colacello and Glenn O’Brien who all worked for Andy.

Bob Colacello was the editor of Interview Magazine and with Bob and Interview photo editor Robert Hayes I began organizing and exhibiting many of the photographers featured in Interview including Chris MakosGerard MalangaGreg GormanMichael HalsbandPeter StrongwaterErica LennardFirooz ZahediHerb RittsDavid Seidner and many more.

When Andy visited Washington I would drive him around town, usually with Bob Colacello or Chris Makos, to parties, gallery openings, artist studios, collectors’ homes, museums and his hotel. Sometimes he would relax in the back room of Govinda Gallery, which this blog, The Back Room, is named after. Andy was the ‘patron saint’ of Govinda Gallery.

Chris Murray and Andy Warhol at the Kennedy Center in Washington, DC, 1986. Photo by John Whitman/Govinda Gallery.

Bob Colacello, Andy Warhol, and Chris Murray, Corcoran School of Art, Washington, DC, 1984. Photo by Paul Weiss/Govinda Gallery.

Chris Murray and Andy Warhol at Govinda Gallery, 1985. © J. Virgilio.

I loved Andy, and was fortunate to exhibit his art at Govinda. This post is a remembrance of one of the great artists of our time and of someone I was grateful to call a friend.

Chris Murray, Andy Warhol, and Chris Makos, Morgan’s Hotel, NYC. © Govinda Gallery Archive.

I want to acknowledge some of Andy’s associates and friends who were supportive of the work I did at Govinda Gallery: Bob ColacelloChris MakosVincent FremontPaige PowellFred HughesSylvia MilesRobert HayesJane HolzerMichael NetterCandy DarlingGlenn O’BrienRon FeldmanPeter WiseBenjamin LiuMark BaletGael LoveGerard MalangaBrigid BerlinTony ShafraziJackie Curtis and Eric Emerson.

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by Chris Murray on March 14, 2022  |  Comments Off on Courage

Howard Carr, Portrait of Volodymyr Zelenskyy, oil on board.

Govinda Gallery


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Derek Trucks, Donovan and Harry Belafonte!

by Chris Murray on March 1, 2022  |  Comments Off on Derek Trucks, Donovan and Harry Belafonte!

My friend, the artist Tom Meyer, called me the other day to see if I was going to the Tedeschi Trucks Band gig at the Warner Theatre in downtown Washington. I was clueless as to their being in town, and Tom got me two tickets for the show. It was an outstanding concert from the band many consider to be the best there is. And Dereck Trucks may well be the finest guitar player today.

It was ten years ago next month that I first met Derek and saw him perform. Donovan was being inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame on April 14th, 2012. It was my great pleasure to accompany him to Cleveland for that great honor, as his aide de camp. What a weekend it was!

Derek Trucks and Linda Leitch in the ‘green room’ at the 2012 Rock Hall induction ceremony.

The late, great Freddie King who by their own account, influenced Eric Clapton, Duane Allman, Jeff Beck, Keith Richards and Stevie Ray Vaughan, among others, was being inducted as well that evening. A ’super group’ was formed to perform in Freddie King’s honor, which included Derek Trucks, Billy Gibbons, Dusty Hill, and Joe Bonamassa. King was being inducted into the Hall of Fame just before Donovan, and the band for King shared the backstage dressing room with Donovan, his wife Linda, and myself. Derek and Billy truly enjoyed meeting Donovan and a good time was had by all.

Billy and Donovan.

Linda Leitch, Billy Gibbons, Chris Murray with Donovan as he tunes up.

The Freddie King tribute group blew the top off the house with their performance! That was my first time seeing Derek Trucks play guitar.

Derek Trucks on the ‘big screen’ as the Freddie King tribute band performs, while Ronnie Wood and Flea confer.

Donovan went on to be inducted after Freddie King, and was introduced to the audience by John Mellencamp, a great fan and friend of Donovan’s. Donovan gave one of the finest acceptance speeches ever given at the Rock Hall ceremony, followed by him performing. The audience gave him a standing ovation. Sunshine Superman indeed!

