top of page

Roland Hagenberg Photo Portraits from the 80s in New York

【Roland Hagenberg Photo Portraits from the 80s in New York】

This is Roland Hagenberg's first exhibition in Taiwan, featuring his photographs of several international masters who were based in New York in 1980. Hagenberg used his camera to start a dialogue with these heavyweight artists in the 1980s, recording their images at the time, giving us today the opportunity to browse the past and glimpse their immortality through his photographic works.

Roland Hagenberg, a writer and photographer from Vienna, and Karl A. Meyer, an artist, built a studio together on Crosby Street in Manhattan, New York in the 1980s. Several emerging artists, such as Jean-Michel Basquiat, Keith Haring, Robert Mapplethorpe and Jeff Koons, lived next door to each other. In the 1980s, New York was a place of restlessness and creativity, and it was a place for artists to live and seek its inexhaustible source of inspiration. The artistic expression and experimental spirit of this era posed a new direction that influenced contemporary art around the world. New York at this time was like Paris and Montmartre in the 1950s, and London in the 1960s. In this epic era, New York has evolved from various experimental simulations to today's comprehensive real-time streaming and digitalization, creating an enduring status and influence.

Roland Hagenberg grew up in Vienna. From 1979 to 1982, Hagenberg lived in Berlin. At that time, the western part of the city was surrounded by the Berlin Wall. The contrast between the political phenomenon and its cultural nourishment attracted and inspired artists from all over the world. Hagenberg and his friend Volker Diehl jointly wrote the first art book "Painters in Berlin": Interviews and Photo Album of Contemporary German Artists. A year later, Hagenberg visited New York for the German magazine "Stern" to report on two graffiti artists-Michael Stewart and Keith Haring. Stewart was unfortunately killed by the police while graffitiing the wall in a subway tunnel, while Haring's works became famous all over the world. In 1983, Hagenberg decided to move to New York to continue his mission of documenting the development of contemporary art.


Roland Hagenberg later moved to Tokyo, where he lived for 25 years and became a contributor to magazines such as Vogue and Architectural Digest. In the 1980s, he documented the New York art world, interviewed and photographed artists such as Andy Warhol, Robert Mapplethorpe, Keith Haring and Louise Bourgogne, and his work has appeared in international magazines and important exhibitions. In 2010, Hagenberg launched the "Raiding Project" in the birthplace of composer Franz Liszt, featuring miniature houses designed by Japanese architects such as Fujimori Terunobu and Hara Hiroshi. Hagenberg's books on Japanese architecture have been published in multiple languages such as English, Japanese and Chinese. In 2014, he received the "Best Innovation Award" from the Austrian Tourism Board. In 2022, he co-published Crosby Street with artist Karl A. Meyer, which offered a fascinating look at the art scene in New York in the 1980s. In 2023, Bedside Poems was published.

bottom of page