Harry Belafonte turned 95 this week. I celebrated Belafonte’s extraordinary legacy by listening to Donovan’s recent album Jump In The Line: A Tribute to Harry Belafonte. A great tribute from one extraordinary artist to another!

All photographs by Carlotta Hester/Govinda Gallery.

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Happy Birthday George Harrison

by Patrick Pearse on February 25, 2022  |  Comments Off on Happy Birthday George Harrison

George Harrison, Madison Square Garden, August 1, 1971. Photo by Barry Feinstein.

And yes—all ‘things’ do pass, except: the one true path in
George’s songs. The ever-present wisdom path which leads to
the awakening of love…asleep within us all.
From Donovan’s preface to George Harrison: Be Here Now by Barry Feinstein with Chris Murray (Rizzoli)

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Celebrating Black History Month with Billie Holiday, Son House, Little Richard, Sly Stone, and George Clinton

by Chris Murray on February 8, 2022  |  Comments Off on Celebrating Black History Month with Billie Holiday, Son House, Little Richard, Sly Stone, and George Clinton

Billie Holiday, NYC, 1949. Photo by Herman Leonard.


Son House, Liberty Bell, Philadelphia, 1965. Photo by Dick Waterman.


Little Richard at the Star Club, Hamburg, Germany, 1963. Photo by Siegfried Loch.


Sly Stone, San Jose, 1978. Photo by Jim Marshall.


George Clinton, Los Angeles, 1989. Photo by Greg Gorman.



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Happy 80th Birthday Muhammad Ali

by Chris Murray on January 17, 2022  |  Comments Off on Happy 80th Birthday Muhammad Ali

David Murray meeting Muhammad Ali at Govinda Gallery, with gallery director Chris Murray, on the occasion of the opening of Howard Bingham’s exhibition, “Muhammad Ali, A Thirty Year Journey.” Photo by Chester Simpson.

Knockout: The Art of Boxing, edited by Chris Murray, featuring the photographs of Ken Regan

Full page advertisement in The Washington Review, signed by Muhammad Ali and Howard Bingham.

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Carlotta Hester’s “Rapture”

by Chris Murray on January 12, 2022  |  Comments Off on Carlotta Hester’s “Rapture”

Carlotta Hester creating pieces for “Rapture.” Photo by Max Hirshfeld courtesy of Addison/Ripley.

Carlotta Hester’s “Rapture” Canvases Evoke Jazz Improv

By Maddie Rennyson

Walking past Addison/Ripley Fine Art at 1670 Wisconsin Avenue, bright splashes of acrylic on canvas might catch your eye. In her latest show “Rapture,” painter Carlotta Hester’s expressionist evocations of improvisational freedom light up the gallery.

“Rapture – that is what I felt when I was making the work,” Hester tells The Georgetowner. After another tough year of navigating these unprecedented times, Hester found solace in the connection between brush and canvas. While painting the colorful collection, she felt like a jazz musician, improvising her next stroke as she went along, and getting in the zone with the colors and the movement of the work. She used this time to create as a space for meditation to escape what was going on outside of the studio.

Hester has already gotten a joyful response to her work. Members of the community, other artists, and students have come into the gallery and commented on how uplifting and bright the paintings make them feel. This is how Hester felt as she was painting them as well.

In addition to her career as an artist, Hester is also an art teacher at Maret, known for its exceptional visual arts program. This profession holds a special place in her heart as she was first inspired to pursue her passion for art by her own high school art teacher, Stephanie Jones. Hester now has the opportunity to pass on that inspiration to the next generation of young artists.

Hester loves all art media and enjoys exploring different types of projects, especially through teaching her students. There was a period during the pandemic where she was teaching virtually which posed some challenges given that the students did not have access to all their usual materials or the studio space. However, they were still able to practice their still-life portraits by having models pose on the screen. “I love art because I love making art,” Hester says, and is living out her passion of being able to create her own work while also helping others unveil their talent and explore their love for art.

In partnership with the Govinda Gallery, Addison/Ripley will be showing Rapture through January 22.

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